Tag Archive for ‘Ethics’
Questions about how SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment treats dolphins and whales has placed it at the center of an intense controversy involving allegations of cruelty to animals – charges the company vehemently refutes. Columnist Gael O’Brien examines the debate and interviews Thomas I. White, an advocate for animal rights and a professor of business ethics.
Efforts by American Apparel’s board to oust founder and CEO Dov Charney don’t impress columnist Gael O’Brien. It’s one thing to tolerate a philosophy that a sexually-charged workplace fosters creativity, she writes, but another to allow “the repugnant behavior of its leader, who sexualized the workplace as a stalking ground for employee relationships called consensual, disregarding disparity of age and power.”
What accounts for behavior? There are people with a high IQ – an intelligence quotient derived from standardized tests – and those strong in what psychologists call emotional intelligence. But a third factor is often overlooked, writes columnist Gael O’Brien. Spiritual intelligence may be “harder to measure, easier to misunderstand and often dismissed as something more suitable for a yoga studio than a board room,” she says, but we ignore it at our peril.
Educating students in corporate responsibility means making sure they think critically and recognize that ethical issues are inherent in all business decisions, says an educator. “Corporate culture must support all employees to think critically about every decision and action, every day,” she writes. “Being motivated simply to avoid prosecution is not the same as behaving ethically—and it’s often not even a good way to avoid sanctions.”
Leaders who are hyperactive — doing more and more, faster and faster – in their response to an ever-changing, complex world are less likely to be innovative and are more vulnerable to making ethical mistakes, says a thought leader on leadership development. Columnist Gael O’Brien speaks with Kevin Cashman about his new book – The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward.
In their new book – How Will You Measure Your Life? – Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen and his co-authors suggest that if students of business “take the time to figure out their life’s purpose, they’ll look back on it as the most important thing they will have discovered.” An excerpt from the book focuses on the importance of staying true to one’s personal principles and “why 100 percent of the time is easier than 98 percent of the time.”
The head of the Ethics Resource Center says former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith’s very public resignation – and accusations that the bank had lost control of its culture and “moral fiber” – are backed up by a recent survey which spotlights a historic decline in culture in all business sectors across the country.
One particular stereotype concerns money and it’s this: Rich people are less ethical than others. The corollary is that poor folk are more honest and ethical. These are stereotypes that are ingrained in most cultures across the globe. It’s even become part of current election rhetoric in the U.S.
Well, there’s new research that shows this old saw may be true.
It’s nice to be on the right side of ethics, but sometimes we falter. We’re only human. So the question becomes: How do you rebuild your reputation after an ethical or even legal lapse in judgment?
Columnist Gael O’Brien speaks with Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of the Gallup organization, about his new book and the critical role that managers play in the ethics of an organization. “Ethics, like politics, is local, local, local,” Clifton says. “If I think my boss treats me ethically and honestly, that is what I think of the company.”