Bridging the Academic-Practitioner Gap; our Amicus Brief to SCOTUS, a New Behavioral Sci One Sheet, and more: The Ethical Systems December Newsletter

Bridging the Academic-Practitioner Gap; our Amicus Brief to SCOTUS, a New Behavioral Sci One Sheet, and more: The Ethical Systems December Newsletter

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New Behavioral Science One Sheet: Ethics Pays

Our behavioral science one-sheets are designed to connect behavioral science concepts to daily workflow and organizational cultures. We use simple language and concrete examples about how to apply behavioral science concepts in practice. 

See how an investment in ethics translates to profit, productivity and prestige.

Download this and our entire series of Behavioral Science One Sheets created in partnership with the Notre Dame Centre for Ethical Leadership >>

Cathy O’Neil to the Ivory Tower: Stop ignoring the ethics risks in tech

 
As the use of AI has grown, so has a corresponding gap in the ability of many companies and people to explain what, how, and most importantly, why these bots make certain decisions. In a New York Times op-ed, Cathy O’Neil gives academics a call to action — the time has come to provide a deeper, and unbiased view of the risks of AI and the ethics challenges we face as their power and influence grows.

See how deeper ties between the academic and tech community will help advance ethics around artificial intelligence >>

Bridging the Gap: The Oxford Review on the problem of academic-practitioner distance

David Wilkinson, Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Review, has written an incredibly insightful piece on the gap between the world of research and that of business- what he deems the “academic-practitioner distance.” It both underscores the mission of Ethical Systems and spotlights the reasons why it is in the best interest of both communities to close this chasm.

See how the divide isn’t just a physical one, [extending to] a gap of perspective, language, understanding and thinking >>

Ethical Systems Files Amicus Brief in Defense of Internal Whistleblowers


Corporate anti-retaliation policies that are not backed-up with legal protections send mixed signals to employees, and that is likely to stifle speech.

To advocate for this critical alignment, Ethical Systems submitted an amicus brief, with the support of Jason P. Steed of Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton, LLP, encouraging maximum legal protections for internal whistleblowers.

Read the essay, originally published on the FCPA blog >>

Ask an Ethics Expert: Jim Lager


Question for Jim Lager, our December expert. See more questions and answers online!

Q) Over the past two decades, we have seen a flurry of new laws in the U.S. designed to reduce unethical behavior in the workplace -- including the Dodd-Frank Act, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Which elements do you think have been most effective? Which laws do you wish we could import from Europe or other markets to help guide more ethical conduct?
 
A) Sarbanes-Oxley’s (SOX) requirement that corporate executives of publicly traded companies to personally certify the accuracy of financial statements upon threat of criminal sanction has been effective in improving the accuracy of financial statements and reducing the number of required restatements. SOX’s requirement for a Code of Conduct has also been surprisingly effective in the long run.  Although initially many companies merely adopted a generic Code in a check-the-box effort, more and more companies now attempt to integrate the principles of their ethics codes into daily corporate life.  And although not required, many private companies have chosen to comply with the good ideas in SOX for governance and internal control structures.

As it relates to ethical conduct generally though, I think the US Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG) has been the biggest driver in reducing unethical behavior.  Its requirement to promote an “organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct” brought the concept of ethical culture to the forefront for many public and private US businesses. Since ethical conduct flows naturally from ethical culture, businesses that work to achieve and maintain an ethical culture should benefit from fewer scandals and loss.


Read the rest of this answer and other insights >>
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