Ethikos Editor’s Weekly Picks: For a Culture of Integrity, Focus on Fairness

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Examining ethics and compliance issues in business since 1987


For a culture of integrity, focus on fairness

By Anne R. Harris for National Defense
Organizational ethics and compliance is about encouraging people to conduct business with integrity. It is also about mitigating risks: the risk that the organization could lose money, that it could face legal liability, that its employees could be injured, that its customers could suffer damages, that its reputation could be ruined and so on.

Business leaders who pursue a strategy to “promote an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law,” as recommended in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations [USSG §8.B2.1(a)(2)], aim to create a work environment that will sustain positive performance and long-term success, partly by reducing the likelihood of ethical or compliance failures. Read more

Biomedical science education needs a new philosophy, Johns Hopkins researchers say

By Barbara Benham for HUB 
Today’s graduate biomedical science education system is in need of comprehensive reform, two researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health argue in a new paper.

Current programs, they write, are successful at teaching students how to conduct deep research. However, graduates can be too specialized and ill-prepared for a diverse job market. In addition, they are not trained in critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Read more

Employers… are you equipped to handle sexual harassment complaints?

By Terry Gray for Birmingham Business Journal
Doing business in today’s environment is highly risky for employers who can face litigation and lose productivity when workplace conduct issues arise.

In light of the recent frequency of sexual harassment allegations capturing the headlines, now is an important time for employers to understand the significance of having proper policies, training and accountability in place in order to best protect their employees and business. Every company faces complex employment issues, yet many business owners are unaware of the legality of employment related matters. Read more

What do investors value, ethics or returns? Startup bets on both

By Julie Verhage and Rachel Evans for Bloomberg
It used to be a choice: follow your conscience or chase returns. But now one Southern California startup is betting its strategies can deliver both kinds of value — market and ethical.Read more

5 signs your organization might be headed for an ethics scandal

By Alison Taylor for Harvard Business Journal
Corporations often approach ethics as an individual problem, designing oversight systems to identify the “bad apples” before they can turn the organization into a “rotten barrel.” But at places like Wells Fargo, FIFA, and Volkswagen, we can’t fully describe what happened by reading profiles of John Stumpf, Sepp Blatter, or Martin Winterkorn. Bad apple explanations also fail to explain the string of ethical crises at Uber, the long-term impunity of powerful men who sexually harass colleagues, or any of the other ethics scandals we’ve seen this year. Rather, we see a “tone at the top” underpinned by widespread willful blindness, toxic incentives, and mechanisms that deflect scrutiny. These conditions seem to persist and metastasize. They replicate despite changes in leadership and in management systems. Read more

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