Corporate Governance

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INTRODUCTION Image: Eric Dan, boardroom at Roppongi Hills, via Flickr. Understanding ethical behavior in the context of corporate governance requires two levels of analysis: the internal concerns of corporate agency and the emergent effects…

Corporate Culture

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The ethical culture in an organization can be thought of as a slice of the overall organizational culture. So, if the organizational culture represents “how we do things around here,” the ethical culture represents “how we do things…

Compliance & Ethics Programs

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  Hammurabi's Code, ca. 1772 BCE, included 282 laws, some of which often prescribed punishing noncompliance with the removal of one's hand. INTRODUCTION Compliance and ethics (“C&E”) programs are organizational policies…

Cheating & Honesty

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Jacob van Oost, “Card-Sharpers.” Note the man on the right, signaling to the man in the foreground, who has two extra cards behind his back. What is cheating? The simplest and most immediate answer is that cheating is breaking the rules.…

Contextual Influences

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When we see someone doing something bad, we usually jump to the conclusion that the person is bad. Only later, if ever, do we consider the broader context—the social situation—which can strongly influence people’s behavior. Many of…


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Luca Pacioli, often viewed as the founder of modern accounting systems, wrote on accounting ethics in 1494. Accounting is the process of collecting, aggregating, validating, and reporting information about business performance. Until the…