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Testing an Organization’s Purpose in the Face of Adversity(Comments Off on Testing an Organization’s Purpose in the Face of Adversity)

July 11, 2016

A May 2015 explosion in one of its largest facilities tested Johnsonville Sausages’ organizational purpose and commitments made to its employees. Author Dan Pontefract takes a look at how Johnsonville reacted to that crisis and what lessons there might be for other companies. “Organizational purpose is the opportunity for a firm to define its principles, ethics, leadership and culture,” he writes. “It is imperative for the organization to act on this definition.”

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Commentary: When a Workplace Tragedy is Also a Crime

When we hear about shootings, bank robberies, or home invasions, we expect the perpetrators to be arrested, tried, and punished appropriately if they are found guilty. When an employer ignores workplace safety and causes a worker to be seriously injured or killed on the job, it is just as criminal, yet arrests and prosecutions are rare. Why does our justice system so often shield businesses, CEOs, and other executives from criminal charges when they gamble with workers’ lives?

Drug Companies Pay Up in Illegal Marketing Cases, But Are Penalties Enough?

Big Pharma has written more than $30 billion in checks in the last 10 years to resolve government allegations of illegal marketing, according to consumer watchdog group Public Citizen. Yet those sums are essentially petty cash for the drug giants, says Public Citizen, amounting to less than 5 percent of the net profits raked in by the 11 largest global pharmaceuticals firms over a similar period.

The Conflict Between a Corporation’s Global Standards and National Law

China’s extensive state censorship is just one example of the challenges that companies frequently confront when doing business globally. In an excerpt from his new book, former GE legal counsel Ben W. Heineman, Jr. examines the “recurrent dilemma” confronting businesses when a corporation’s global ethical standards collide with national law.


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