By Dennis Gentilin, founding director of Human Systems Advisory and an adjunct fellow at Macquarie University. He was employed at the National Australia Bank for 16 years.
As readers of this blog may know, there is currently an inquiry into the banking and finance industry in Australia. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in November 2017. Former High Court Judge Kenneth Hayne AC was appointed as the commissioner shortly after the announcement and public hearings commenced earlier this year.
At a recent Thomson Reuters forum in New York on culture and behavioral science in the banking industry, Ethical Systems' Executive Director Azish Filabi joined a panel with fellow experts to discuss how research and data helps shape ethics and culture.
We invite you to read a piece on Reuters on the event featuring the following takeaways we share in this blog. Video from the event is also embedded.
In this podcast, (Risk Assessment Network + Exchange) RANE’s Serina Vash sits down with Azish Filabi, Executive Director, Ethical Systems, to discuss what drives a healthy corporate culture and best practices for creating and maintaining that culture. Through research and collaboration with the best academics in the field, Azish dedicates her time to helping businesses assess and promote ethical behavior and culture in their organizations.
Last week, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had its annual Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum at their headquarters in Paris. Entitled Planet Integrity: Building a Fairer Society, over 2,000 attendees discussed how integrity plays a role in improving economic inequality, enhances the benefits of public policies and government programs, and more broadly equalizes the gains of globalization.
Ethical Systems won one of the OECD Research Edge competition awards. The paper, co-written by Caterina Bulgarella and myself, provided the summary of our culture assessment framework, which demystifies an often complex organizational issue: how to define and measure ethical culture.
Board members have the difficult job of overseeing the success of a firm without getting involved in day-to-day management or operations. Increasingly, they are expected to understand compliance and other risks of misbehavior, particularly as those risks have been shown to impact financial performance.
In a commentary I co-wrote with Mike Silva, Partner and Chair of the Financial Services Regulatory practice at DLA Piper, we emphasize the role of corporate culture in promoting good behavior as well as financial stability.
In today's polarized political climate, it is even more important to know how to engage in constructive dialogue in order to advance mutual business interests and perpetuate a sustainable organizational culture of ethics and respect.
Addressing this head on, Ethical Systems co-founder Jonathan Haidt delivered a mid-day keynote entitled Maintaining Ethical Culture in a Political Whirlwind on day 1 at Ethisphere's Global Ethics Summit 2018.
Featured Interview: Caterina Bulgarella PhD, Culture Architect and Ethics Expert
What are your current areas of work and research?
Both my work and research focus on organizational culture. Over time, this work has become one and the same with building ethics in organizations, consistent with the evolution companies have been going through over the past 10-15 years. Ethical behavior underlines a powerful cocktail of ingredients (e.g., self-regulation, moral awareness, ability to ‘self-organize’ in the face of missing information, etc.). These human qualities and behaviors are also what organizations need to master the unprecedented level of complexity and change they face today.
Azish Filabi (Executive Director of Ethical Systems) and Jeffrey Kaplan (ES collaboarator and Partner at Kaplan & Walker, LLP) recently led a webcast about ethics, research, and culture highlighting new behavioral science tools for the ethics and compliance field. The slides and recording are now available.
Featured Culture and Business Ethics Expert: Marshall Schminke, BB&T Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Central Florida
What are your main areas of research around business ethics?
I focus on the idea that ethics don’t happen in isolation. They emerge from a complicated mix of individual and situational factors. My research explores this messy stew and how it drives ethical behavior. More specifically, I study the impact of organizational structure and culture on individual ethics, such as trying to understand climates that support or resist ethical decision making, abusive supervision, moral emotions, and ethical efficacy. My work also examines how ethical and unethical action drifts through organizations. I study how factors like trust and fairness—which provide the foundation for organizational ethics—“trickle down” the organization from managers to supervisors to line employees. Understanding these patterns helps to explain why relatively small changes in ethical or unethical activity may lead to profound, organization-wide effects.
Ethical culture is the linchpin to running an ethical organization. Yet, while everyone agrees that culture is a vital aspect of any successful organization there is no consensus on how to analyze and measure it. At Ethical Systems, we are working with the top researchers on organizational culture and have developed assessment tools that companies can use. Our new Ethical Systems Culture Measurement site provides a suite of modules designed to measure various elements of organizational culture.