I have worked in marketing for over 30 years and I agree. One of the biggest issues (my opinion) is that the primary goal of a corporation is to make profit for its shareholders. Man, if that’s not a stipulation that excuses all sorts of choices, I don’t know what is. Too often it leads to people behaving in exactly the way you describe.
Add to it the number of small business owners and entrepreneurs that look up to giant corporations and seek to emulate them.
We see that right here — there’s far more stories about what the big dogs do (and how to be one) than there are stories about people doing business with admirable ethics.
Who’s Your Hero?
Another funny place I see the same concept played out is who we set up as modern day heroes. Here’s one example; Bill Gates has dedicated his life to eradicating malaria and convincing the richest people in the world to leave the lion’s share of their money to eradicate poverty.
Steve Jobs didn’t “believe in” charity, didn’t donate to charity, and was known to be cruel and narcissistic to his employees.
Which one do “we” (people/society/internet/media) hold up as the genius, and the one to emulate — and which do we love to hate? Curious, isn’t it?
Maybe it all just comes down to what Viktor Frankl summarizes about human beings in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. Which would explain a lot, actually.