Case Assignment – Building an Ethical Culture That Lasts
Some mixed news on ethics in the U.S. workplace:
• 60% of misdeeds reported by workers involved someone with managerial authority
• 24% of those misdeeds involved senior management
• In organizations with weak ethical cultures, 88% of workers witnessed misconduct
• In organizations with strong ethical cultures, only 20% report witnessing misconduct
• The most ethical companies had 20% greater profits and 6% better shareholder returns than other companies
Ethics is a part of an organization’s culture. And it’s becoming ever more critical for businesses to act ethically. So what are the critical aspects of an ethical culture? In part, it’s whether managers at all levels talk about ethics and model appropriate behavior. Is ethical behavior reinforced? In ethical cultures, organizational colleagues support one another in making ethical decisions and in doing ethical work. It can be an infectious type of atmosphere in which good people do good and the organization where they work prospers by achieving those greater profits and better shareholder returns. A win-win in anyone’s book!
The following discussion questions are posed:
1: Discuss why you think organizations with weak ethical cultures have four times as many workers witnessing misconduct?
2: “Society expects it (ethical practices). Customers demand it.” Discuss why you agree or disagree with this?