Corporate America Has a Caste Problem

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Unwittingly, businesses and civil society in the US may have facilitated the dominant caste practices through preferential hiring of Indians (in reality, they are hiring only higher castes). Silicon Valley's diversity problems are not hidden,…

Ask a Good Question Every Day

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To an extraordinary degree, boards of directors can have the power to impact a C&E program simply by asking the right questions. The late Nobel Laureate in physics Isidor I. Rabi once said, ”My mother made me a scientist without ever…

How to Have Better Conversations About Ethics in Business

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The first step is to make conversations about ethics in business safe, interesting, and normal. It is often difficult, many people would agree, to talk about ethics in business. But why? It’s not because people don’t know what ethics…

ESG and the Risk of Moral Licensing

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One study on consumer behavior suggested that shoppers who brought their own bags felt licensed to buy more junk food. We are entering an era of unprecedented Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) imperatives, which will hopefully…

A 30-Year Experiment in Ethics and Compliance

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There is lots of room for improvement in this area—and experimentation. At least to me, that’s much of what makes the field exciting to be part of. In his 2008 book Experiments in Ethics, the philosopher Anthony Appiah made a strong…

A Behavioral Ethics and Compliance Primer

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In 1991, when the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations went into effect, Compliance and Ethics (“C&E”) programs became a part of the business landscape in the United States. There was, at the time, a fairly widespread…

Why Promotion Is a Moral Hazard

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"When leaders very publicly fail due to ethical lapses, some people are inclined to say, 'See, that’s just how business is,' instead of learning a more inspiring lesson." Jessica Kennedy gets frustrated when people—often academics—try…

Do Compliance Professionals Have a Maginot Line Problem?

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One of the most powerful episodes in risk-assessment history is the story of the Maginot Line, which the French military had deployed after WWI to prevail in any future trench warfare against the Germans. The latter, however, had other…

Our List of Resources for Designing Compliance Programs with Behavioral Science

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Last December, a friend of Ethical Systems—a Chief Compliance Officer at a major multinational consumer products company, whose expertise is second to none—sent us an email. He was curious to know how concepts from behavioral science…

How to Assess Corporate Culture: A Conversation with Jeff Kaplan

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In this episode of the Compliance Perspectives podcast, host Adam Turteltaub speaks with Ethical Systems Steering Committee member Jeff Kaplan about how corporate culture can influence the effectiveness of a compliance program. They…