UNIT: Ethical Behavior in the Workplace
Sick about Unethical Business, Mark D. Promislo and Robert A. Giacalone, BizEd, 2013.
Unethical behavior adversely impacts the victims, witnesses, family members and friends, and even the perpetrators. At times, the hurt is experienced directly and immediately; at other times, the hurt is experienced indirectly or in the long-term.
Ethics Training Is Missing the Mark: Here's Why, S.L. Young, Huffington Post, 2015.
Ethics training needs to address to the emotional, psychological, and moral challenges that individuals face when confronted with ethical decisions.
Everyday Ethics: Tougher Than You Think, Steve Goldberg and Bruce Bettinghaus, Strategic Finance, 2015.
Judgment traps and biases can hamper ethical decision-making. Such traps and biases are identified along with interventions.
Acting Ethically Is Not Always Easy—Some Tough Questions for Estate Planners, Ronald Duska, Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 2015.
The cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance offer significant help when thinking through, and acting upon, ethical decisions. It is important to ask if a given course of action will produce goodness, be fair, and enable the keeping of commitments.
Good Morning! Your Moral Fiber Is Eroding by the Minute, Drake Bennett, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2013.
As individuals make decisions throughout the day, they deplete a finite store of willpower. Such depletion lowers their ability to make ethical decisions. Organizations should be mindful regarding the potential for less ethical behavior as the day progresses.
Stealing a Pen at Work Could Turn You On to Much Bigger Crimes, Emily Cohn, Huffington Post, 2014.
Researchers demonstrate that minor ethical transgressions could lead to more serious violations in the future.
Three Simple Rules to Stop Yourself from Lying, Natalie Kitroeff, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2015.
Low-key, apparently innocent lying can lead to significant patterns of lying in time. Three simple strategies are offered that can help individuals prevent that from occurring.
A Time for Ethical Self-Assessment, Rick Wartzman, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2008.
What kind of person do you see when you look in the mirror? That is, when you do an ethical self-assessment what kind of person do you see? Peter Drucker called that question “the mirror test” or the “ethics of prudence.”
UNIT: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Nature of Business
Doing More Good, Jodi Chavez, Strategic Finance, 2011.
Several ways for a company to be a better corporate citizen are identified and discussed. The so-called business case for being charitable is examined. Seven ways for achieving competitive advantage through good corporate citizenship are posited. Six ways to put corporate responsibility into action are identified and discussed.
Doing Good to Do Well, Anne Tergesen, The Wall Street Journal, 2012.
Various examples of companies doing good in order to do well are presented in the article. Companies, among others, include Dow Corning Corporation, PepsiCo, FedEx, Intel Corporation, Pfizer Inc., and IBM, a company that sent some 1,499 employees abroad since 2006 as part of its Corporate Service Corps.
Necessary but Not Sufficient: An Exploration of Where CR Begins—and Ends, Peter A. Soyka, Corporate Responsibility Magazine, 2012.
The importance of recognizing and acting upon sustainability issues are posited as factors driving long-term business success. The article differentiates corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate responsibility (CR). Sustainability is defined in the article and the attributes of a sustainable organization are identified and discussed.
Fiduciary Principles: Corporate Responsibilities to Stakeholders, Susan C. Atherton, Mark S. Blodgett, and Charles A. Atherton, Journal of Religion and Business Ethics, 2011.
The article examines the origins of the fiduciary concept in shaping the ethical and moral duties of managers. Several studies are cited including the responsibility of corporate boards having “a fiduciary duty to make ethics-based decisions.”
The CSR Litmus Test, Chris MacDonald, Canadian Business, 2011.
The author challenges readers to clearly define what they mean by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and questions the value of the term CSR.
The Four Principles of 'Conscious Capitalism', R. Michael Anderson, Entrepreneur, 2015.
The right thing to do is also the profitable thing to do. Companies should practice the four pillars of conscious capitalism: ensuring conscious leadership, maintaining a stakeholder orientation, inculcating a conscious culture, and embracing a higher purpose.
Business Rx: Here's Why, Ethically, You Should Stop Bashing Business, Rajshree Agarwal, The Washington Post, 2015.
Business creates genuine value for humanity, and should not, therefore, be apologetic when it does so. Business people should incorporate the following five lessons to ensure value creation: don’t substitute money for purpose; keep it win-win; remember business combats poverty; philanthropy is not penance; and you might be worth the high salary you’re paid.
The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Milton Friedman, The New York Times Magazine, 1970.
"There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."
Can This Startup Make The Ultimate Ethical T-Shirt?, Adele Peters, Fast Company, 2015.
A small business attempts to produce a t-shirt that does not cause harm to workers or the environment, at a price that is attractive to consumers.
Price Is Most Important Factor for Consumers, Whatever They May Say about Ethics, Liz Nelson, Trade Extensions, 2014.
Though consumers state that ethical and sustainability concerns regarding products and services are important to them, their primary purchase decision drivers are price, value, and quality.
UNIT: Building an Ethical Organization
Creating an Ethical Culture, David Gebler, Strategic Finance, 2006.
David Gebler examines how values-based ethics programs can help employees’ judge right from wrong. Seven levels of an ethical organization are presented and analyzed.
Barclays Tells Staff to Uphold New Values or Leave, Margot Patrick, The Wall Street Journal, 2013.
Barclays PLC's Chief Executive Officer, Antony Jenkins, provided the company's staff with a choice—uphold the company's new values or leave. Jenkins seeks to rebuild the company's reputation and corporate culture in the wake of scandal.
Designing Honesty into Your Organization, Christian Mastilak, et al., Strategic Finance, 2011.
How does a manager design honesty into her/his organization? Is it possible to design in honesty and make the concept of honesty part of an organization’s culture? This article argues in the affirmative and offers six key steps toward designing honesty into an organization.
Hiring Character, Dana Telford and Adrian Gostick, Integrity Works, 2005.
In an excerpt from Dana Telford and Adrian Gostick’s book, Integrity Works, they present a look at business leader Warren Buffett’s practice of hiring people based on their integrity. A list of twenty questions is presented that might be asked of job candidates to learn more about their character.
Creating an Ethical Workplace, Dori Meinert, HR Magazine, 2014.
Having an ethical culture makes good business sense. Practical suggestions are given for developing an ethical corporate culture, and the importance of managerial influence and example is highlighted.
Using Social Media to Boost Ethics and Compliance, Pamela Babcock, HR Magazine, 2013.
It is critically important that managers train employees on social media policies. Companies can utilize social media avenues to enhance ethics and compliance programs by hosting moderated intranet conversation groups, providing video podcasting to share positive stories, creating a company blog, hosting internal webinars, and using sites like Facebook and YouTube to share positive stories externally.
UNIT: Ethical Issues and Dilemmas in the Workplace
Overcoming the Fraud Triangle, Curtis C. Verschoor, Strategic Finance, 2015.
To overcome fraud, managers need to pay attention to opportunity, financial pressure, and rationalization, and to encourage whistleblowing.
Opting to Blow the Whistle or Choosing to Walk Away, Alina Tugend, The New York Times, 2013.
Ethical violations do not have to violate the law, but reporting them could result in adverse consequences for the informant. Tugend offers some advice to those contemplating whistleblowing.
The Unexpected Cost of Staying Silent, Amy Fredin, Strategic Finance, 2012.
In an empirically based article, the author explores the regret felt by individuals in situations of not blowing a whistle when a whistle should have been blown. The reasons for not blowing the whistle are documented by empirical research. Fear of retaliation is the most common reason reported for not blowing the whistle. The level of regret experienced is related to the type of reported wrongdoing that was not reported.
Challenges of Governing Globally, Marc J. Epstein, Strategic Finance, 2012.
The author analyzes the salient characteristics of three different global corporate governance systems. An analysis of different governing systems arguably will enable managers to manage more effectively in various host countries around the world. Differing governing systems likely have differing implications for the placement of ethics programs in host country operations.
Conceptualizing a Framework for Global Business Ethics, William J. Kehoe, 2003.
What are important considerations in developing a global code of ethics? An eight-stage framework for global business ethics is developed. The framework begins with the stage of understanding the orientation of a firm and concludes with recommendations for promulgating and using a framework of global business ethics.
Taking Your Code to China, Kirk O. Hanson and Stephan Rothlin, Journal of International Business Ethics, 2010.
The authors explain why it is so difficult for managers of U.S.-based firms to take codes of ethics from a home country to host countries. Examples of successes are presented. Special reasons are suggested why operating in China is difficult and shaping a code of ethics to China is discussed. An interesting section in the article concerns the importance of doing whistleblowing the Chinese way.
Wal-Mart Inquiry Reflects Alarm on Corruption, Stephanie Clifford and David Barstow, The New York Times, 2012.
Wal-Mart increases the scope of internal investigations into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Additionally, the company is changing reporting relationships and expanding internal compliance and investigation departments.
Wal-Mart Hushed Up a Vast Mexican Bribery Case, David Barstow, Alejandra Xanic, and James C. McKinley, Jr., The New York Times, 2012.
A case-study-like article examining allegations of bribery by Wal-Mart while operating in Mexico discusses how the bribery allegations emerged, the initial response from Wal-Mart, presents details of Wal-Mart’s internal investigations, examines how certain executives deflected blame, and other such topics.
American Apparel and the Ethics of a Sexually Charged Workplace, Gael O'Brien, Business Ethics, 2011.
A company, American Apparel, whose alleged philosophy of sexual freedom in the workplace faces pending litigation for sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. These litigation problems allegedly spring from the CEO’s philosophy concerning consensual sexual freedom in the workplace. He stated, “I think it’s a first Amendment right to pursue one’s affection for another human being.”
Intel Wants a Less White, Less Male Staff. Good Luck, Akane Otani, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2015.
Building diversity takes time and requires effort to make it stick. It is not simply a matter of issuing a new policy, but creating a culture shift.
The Ethics of Not Hiring Smokers, Harald Schmidt, Kristin Voigt, and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, The New England Journal of Medicine, 2013.
Employers should focus on determining if candidates meet job requirements, and offer support services to help smokers quit. Reasons for denying smokers employment are examined.
Gap's Inconsistent Corporate Ethics, Greg Randolph, U.S. News & World Report, 2013.
Is the promotion of inclusion simply a marketing trick? Gap responds to graffiti on one of its ads featuring a Sikh model, while not responding to poor worker conditions in Bangladesh.
Commentary: Markets Will Best Guard Environment, John Stossel, The Daily Record, 2014.
The author presents an argument that property rights, the market system, and honest courts produce better environmental outcomes than larger-scale governmental oversight.
Even after Snowden, Quota System on Background Checks May Be Imperiling U.S. Secrets, Christian Davenport, The Washington Post, 2015.
When workers are pushed to meet quotas, quality of work can diminish. At times, such diminishment can have significant adverse consequences.
The Ethics of Hacking 101, Ellen Nakashima and Ashkan Soltani, The Washington Post, 2014.
The authors discuss the inherent dangers and ethical issues in training individuals to find vulnerabilities in systems.
Marketing to Children: Accepting Responsibility, Gael O'Brien, Business Ethics, 2011.
Using McDonald's as an example, the author discusses contrary opinions regarding marketing to children. Critics claim that businesses exert undue influence on children, often with seriously negative consequences. Supporters state that parents have the right and responsibility to determine the lifestyles of their children.
How Marketers Are Plotting to Use Neuroscience to Control What You Buy, Isha Aran, Huffington Post, 2015.
Marketers study how consumption behaviors affect brain activity to discern how brain structure can affect consumer susceptibility to marketing messages. Additionally, researchers examine the link between brain structure and personality.
A Donation-with-Purchase Might Not Be the Best Way to Support a Charity: Should You Buy a Toy and Save the Whales?, Consumer Reports, 2014.
Cause-related marketing might not achieve its intended goals; it might hurt the very causes it desires to help.
Unethical Behaviors in the Workplace: Abuse of Social Media in the Workplace on the Rise, Steven Mintz, Workplace Ethics Advice, 2015.
Companies face increasing challenges with respect to social media abuse by employees. Management needs to create social media policies and train employees on them.
Too Much Information?, Kate Russel, Builders Merchants Journal, 2014.
It is important for employers to focus information gathering on what is relevant for the job, ensuring that the information directly pertains to job description qualifications.
Everything We Know about Facebook's Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment: It was probably legal. But was it ethical?, Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 2014.
Facebook altered news pages to discern effects on users’ moods and subsequent postings. Questions regarding informed consent and ethical oversight are discussed.