“The value concept of the honorable merchant is more relevant than ever”

"Trust is the beginning of everything", a slogan that the deutsche bank used in its advertising years ago. But it is precisely this bank that has lost a lot of trust in recent years. And so it served rather as a negative example in the lecture by matthias fifka on tuesday evening. Fifka, professor of business administration at the university of erlangen-nurnberg with a focus on strategic and value-oriented management, spoke at the new year’s reception of the chamber of industry and commerce (IHK) for upper franconia in bayreuth on the topic of "the honorable merchant in the 21st century". Century".

This guiding principle from the middle ages is experiencing a renaissance, said fifka. The basis for this is a values-based attitude. Even 500 years ago, the honorable merchant knew that if I acted unfairly, word would get around quickly. In this respect, the mechanism is the same today as it was then, but with one central difference. "Today, we know more about what companies do. Misconduct becomes very quickly accessible, especially via social media", said fifka.

More than half no trust

The 45-year-old presented figures on trust levels in germany. According to the report, 47 percent of people in this country say they had confidence in the economy. "In other words, more than half of the people do not have any trust. You can already talk about a crisis of confidence."

On closer inspection, however, the values differed significantly. 74 percent had confidence in small and medium-sized businesses, but only 30 percent had confidence in the management boards of large companies. Craftsmen enjoy the greatest trust, but trust in carmakers has declined dramatically since 2015. "We see again and again: trust is lost very quickly, and lost trust comes back only slowly.", said fifka.

In the "transfer" of the honorable merchant in our time, however, certain restrictions have to be made, said fifka. "It is not so clear today what is right and what is wrong." Due to many individuals in the companies who had very different value systems, it had become extremely complex to do the right thing.

"The fish stinks from the head down"

The decisive factor, however, continues to be a value-based attitude that is exemplified by entrepreneurs and managers to the employees. "If honorable action is not taken at the top of the company, then it will not happen further down the line", said fifka. "The fish stinks from the head."

Fifka advised companies to codify values. However, they had to be "tangible and applicable in day-to-day business". Rules could also provide orientation.

Business capital in the 21st century. Trust and reputation in the 21st century. "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five minutes to ruin it.", fifka concluded by quoting u.S. Billionaire investor warren buffett. Chamber of commerce and industry president sonja weigand said the challenge was to.A. In giving the employees orientation through values in the company and pointing them in the right direction.

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