Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#MARKETS: "Business Ethics Takes Center Stage"

Unlike the popular image of corporations as unfeeling centers of greed that exploit workers to enrich their CEOs, leading academic and industry organizations counter that the most successful enterprises are those that enforce strict ethical principles.

Corporate business ethics might sound like a contradiction in terms to the "Occupy Wall Street" mavens, but the Business Ethics Alliance maintains that abuses are an aberration and that in reality corporate success in integrally tied to good ethics practices.

This week the Business Ethics Alliance will drive home its point with an “Ethics of Hiring” panel discussion called "The Dialogue" which will be hosted at Gallup headquarters in Omaha, Neb. Open to the business public today, an RSVP is required for attendance.
The panel discussion on the ethical issues of hiring new employees will include Tawanna Black, CEO, Innovations by Design; David Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; and Dean Hodges, owner of Jimmy Johns restaurants.
The Dialogue is sponsored in partnership with Gallup Poll and the Better Business Bureau.

Questions to be addressed at The Dialogue include:
1) How is the hiring process informed by our values?
2) Do ethics come into play when small, medium and large firms make hiring decisions?
3) Should employers consider extraneous status values such as a person’s veteran status or sexual orientation?
4) Is it ethical to avoid hiring people who lost their jobs or those out of work for more than a year?

In its sixth year, The Dialogue is just one series of many ethics programs offered by the Business Ethics Alliance. The event is aimed at "increasing awareness of the links between ethics and business performance," said Creighton University business professor Beverly Kracher, executive director of the Business Ethics Alliance.

"When companies are led by and managed according to sound, practical business ethics - they grow faster, more sustainably and more profitably," said Todd Johnson, practice leader of Job Creation at Gallup.

Also this week, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business was ranked as No. 1 in business ethics education by Business and Society, the official journal of the International Association for Business and Society. The designation was the result of a survey administered to 320 business ethics scholars that included members of the European Academy of Business in Society, the Society for Business Ethics, the European Business Ethics Network, the Social Issues in Management Division of the Academy of Management, and the International Association for Business and Society.

The University of Virginia Darden received 57 votes, but the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business received 56 votes--a statistical tie. The next highest vote total was 24, received by Harvard University.
"The knowledge that Darden and the Institute are creating around key issues…are critical to the success of their businesses in creating long-term, sustainable value," said Dean Krehmeyer, executive director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics.

Housed at the Darden School of Business is the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics, which is an association of CEOs from leading U.S. companies with more than $6 trillion in revenues and more than 14 million employees.