Role of the Ethics Officer

The Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics posted a series of videos with Linda Trevino, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Ethics at Smeal College of Business, on their YouTube channel.  The videos cover topics such as: the intersection between CSR and ethics programs,  teaching business ethics, cheating in business schools, values-based vs. compliance-based ethics programs and dozens more.  The videos …

Business Case #11: Abrasive Personality in the Workplace

Jan is a clerk with a very abrasive personality. She is usually competent but at least once a month she says or does something that seriously offends co-workers or members of the public. Dan, her supervisor, has counseled her several times but concludes she is a negative influence and he wants to terminate her but this is her fourth year …

Honesty in Conduct

Honesty is the bedrock of trust and trustworthiness. The moral command to be honest requires us to speak and act only in ways that engender and justify trust. That seems simple enough. But honesty is a broader concept than some realize. An honest person tells the truth, is sincere, doesn’t deceive, mislead, act devious or tricky, doesn’t betray a trust, …

Accountability

Ambrose Pierce, a nineteenth-century humorist, defined responsibility, as “A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.” Being accountable means accepting responsibility for who we are, and for our character, personalities, attitudes, and weaknesses. Even for our happiness. The …

Avoiding Unfair Conduct

One of the problems with interpreting the concepts of fairness and justice is that so many factors can go into the notion of a fair judgment. There is rarely one single result dictated by ethical analysis. Consequently, we often do not know what is truly fair. We do, however, often know what is unfair, and our first obligation is to …

Using the Six Pillars of Character to Get More From Your Organization

Michael Josephson explains how the Six Pillars of Character relate to everyday business operations and how they can be used to get more out of your organization.  Almost all companies are in what we call a compliance mode after the creation of rules and statutes like Sarbanes-Oxley. Compliance is the concept of rules and industry regulations creating the “laws” of …

Are you a Boss, Leader or Manager?

Writers on business leadership often point out the difference between a boss, a leader and a manager. Everyone vested with the authority to direct or supervise others is a boss. A boss has the responsibility and authority to lead; it’s a job title. The title turns into a verb when the boss “bosses” people around. Those who never progress beyond …