Power is something that is praised worldwide, one of the foremost traits of globalism and the greed that underlies, and justifies the pursuit of power. Major reason is the unprecedented benefits it seems to bring with it, and for the ones who support the powerful. Powerless is weaker and hold less influence and hence are seen as a problem rather than their ideal existence as humans under difficult circumstances.
Power must be used only when it sees the result as more benefiting to more people than when the power is not used. In short, power meant to be used for benefiting humanity at large and not just to fulfil personal gains. Retailers are more powerful because of their financial muscle and hence must support the suppliers, customers and manufacturers to become stronger. Unfortunately, power is a tool to be deployed to amass personal wealth and the wealth of the closed ones, leaving out dastard impacts on the exploited. When a power in decision is to be assessed, it is assessed and justified only when the consequences of using power will do more good to most people.
If I were a CFO of a retailer and requested by the CEO to delay supplier payment just to improve the company’s cash position, I would certainly disagree and refuse to commit such an unethical move. This is because I have the power and I understand that it must be used for delivering more good for the most people. The decision to delay the payment is an unethical practice, which can be detrimental to a great extent for the company. Short-termism must not be a strong inclination because it is meant to impose others into committing unethical acts. The supplier when adheres to all agreement clauses and follows timely delivery standards, it simply does not deserve to receive late payment, especially when the retailer is sufficiently cash rich and has no reason to delay the payment.
The basic and strong ground of this decision is the ethical practice that is mandatory by law and by the company’s internal code of conduct (Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations, 2014). If a large retailer is incapable of following its own ethical standards, how can it expect others to follow the same, especially the suppliers? The other ground is the social responsibility that the organisation has towards society, humanity and setting an example of being adherent to ethical and moral laws.