Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Morals Versus Ethics: Building An Organizational Culture Of Trust And Transparency

Pamela Furr
Originally posted 6 May 24

Here are two excerpts:

Prioritize Transparency And Integrity

Our team is a diverse mix of ages, cultures, races and backgrounds, and we all bring unique experiences and perspectives to the table. If a colleague says or does something that doesn’t sit right with you, take a moment to pause, process and then approach them. Share how you felt in the moment—this can be as simple as saying, “My feelings were hurt when you did that” or “I didn’t think the language you used earlier was appropriate.” Give them the opportunity to explain or apologize before gossiping with coworkers or silently holding onto resentments. Trust each other to have open, honest conversations, and you can often defuse conflicts before they escalate.


Build A Sense Of Community

Set the tone for open dialogue and mutual respect in your organization. By modeling these values in your interactions with others, you can inspire your team to uphold the same standards. Foster a culture in which you advocate for yourself and others and try to learn from others as well. Approach things you don’t understand with a spirit of curiosity and compassion, assuming positive intent until proven otherwise. Ask questions, and truly seek to understand someone else’s point of view.

I believe that an essential part of being a leader is ensuring that our employees feel safe, protected and heard when they come to work. We can work to hold external governing boards accountable to the standards they set, but we can also do everything in our power to create a culture of trust, transparency and accountability within our own organizations.

Here is my summary:

The article discusses the difference between morals and ethics. Morals are personal beliefs and values that guide our actions, while ethics are a set of rules established by a community or governing body.

The author describes a situation where a trainee made a false sexual harassment claim against her mentor. The certifying board refused to take any action because they saw it as an employment contract issue. The author argues that governing boards should take a stronger stance in upholding ethics within their professions.

The article concludes with the author's thoughts on creating an ethical and transparent workplace culture. The author emphasizes the importance of open communication, understanding policies and procedures, and building a sense of community. By following these principles, organizations can create a safe and supportive environment for their employees.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Neuroscience of Trust

Paul J. Zak
Harvard Business Review
Originally posted January-February 2017

Here is an excerpt:

The Return on Trust

After identifying and measuring the managerial behaviors that sustain trust in organizations, my team and I tested the impact of trust on business performance. We did this in several ways. First, we gathered evidence from a dozen companies that have launched policy changes to raise trust (most were motivated by a slump in their profits or market share). Second, we conducted the field experiments mentioned earlier: In two businesses where trust varies by department, my team gave groups of employees specific tasks, gauged their productivity and innovation in those tasks, and gathered very detailed data—including direct measures of brain activity—showing that trust improves performance. And third, with the help of an independent survey firm, we collected data in February 2016 from a nationally representative sample of 1,095 working adults in the U.S. The findings from all three sources were similar, but I will focus on what we learned from the national data since itʼs generalizable.

By surveying the employees about the extent to which firms practiced the eight behaviors, we were able to calculate the level of trust for each organization. (To avoid priming respondents, we never used the word “trust” in surveys.) The U.S. average for organizational trust was 70% (out of a possible 100%). Fully 47% of respondents worked in organizations where trust was below the average, with one firm scoring an abysmally low 15%. Overall, companies scored lowest on recognizing excellence and sharing information (67% and 68%, respectively). So the data suggests that the average U.S. company could enhance trust by
improving in these two areas—even if it didnʼt improve in the other six.

The effect of trust on self-reported work performance was powerful.  Respondents whose companies were in the top quartile indicated they had 106% more energy and were 76% more engaged at work than respondents whose firms were in the bottom quartile. They also reported being 50% more productive
—which is consistent with our objective measures of productivity from studies we have done with employees at work. Trust had a major impact on employee loyalty as well: Compared with employees at low-trust companies, 50% more of those working at high-trust organizations planned to stay with their employer over the next year, and 88% more said they would recommend their company to family and friends as a place to work.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:
  • Trust is crucial for social interactions and has implications for economic, political, and healthcare outcomes. There are two main types of trust - emotional trust and cognitive trust.
  • Emotional trust develops early in life through attachments and is more implicit, while cognitive trust relies on reasoning and develops later. Both rely on brain regions involved in reward, emotion regulation, understanding others' mental states, and decision making.
  • Oxytocin and vasopressin play key roles in emotional trust by facilitating social bonding and attachment. Disruptions to these systems are linked to social disorders like autism.
  • The prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and striatum are involved in cognitive trust judgments and updating trustworthiness based on new evidence. Damage to prefrontal regions impairs updating of trustworthiness.
  • Trust engages the brain's reward circuitry. Betrayals of trust activate pain and emotion regulation circuits. Trustworthiness cues engage the mentalizing network for inferring others' intentions.
  • Neuroimaging studies show trust engage brain regions involved in reward, emotion regulation, understanding mental states, and decision making. Oxytocin administration increases trusting behavior.
  • Understanding the neuroscience of trust can inform efforts to build trust in healthcare, economic, political, and other social domains. More research is needed on how trust develops over the lifespan.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Five tips for transitioning your practice to telehealth

Five tips for transitioning your practice to telehealthRebecca Clay
American Psychological Association
Originally posted 19 June 20

When COVID-19 forced Boston private practitioner Luana Bessa, PhD, to take her practice Bela Luz Health online in March, she was worried about whether she could still have deep, meaningful connections with patients through a screen.

To her surprise, Bessa’s intimacy with patients increased instead of diminished. While she is still mindful of maintaining the therapeutic “frame,” it can be easier for everyday life to intrude on that frame while working virtually. But that’s OK, says Bessa. “I’ve had clients tell me, ‘It makes you more human when I see your cat jump on your lap,’” she laughs. “It has really enriched my relationships with some clients.”

Bessa and others recommend several ways to ensure that the transition to telehealth is a positive experience for both you and your patients.

Protect your practice’s financial health

Make sure your practice will be viable so that you continue serving patients over the long haul. If you have an office sitting idle, for example, see if your landlord will renegotiate or suspend lease payments, suggests Kimberly Y. Campbell, PhD, of Campbell Psychological Services, LLC, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Also renegotiate agreements with other vendors, such as parking lot owners, cleaning services, and the like.

And since patients can’t just hand you or your receptionist a credit card, you’ll need to set up an alternate payment system. Campbell turned to a credit card processing company called Clover. Other practitioners use the payment system that’s part of their electronic health record system. Natasha Holmes, PsyD, uses SimplePractice to handle payment for her Boston practice And Still We Rise, LLC. Although there’s a fee for processing payments, an integrated program makes payment as easy as clicking a button after a patient’s session and watching the payment show up at your bank the next day.

The info is here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ethics deserve a starring role in business dealings

Barbara Lang
Originally published 5 March 20

Ethics deserve a starring role in business dealings

They created cultures of fear, deception and arrogance, and they put their own personal interests in front of all others, including their own families. They didn’t care whose lives they destroyed, using their power to conquer and destroy anyone blocking their path to money and gratification. Shockingly, they manipulated those around them — people with whom they built trust — to foster networks of secrecy and allegiance beyond anything we have seen in the history of American business. Ironically, they crucified themselves through historic cheating, lying and a breakdown of ethics never seen before.

Many are household names, and we should all cringe when we hear them, even as they are reduced to insignificance and confined to moldy jail cells. Ken Lay, CEO and chairman of Enron, was the mastermind of a historic accounting scandal at the energy company, resulting in its bankruptcy. He was found guilty of 10 counts of securities fraud before he died in 2006. There are also the two infamous Bernies: Ebbers and Madoff. Ebbers, the former WorldCom CEO, was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy as part of that company’s false financial reporting scandal. Maybe the most egregious and sinister of them all was Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme defrauded innocent investors of millions of dollars and life savings. He rots in federal prison while his clients try to make sense of the destruction he knowingly caused.

The info is here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The ethics of ordering non-essential items online during the coronavirus lockdown

imgLaura Steele
Originally posted 3 April 20

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, the UK government announced that all retail outlets, except for those considered to provide essential goods and services, were to close with immediate effect. Online retail is, however, 'still open and encouraged'.

So, does that mean we can click with a clear conscience?

Business academics Andrew Crane and Dirk Matten argue that a decision has an ethical dimension to it if it has a significant effect on others it is characterised by choice, and it is perceived as ethically relevant to one or more parties.

Most of us would likely agree that ordering essential items, such as food or medicine, is ethically acceptable. Especially if there is no alternative, as is currently the case for millions of people who have been deemed at high risk due to underlying health conditions, are self-isolating as the result symptoms of COVID-19, or are otherwise unable to shop in person.

But what about goods that are not absolutely necessary, such as clothing that is wanted but not needed, home decor, toys and games, garden furniture and accessories, beauty products or even, depending on your view on the matter, the humble Easter egg?

The info is here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Stressed Out at the Office? Therapy Can Come to You

Rachel Feintzeig
The Wall Street Journal
Originally published 31 Jan 20

Here is an excerpt:

In the past, discussion of mental-health issues at the office was uncommon. Workers were largely expected to leave their personal struggles at home. Crying was confined to the bathroom stall.

Today, that’s changing. One reason is a broadening of the popular understanding of “mental health” to encompass anxiety, stress and other widespread issues.

It’s also a reflection of a changing workplace. Younger workers are more comfortable talking about their struggles and expect their employers to take emotional distress seriously, says Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Senior leaders are responding, rolling out mental-health services and sometimes speaking about their own experiences. Lloyds Banking Group Plc chief executive António Horta-Osório has said publicly in recent years that the pressure he felt around the bank’s financial situation in 2011 dominated his thoughts, leaving him unable to sleep and exhausted. He took eight weeks off from the company to recover, working with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist later helped him devise a mental-health program for Lloyds employees.

Brynn Brichet, a lead product manager at Cerner Corp., a maker of electronic medical-records systems, said she sometimes returns from her counseling appointments with an on-site therapist red-faced from crying. (The therapist sits a few floors down.) If colleagues ask, she tells them that she just got out of an intense therapy session. Some are taken aback when she mentions her therapy, she said. But she thinks it’s important to be open.

“We all are terrified. We all are struggling,” she said. “If we don’t talk about it, it can run our lives.”

The info is here.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Does Morality Matter? Depends On Your Definition Of Right And Wrong

Hannes Leroy
Originally posted 30 Jan 20

Here is an excerpt:

For our research into morality we reviewed some 300 studies on moral leadership. We discovered that morality is – generally speaking – a good thing for leadership effectiveness but it is also a double-edged sword about which you need to be careful and smart. 

To do this, there are three basic approaches.

First, followers can be inspired by a leader who advocates the highest common good for all and is motivated to contribute to that common good from an expectation of reciprocity (servant leadership; consequentialism).

Second, followers can also be inspired by a leader who advocates the adherence to a set of standards or rules and is motivated to contribute to the clarity and safety this structure imposes for an orderly society (ethical leadership; deontology).

Third and finally, followers can also be inspired by a leader who advocates for moral freedom and corresponding responsibility and is motivated to contribute to this system in the knowledge that others will afford them their own moral autonomy (authentic leadership; virtue ethics).

The info is here.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Business ethics and morality have their limitations, new analysis suggests

Jayne Smith
Originally published 16 Jan 20

Morality has its limitations in the business domain, according to a new analysis of available research by Dr Hannes Leroy from Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) Erasmus University and his co-authors. This is despite the fact that there is a widespread belief that morality and business ethics matter in the way organisations act, although there is also a concomitant belief that there is a general lack of attention to morality in the world of leadership. This appears to be true regardless of industry, firm size, or the status and level of a leader in a company.

The researchers reviewed 300 studies on moral leadership and discovered the pitfalls of morality at work.The study, Taking Stock of Moral Approaches to Leadership: An Integrative Review of Ethical, Authentic, and Servant Leadership was published in the journal Academy of Management Annals.

The info is here.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Taking Stock of Moral Approaches to Leadership: An Integrative Review of Ethical, Authentic, and Servant Leadership

FIGURE 2G. James Lemoine, Chad A. Hartnell,
and Hannes Leroy
Academy of Management AnnalsVol. 13, No. 1
Published Online:16 Jan 2019


Moral forms of leadership such as ethical, authentic, and servant leadership have seen a surge of interest in the 21st century. The proliferation of morally based leadership approaches has resulted in theoretical confusion and empirical overlap that mirror substantive concerns within the larger leadership domain. Our integrative review of this literature reveals connections with moral philosophy that provide a useful framework to better differentiate the specific moral content (i.e., deontology, virtue ethics, and consequentialism) that undergirds ethical, authentic, and servant leadership, respectively. Taken together, this integrative review clarifies points of integration and differentiation among moral approaches to leadership and delineates avenues for future research that promise to build complementary rather than redundant knowledge regarding how moral approaches to leadership inform the broader leadership domain.

From the Conclusion section

Although morality’s usefulness in the leadership domain has often been questioned (e.g., Mumford & Fried, 2014), our comparative review of the three dominant moral approaches (i.e., ethical, authentic, and servant leadership) clearly indicates that moral leadership behaviors positively impact a host of desirable organizationally relevant outcomes. This conclusion counters old critiques that issues of morality in leadership are unimportant (e.g., England & Lee, 1974; Rost, 1991; Thompson, 1956). To the contrary, moral forms of leadership have much potential to explain leadership’s influence in a manner substantially distinct from classical forms of leadership such as task-oriented, relationship-oriented, and change-oriented leadership (DeRue, Nahrgang, Wellman, & Humphrey, 2011; Yukl, Gordon, & Taber, 2002).

Friday, January 24, 2020

How One Person Can Change the Conscience of an Organization

Nicholas W. Eyrich, Robert E. Quinn, and
David P. Fessell
Harvard Business Review
Originally published 27 Dec 19

Here is an excerpt:

A single person with a clarity of conscience and a willingness to speak up can make a difference. Contributing to the greater good is a deep and fundamental human need. When a leader, even a mid-level or lower level leader, skillfully brings a voice and a vision, others will follow and surprising things can happen—even culture change on a large scale. While Yamada did not set out to change a culture, his actions were catalytic and galvanized the organization. As news of the new “not for profit” focus of Tres Cantos spread, many of GSK’s top scientists volunteered to work there. Yamada’s voice spoke for many others, offering a clear path and a vision for a more positive future for all.

The info is here.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Big tech is thinking about digital ethics, and small businesses need to keep up

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet
Originally posted 16 Dec 19

Here is an excerpt:

And insurance company Aviva recently published a one-page customer data charter along with an explainer video to detail how it uses personal information, "instead of long privacy policies that no one reads," said the company's chief data scientist, Orlando Machado.

For McDougall, however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. "We hear from Microsoft and Intel about what they are doing, and how they are implementing ethics," he said, "but there are many smaller organizations out there that are far from thinking about these things."

As an example of a positive development, he points to GDPR regulation introduced last year in the EU, and which provides more practical guidelines to ensure ethical business and protection of privacy.

Even GDPR rules, however, are struggling to find a grip with SMBs. A survey conducted this year among 716 small businesses in Europe showed that there was widespread ignorance about data security tools and loose adherence to the law's key privacy provisions.

About half of the respondents believed their organizations were compliant with the new rules – although only 9% were able to identify which end-to-end encrypted email service they used.

A full 44% said they were not confident that they always obtained consent or determined a lawful basis before using personal data.

The info is here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Companies Are Judged More Harshly For Their Ethical Failures If The CEO Is A Woman

Emily Reynolds
British Psychological Society
Originally published 19 Nov 19

Gender inequality in the business world has been much discussed over the last few years, with a host of mentoring schemes, grants, business books and political activity all aimed at getting women into leadership positions.

But what happens when this goal is achieved? According to new research, unequal gender dynamics still prevail even at the very top. Nicole Votolato Montgomery and Amanda P. Cowen from the University of Virginia found that women CEOs are judged far more harshly than their male counterparts when a business fails ethically. However, when a failure is down to incompetence, they find, women receive less negative backlash.


The team suggests that highlighting such traits in female leaders can “reduce the penalties for female-led organisations”. But others argue that women leaders shouldn’t give in to the pressure of adopting typically “male” traits, and that being helpful and community-focused are actually positive things to bring to the board room. Leaning into stereotypes may not be the best way, long-term, to break them — but either way, it’s clear there’s still a way to go for women in business.

The info is here.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Privacy: Where Security and Ethics Miss the Mark

privacyJason Paul Kazarian
Originally posted 29 Nov 19

Here is an excerpt:

Without question, we as a society have changed course. The unfettered internet has had its day. Going forward, more and more private companies will be subject to increasingly demanding privacy legislation.

Is this a bad thing? Something nefarious? Probably not. Just as we have always expected privacy in our physical lives, we now expect privacy in our digital lives as well. And businesses are adjusting toward our expectations.

One visible adjustment is more disclosure about exactly what private data a business collects and why. Privacy policies are easier to understand, as well as more comprehensive. Most websites warn visitors about the storage of private data in “cookies.” Many sites additionally grant visitors the ability to turn off such cookies except those technically necessary for the site’s operation.

Another visible adjustment is the widespread use of multi-factor authentication. Many sites, especially those involving credit, finance or shopping, validate login with a token sent by email, text or voice. These sites then verify the authorized user is logging in, which helps avoid leaking private data.

Perhaps the biggest adjustment is not visible: encryption of private data. More businesses now operate on otherwise meaningless cipher substitutes (the output of an encryption function) in place of sensitive data such as customer account numbers, birth dates, email or street addresses, member names and so on. This protects customers from breaches where private data is exploited via an all-too-common breach.

The info is here.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Study offers first large-sample evidence of the effect of ethics training on financial sector behavior

Image result for business ethicsShannon Roddel
Originally posted 21 Nov 19

Here is an excerpt:

"Behavioral ethics research shows that business people often do not recognize when they are making ethical decisions," he says. "They approach these decisions by weighing costs and benefits, and by using emotion or intuition."

These results are consistent with the exam playing a "priming" role, where early exposure to rules and ethics material prepares the individual to behave appropriately later. Those passing the exam without prior misconduct appear to respond most to the amount of rules and ethics material covered on their exam. Those already engaging in misconduct, or having spent several years working in the securities industry, respond least or not at all.

The study also examines what happens when people with more ethics training find themselves surrounded by bad behavior, revealing these individuals are more likely to leave their jobs.

"We study this effect both across organizations and within Wells Fargo, during their account fraud scandal," Kowaleski explains. "That those with more ethics training are more likely to leave misbehaving organizations suggests the self-reinforcing nature of corporate culture."

The info is here.

Monday, October 7, 2019

A Theranos Whistleblower’s Mission to Make Tech Ethical

Brian Gallagher
Originally published September 12, 2019

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Is Theranos emblematic of a cultural trend or an anomaly of unethical behavior?

My initial impression was that Theranos was some very bizarre one-off scandal. But as I started to review thousands of startups, I realized that there is quite a lot of unethical behavior in tech. The stories may not be quite as grandiose or large-scale as Theranos’, but it was really common to see companies lie to investors, mislead customers, and create abusive work environments. Many founders lacked an understanding of how their products could have negative impacts on society. The frustration of seeing the same mistakes happen over and over again made it clear that something needed to be done about this.

How has your experience at Theranos helped shape your understanding of the link between ethics and culture?

If the company had effective and ethically mature leadership, the company may not have used underdeveloped technology on patients without their consent. If the board was constructed in a way to properly challenge the product, perhaps it would have been developed. If employees weren’t scared and disillusioned, perhaps constructive conversations about novel solutions could have arisen. On rare occasions are these scandals a sort of random surprise or the result of an unexpected disaster. They are often an accumulation of poor ethical decisions. Having a culture where, at every stakeholder level, people can speak-up and be properly considered when they see something wrong is crucial. It makes the difference in building ethical organizations and preventing large disastrous events from happening.

The info is here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Evolutionary Thinking Can Help Companies Foster More Ethical Culture

Brian Gallagher
Originally published August 20, 2019

Here are two excerpts:

How might human beings be mismatched to the modern business environment?

Many problems of the modern workplace have not been viewed through a mismatch lens, so at this point these are still hypotheses. But let’s take the role of managers, for example. Humans have a strong aversion to dominance, which is a result of our egalitarian nature that served us well in the small-scale societies in which we evolved. One of the biggest causes of job dissatisfaction, people report, is the interaction with their line manager. Many people find this relationship extremely stressful, as it infringes on their sense of autonomy, to be dominated by someone who controls them and gives them orders. Or take the physical work environment that looks nothing like our ancestral environment—our ancestors were always outside, working as they socialized and getting plenty of physical exercise while they hunted and gathered in tight social groups. Now we are forced to spend much of our daytime in tall buildings with small offices surrounded by genetic strangers and no natural scenes to speak of.


What can business leaders learn from evolutionary psychology about how to structure relationships between bosses and employees?

One of the most important lessons from our research is that leaders are effective to the extent that they enable their teams to be effective. This sounds obvious, but leadership is really about the team and the followers. Individuals gladly follow leaders who they respect because of their skills and competence, and they have a hard time, by contrast, following a leader who is dominant and threatening. Yet human nature is also such that if you give someone power, they will use it—there is a fundamental leader-follower conflict. To keep managers from following the easy route of threat and dominance, every healthy organization should have mechanisms in place to curtail their power. In small-scale societies, as the anthropological literature makes clear, leaders are kept in check because they can only exercise influence in their domain of expertise, nothing else. What’s more, there should be room to gossip about and ridicule leaders, and leaders should be regularly replaced in order to prevent them building up a power base. Why not have feedback sessions where employees can provide regular inputs in the assessment of their bosses? Why not include workers in hiring board members? Many public and private organizations in Europe are currently experimenting with these power-leveling mechanisms.

The info is here.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Why Businesses Need Ethics to Survive Disruption

Mathew Donald
Business EthicsHR Technologist
Originally posted July 29, 2019

Here is an excerpt:

Using Ethics as the Guideline

An alternative model for an organization in disruption may be to connect staff and their organization to society values. Whilst these standards may not all be written, the staff will generally know right from wrong, where they live in harmony with the broad rule of society. People do not normally steal, drive on the wrong side of the road or take advantage of the poor. Whilst written laws may prevail and guide society, it is clear that most people follow unwritten society values. People make decisions on moral grounds daily, each based on their beliefs, refraining from actions that may be frowned upon by their friends and neighbors.

Ethics may be a key ingredient to add to your organization in a disruptive environment, as it may guide your staff through new situations without the necessity for a written rule or government law. It would seem that ethics based on a sense of fair play, not taking undue advantage, not overusing power and control, alignment with everyday society values may address some of this heightened risk in the disruption. Once the set of ethics is agreed upon and imbibed by the staff, it may be possible for them to review new transactions, new situations, and potential opportunities without necessarily needing to see written guidelines.

The info is here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Why You Should Develop a Personal Ethics Statement

Charlene Walters
Originally posted July 16, 2019

As an entrepreneur, it can be helpful to create a personal ethics statement. A personal ethics statement is an assertion that defines your core ethical values and beliefs. It also delivers a strong testimonial about your code of conduct when dealing with people.

This statement can differentiate you from other businesses and entrepreneurs in your space. It should include information regarding your position on honesty and be reflective of how you interact with others. You can use your personal ethics statement or video on your website or when speaking with clients.

When you create it, you should include information about your fundamental beliefs, opinions and values. Your statement will give potential customers some insight into what it’s like to do business with you. You should also talk about anything that’s happened in your life that has impacted your ethical stance. Were you wronged in the past or affected by some injustice you witnessed? How did that shape and define you?

Remember that you’re basically telling clients why it’s better to do business with you than other entrepreneurs and communicating what you value as a person. Give creating a personal ethics statement a try. It’s a wonderful exercise and can provide value to your customers.

The info is here.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Why it now pays for businesses to put ethics before economics

John Drummond
The National
Originally published July 14, 2019

Here is an excerpt:

All major companies today have an ethics code or a statement of business principles. I know this because at one time my company designed such codes for many FTSE companies. And all of these codes enshrine a commitment to moral standards. And these standards are often higher than those required by law.

When the boards of companies agree to these principles they largely do so because they believe in them – at the time. However, time moves on. People move on. The business changes. Along the way, company people forget.

So how can you tell if a business still believes in its stated principles? Actually, it is very simple. When an ethical problem, such as Mossmorran, happens, look to see who turns up to answer concerns. If it is a public relations man or woman, the company has lost the plot. By contrast, if it is the executive who runs the business, then the company is likely still in close touch with its ethical standards.

Economics and ethics can be seen as a spectrum. Ethics is at one side of the spectrum and economics at the other. Few organisations, or individuals for that matter, can operate on purely ethical lines alone, and few operate on solely economic considerations. Most organisations can be placed somewhere along this spectrum.

So, if a business uses public relations to shield top management from a problem, it occupies a position closer to economics than to ethics. On the other hand, where corporate executives face their critics directly, then the company would be located nearer to ethics.

The info is here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fostering an Ethical Culture on Your Sales Team

Kristen Bell DeTienne, Bradley R. Agle, and others
Harvard Business Review
Originally posted June 20, 2019

Here is an excerpt:

Create a Culture of Ethical Values. 

Employees can suffer several negative consequences if they are told to do things that conflict with their ethical values. Meanwhile, companies can suffer negative consequences from employees not living up to the organization’s values. Managers can help by involving sales associates in conversations about personal and organizational values and by helping employees reconcile discrepancies and honor both their personal and organizational values.

During one of our ethics training sessions with a U.S.-based corporation, employees first described their own values and the company’s values. In teams, they set goals for sales achievement, then wrote a code of conduct that would promote that achievement while still respecting both individual and company values. One associate’s value was “not to push the clients too much when they need time to decide.” This seemed at odds with the company’s values to “finalize the sale” and “never abandon an opportunity.” So, the employees created a rule that honored both values: “Give your customers the time they need to think about your offer, but immediately fix the next appointment.” This hybrid rule brought peace of mind to employees—and a better sales experience to their customers.

The info is here.