Cultures of Trust, and Risk, Interviewing Alison Taylor on Transparency and Compliance & More: Ethical Systems May Newsletter

Cultures of Trust, and Risk, Interviewing Alison Taylor on Transparency and Compliance & More: Ethical Systems May Newsletter

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Ethics Scholar Interview: Alison Taylor, Director of BSR’s sustainability management practice

"I see huge potential in a more integrated approach to ethics that incorporates ideas from both compliance and sustainability. The concept of a “culture of compliance” is strangely empty. It may sound obvious to say that corporate values statements must amount to more than words on a website, but the task of giving these concepts substance can be neglected. I argue that ideas taken from corporate responsibility and sustainability can provide both the direction and the decision-making frameworks we need to use when tackling today’s challenges in business ethics."

Learn more about Alison Taylor's approach to transparency and ethics >>

Is Your Legal Department Creating Organizational Risk?

Originally published in the FCPA blog by CEO Azish Filabi

As a lawyer, I have deep respect for the invaluable advisory role of lawyers. It’s imperative that they are included in strategic discussions and that compliance with law be paramount for companies.  I can also see, though, how unintended consequences can result from deference to isolated rules or legal practice without consideration of the bigger picture system in which they are intended to operate -- where one could miss the forest for the trees.

Read the piece via the Ethical Systems blog >>

Ask an Ethics Expert


Question for Max Bazerman, our May expert. More online!
 

Q: I work at a mid-size manufacturing company and one of my co-workers in sales consistently promises early deliveries to our customers. I worry that our operations team cannot meet the client's expectations. How can I make my co-worker understand that he is over-promising about our capabilities? I worry that this will lead to undue pressure on the team, with potentially bad consequences for the company.

A: There are multiple possible explanations for your co-workers behavior.  When salespeople aren’t doing what others in the organization think they should be doing, I find it useful to look at what they are being rewarded to do. So, often, organizations create systems that encourage one behavior and hope for a different behavior. So, I would look at what happens in your organization when a salesperson books a sale, with promises that will not be met. Are they rewarded for that behavior?

Perhaps the broader group should meet to discuss problems associated with meeting promises that are made to customers. I wonder whether your co-worker even understands the issues that s/he is creating? Finally, if these systemic approaches are not effective or viable, I think that the manager needs to confront this difficult conversation, preferably soon than later. Too often, humans avoid conflict, even when avoiding the conflict will only make the challenges tougher.

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NEW: Each month, we solicit audience-submitted questions to submit to one of our esteemed collaborators. Selected questions and answers will be featured online and in next month's newsletter.

For our second installment, we have recruited David Mayer, Associate Professor in the Management and Organizations Area at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Expertise: ethical climate/culture, ethical leadership, and ethical decision-making.

Click here to submit a question online. Answers in the June newsletter! >>

Want To Be Happier And More Successful? Learn To Like Other People

Ethical Systems collaborator David Mayer publishes his most recent column in Fast Company on why giving the benefit of the doubt is so hard and why the best self-help approach is not always about you.

Read the full article online >>

Collaborators in the News

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