Drawing the Line on Accountability

Drawing the Line on Accountability

Consider GM's latest debacle: the C-Suite claimed no knowledge of the company's use of faulty ignition switches going back more than a decade. And perhaps they didn't know, but they should have. Executives must be held accountable for subordinates' failings, so they must be aware of what's going on internally.

Is Classical Moral Philosophy Letting Us Down?

Is Classical Moral Philosophy Letting Us Down?

Business ethics is traditionally taught by college philosophy departments. Considering source material often predates modern business practices by hundreds -- if not thousands -- of years, this should raise eyebrows. The principles of classical moral philosophy aren't very helpful in today's business world, so why are they being applied?

Tone at the Top: Sustaining An Ethical Culture

Tone at the Top: Sustaining An Ethical Culture

A strong ethical culture, including clear expectations for acceptable conduct within the organization and with third parties, is essential for good governance. Ethical behavior, however, involves much more than a code of ethics. The audit committee plays a critical role in ensuring that an organization’s culture aligns with its code of conduct, that behaviors are consistent from top to bottom,...

Fixing a Company’s Ethics and Compliance Culture

Fixing a Company’s Ethics and Compliance Culture

In the aftermath of a serious violation, efforts to overhaul a company's culture of ethics and compliance may seem too little, too late. And can it even be done, anyway? With the right players at the helm it can. With the Board and the CEO jointly and sincerely championing change, the organization stands a far greater chance of surmounting past...

Stop Getting Ripped Off: The Financial and Reputational Case for a Deeply Embedded Ethical Culture

Stop Getting Ripped Off: The Financial and Reputational Case for a Deeply Embedded Ethical Culture

Compliance and ethics often go hand in hand, but being in compliance doesn’t necessarily mean your organization is a bastion of ethical behavior. Fraud is unsettlingly common, and we’re not talking about the petty stuff. Having a deeply embedded ethical culture can protect against misconduct that comes with six-figure (or higher!) losses, causes significant reputational damage and leads to hefty...

The Value of an Ethical Culture

The Value of an Ethical Culture

When it comes to compliance, the best investment a company can make is to create and promote an ethical culture. Dollar for dollar, communicating this message is the money well spent. A CEO has to commit time and effort to the program. If the CEO does not want to commit, the job will be much harder. A CEO who believes...

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