A business is involved in communities at many levels. First of all companies must build a thriving community within their organisation. At the next level a company is involved in the larger community, including suppliers, customers, governments and others. At the highest level companies, regardless of size, are involved in the global economy. The world of business demonstrates the interdependence of the whole human race.

26. Local community


The community in which you operate consists of residents, other businesses, schools, shops and other services. Although it is easier to be recognised for what you do in a small community, in a large city the same concern for the community applies.

Try to make your business an asset to the community and not an annoyance.

If asked to support a local activity, try to participate in some way.


Are you actively involved in working for the improvement of the community in which you work?

How does your reputation stand locally?

Are you vigilant against earning undue profit at the cost of the community?

27. Government


Business is required to operate within both the spirit and intent of the law: local, national and international. Monitoring and understanding the impact of legislation is difficult and time consuming. In most instances, laws do not affect businesses that manage their affairs ethically; however, ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you discover you are operating outside the law, correct the situation as quickly as possible.


In all your business affairs, do you keep within the law? Do you make sure that you are regularly informed about regulations that apply to your business? Do you respect and abide by them?

Do you join with others and take steps to change those laws and regulations that you believe are unjust, immoral or outmoded and in need of being brought up to date?

28. Trade Unions


Remember that it is the job of trade unions to assert the interest of their members, particularly by pressing for security of employment, good working conditions and the most favourable rates of pay possible. In your dealings with trade unions, work to cultivate a mutual trust that delivers organisational success. The objective of negotiations is to achieve a beneficial outcome for both parties.


Do you keep any promises you may have made to trade unions? Do you ask more from them than you would be prepared to give if you were in their position?

Do you try to avoid unnecessary conflict and confrontation? Do you consider employers and trade unions as colleagues, each of whom has a worthwhile contribution to make to the business?

What actions, processes, benefits or events do you actively initiate to ensure that there is sufficient trust between you and the trade unions to enable constructive discussions about unpopular measures like short time working if the company experiences adverse trading conditions?

29. Pressure groups


Sometimes a product or service, a price, or a lack of competition can be seen by a vocal minority to be wrong. If you are affected, do not ignore the situation, but consider carefully what is said and what, if anything, you should do about it.


If your business is the subject of a pressure group, do you take time to talk to them, to understand their points of view, to explain yours, and to try and come to an amicable way of resolving problems?

Do you join with others to work for a better, more moral world? Do you ensure that any pressure groups to which you may belong are morally based?

Quakers and Business is a charitable incorporated organisation in England and Wales No. 1157008 at Unit 12272, POBox 7169, Poole, Dorset, UK, BH15 8EL. Quakers and Business Group is a Quaker Recognised Body in Britain (BYM).
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