The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility

The Work Culture at Amazon: Does the Tin Man Have a Heart? (0)

November 13, 2015 • Category: Business Ethics, Featured Story, Leadership, Recent Stories

Recent criticisms of what’s reported to be a high-pressured work environment at Amazon highlight how leaders’ expectations can dehumanize a workplace, writes columnist Gael O’Brien. “It is difficult,” she says,”to see how a company passionate about ‘customer obsession’ won’t give more attention to its own culture – finding ways to listen and respond to those who make customer satisfaction possible and sustainable.”

Full Story»

Business Ethics»

Public Service in the Social Media Age: How Ethics and Perception Must Guide our Service Members (0)

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity conducts an annual essay contest for undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States. Students may write about any topic they wish, as long as their essay explores the theme of ethics. The Prize in Ethics Essay Contest was established by the Elie […]

Compliance & Governance»

For Big Railroads, a Carload of Whistleblower Complaints (0)

Big railroads are often targeted by complaints of illegal retaliation against whistleblowers who disclose safety hazards or report on-the-job injuries. A recent $1.25 million damage award to a former BNSF Railway Co. employee spotlights what critics say is the unjust punishment sometimes meted out to railroad workers who report injuries or safety problems.

Corporate Political Spending»

Corporate Speech and the First Amendment: History, Data and Implications (0)

A 2015 working paper from Harvard Law School, “Corporate Speech and the First Amendment: History, Data and Implications,” indicates that Citizens United, while certainly important, is only the latest in a series of cases that have expanded corporate use of the First Amendment. In his research, the author, John C. Coates IV, performed an analysis of nearly 13,000 Supreme Court decisions from 1946 to December 2014.


It’s Not Easy: The Challenge of Paying Employees a $70,000 Minimum Salary (0)

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price made headlines four months ago when he announced that his Seattle-based credit card payment processing startup was raising employees’ minimum annual salary to $70,000. Columnist Gael O’Brien says the ensuing maelstrom offers insights into resistance, the need for new work paradigms and how leaders give voice to convictions.

EarthTalk - Consumer Info»

How Can Teachers Integrate Sustainabiity Topics Into Their Curricula? (0)

Teaching our kids about sustainability and green living is one of the most important things we can do to safeguard the future of humanity and the planet we inhabit. The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) reports that environmental education teaches children how to learn about and investigate their environment and to make intelligent, informed decisions about sustainability.


Inside Corporate America’s Campaign to Ditch Workers’ Comp (0)

Workers’ comp was founded on the premise that employers owed a duty to injured workers and their families. And laws in every state require them to pay workers’ medical bills and some of their lost wages until they recover — or for life if they can’t. An investigation by ProPublica and NPR looks at one Texas lawyer who is helping major companies opt out of workers’ compensation and write their own rules. What does it mean for injured workers?


The Ethics of Transcendence (0)

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity conducts an annual essay contest for undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States. Students may write about any topic they wish, as long as their essay explores the theme of ethics. The Prize in Ethics Essay Contest was established by the Elie […]

Ethics Case Scenarios»

Reducing Waste in Retail Store Operations (0)

“I work for the Gap and know firsthand the amount of waste that’s produced at my store. Can you suggest ways retail stores can reduce waste? And how can I get a conversation started with the people upstairs about recycling and being less wasteful?”

Executive Compensation»

CEO Pay: ‘Time to Retire the Rock Star Messiah Myth’ (1)

Pay packages for CEOs of U.S.-based companies continue out of control, writes columnist Gael O’Brien, with boards often succumbing to “fear-based” compensation practices that undermine the potential for collaborative leadership and sustainability. She notes new research which disputes conventional wisdom that CEOs can easily move to the next company if not paid well. “Tackling excessive CEO compensation,” O’Brien writes, “is the first step in creating a new normal.”


Volkswagen’s Next Challenge: Keep Scandal from Happening Again (0)

Columnist Gael O’Brien says Volkswagen’s confession to rigging emissions standards on millions of diesel cars means the company’s board and new CEO, Matthias Müller (left), need to understand and correct what made it possible for illegal and unethical choices to be made when obstacles to business goals surfaced. What prevented anyone from speaking up or if anyone did, from being heard? And what are leaders willing to do to change that?


Intuit Mistake Angers Customers and Highlights Question: Why? (0)

Columnist Gael O’Brien examines an embarrassing customer misstep by financial software giant Intuit and suggests that corporate leaders should more closely question the “why” of major business decisions. “It is a powerful deterrent to mistakes,” she says, “and a key asset in keeping trust.”


Examining Success for Net Neutrality: A Lesson in Digital Power (0)

The failure of the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger in April 2015 had many causes, but certainly the substantial amount of public attention to the issue of net neutrality over the past two years contributed to it. How exactly net neutrality rose from a somewhat obscure issue to one of mass attention stands as a compelling case study in new forms of digital communications — and the degree to which online actors may play a role in shaping public policy.


Sustainability Progress: More ‘Words’ Than ‘Action’ (0)

While sustainability is increasingly “appearing on the radars and agendas of companies around the world,” a clear gap exists between corporate “words” and “action,” according to the newly-released Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013 from the United Nations Global Compact.


Investor Relations and the Value of Human Intelligence (0)

With the increasing activism of the public generally and institutional investors specifically it is more important than ever for the leaders of companies to take a proactive and honest effort to understand how public audiences view the operations and management of the organization.


VIDEO: Bill Gates on Philanthropy During a Recession (0)

In an exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates discusses the challenges of philanthropy in an economic recession and how his tenure at Microsoft prepared him for his new job running the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


International Labor Standards and Corporate Supply Chains: An Interview with Richard Locke (0)

“We live not just in a global economy but in a global supply chain,” says international labor expert Richard Locke. “The most important thing is to educate consumers, especially in large markets, so they understand that the choices they make have implications for issues of living standards, working conditions and justice in the factories that produce most of the things we buy every day.”

Regulation & Legislation»

Feds Want to Run Flimsy Motorcycle Helmets Off the Road (0)

After years of inaction, federal regulators are trying to crack down on the use of cheap novelty helmets linked to thousands of motorcycle crash deaths and injuries in recent years.

Socially Responsible Investing»

Report: Managing Environmental and Social Risk Helps Create More ‘Valuable’ Enterprise (0)

Companies that invest in the management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks are far better prepared to deal with business “shocks” and can demonstrate to investors a “resilience” that potentially translates into higher stock market valuations, according to a new report by the consulting firm Deloitte.


Will a Natural Resource ‘Revolution’ Create a Trillion Dollar Opportunity? (0)

In an excerpt from their new book, two senior McKinsey consultants argue that rather than facing a crisis because of natural resource scarcity, businesses confront an opportunity that will reframe the world’s economy and create opportunities for trillions of dollars in profits.


“Business in Society” Program Covers CSR Issues on TV (0)

A new television/video program, “Business In Society,” delivering news and analysis on how business is addressing global society’s macro problems — among them, the environment, energy conservation, and women’s empowerment — debuts Saturday, March 30th, 2013.