Ethikos Weekly Editor’s Picks – March 18, 2014


Ethikos Weekly Editor’s Picks

Examining Business Ethics Since 1987

Editor’s Top Choice:

Choices: ‘Why ethics are my top priority’
From Darren Dahl and the American Express Open Forum, “Prior to launching Sedulo Group in 2005, which helps its clients develop strategies to deal with their competition, Heath Gross served as a counter-intelligence agent with the U.S. government, where he was responsible for leading source operations in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Djibouti. But when an unexpected illness forced him to prematurely retire from the military at age 34, he realized that the skills he had honed combating terrorists could also be used to help companies understand their competition better—and protect themselves from divulging too much information of their own.

While competitive-intelligence—which can include finding out what your competitors are selling and for how much—can be a tricky business, Gross chooses to chooses to conduct his research in an ethical and somewhat ‘un-spy-like’ manner. That means no dumpster diving for information or pretending to be someone he isn’t, which makes his job of acquiring information more of an art form, and much harder to get results.” Read more

Other Featured Picks of the Week

Students encouraged to consider ethical dimensions of business decisions

From the Penn State News:

Dennis Gioia, the Robert and Judith Klein Professor of Management and chair of the Department of Management and Organization at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, visited with a class of undergraduates last month to discuss an ethical challenge that helped shape his career and the American auto industry.

In the early 1970s, reports began to surface at the Ford Motor Company that its new model, the Ford Pinto, could explode upon rear impact. It wasn’t until 1978, after nearly 30 deaths, that the vehicle was finally recalled. Prior to the recall, Gioia worked as the company’s recall coordinator and was initially in charge of handling the Pinto case. Read more

What does your company stand for?

Christopher Hann from Entrepreneur writes, “Mike West started BPV Capital Management five years ago, and since then he has shepherded the mutual-fund company through some dramatic expansion. In the past year alone, Knoxville, Tenn.-based BPV has nearly doubled its work force to 38 employees. Ask West about the key to his firm’s growth, and he mentions hard work and innovation. But he also points to the importance of a company culture that has been enforced from day one.

West describes BPV as simultaneously ‘intense’ and ‘relaxed.’ How does that work? ‘I think if you’re going to get anything done, you have to have a mindset that you’re going to go at it pretty hard,’ West says. ‘But if you’re going to be innovative, creative and disruptive, you have to have the freedom to smile and relax.’ Read more

Ethical & smart

From Business Standard:

“When one evaluates the reasons for the fall of companies such as Enron, Lehman Brothers and WorldCom, what connects the dots is a stupefying disregard for ethics. Closer home, Ranbaxy’s recent run-in with the US Food and Drug Administration has invited renewed questions about the governance, compliance and ethics practices of a section of firms in India and indeed across global economies.” Read more

Shop Talk: Fostering a culture of compliance and ethics

Jaclyn Jaeger of Compliance Week writes, “Let’s be honest: Stating what the company’s values are is easy. Integrity, quality, passion, accountability, collaboration—they’re in mission statements from one coast of Corporate America to the other. CEOs and board directors rattle them off all the time, to anyone who’ll listen, with all the confidence of an ad executive pitching a hot new client.

And nobody believes them either.

‘I asked my board what our company’s values were, and they gave me the three listed on our mission statement,’ one ethics & compliance officer said at a recent Compliance Week executive roundtable. ‘Then I went and asked our employees what they thought the company’s values were—and, boy, their responses were not those three values.’” Read more

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