Tag Archive for: Marshall Schminke
2017 has been a year of surprises, transformation, and growth. Thirteen months ago, on the morning after Election Day, we walked in to the conference room of a global consulting firm based here in New York City. We sat down at a long table with 30 ethics and compliance officers. We gave our talk as planned—a talk on designing ethical systems. But all of us around the table were in a state of… surprise to say the least. Our conversation focused primarily on the consequences of the rather unexpected election of Donald Trump. What were the implications for businesses? How would rules and enforcement change?
Now, a year later, it is clear that whatever regulations are rolled back, businesses face an ever-changing landscape of ethics challenges. Questions of business ethics and ethical culture are front and center in national discussions on sexual harassment in the workplace, diversity and inclusion (which may include viewpoint and political diversity, as we learned in response to the famous “Google memo”); fairness and cheating, and new pressures on leaders to take stands on political controversies. We are on a path to further deregulation of business. The compliance workload may decrease, but the ethics workload will likely increase. This is the time for the business ethics community to show that, together, we can create a better society through ethical business behavior.
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.
We welcome Marshall Schminke as our newest Ethical Systems collaborator. Marshall serves on the working group for our culture measurement project and is both a leading voice on business ethics in the media and in the classroom.
Marshall Schminke is the BB&T Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Central Florida, where he specializes in business ethics and strategy. He received his doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, and has served as a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.