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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Corruption in Business and the Importance of Ethics

By Vivek Wadhwa
The Wall Street Journal Blog - The Accelerators
Originally published June 28, 2013

Here is an excerpt:

How can companies do better? Corporate executives and business owners need to realize that there can be no compromise when it comes to ethics and there are no easy shortcuts to success. Ethics need to be carefully sown into the fabric of their companies.

Business executives need to start by spelling out and communicating their values. Then they need to lead by example. This means getting rid of the bad apples and declining opportunities that bring instant wealth at the cost of selling one’s soul.

Corporate culture is built from the top down. Employees embrace the ethics and values of their leaders. You simply can’t have one set of standards for management and another for staff. Every executive and employee needs to be held accountable.

Employees need to be encouraged to speak up when they see wrongdoing — to “speak truth to power.” And when a mistake is made, it is better to deal with the immediate fallout rather than allow it to build its own momentum. A corporate culture that doesn’t allow for mistakes is destined for disaster. The best strategy is to encourage employees to come clean and learn from their errors.

The worst is when employees are pressured to hide information. A company can usually survive short term snags. But covering up a problem is likely to create even bigger problems later on.  No truth remains hidden forever.

The entire article is here.
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