Business Ethics Roundup 1/1/11!

Let’s start with a small disclaimer here. I have 42 business ethics web sites (by my definition which is broad) listed on my favorites in that single category. I have 56 business ethics “related” sites on my favorites. So, I ‘m never going to to get more that a partial glimpse at what’s going on. With that out of the way, let’s start the new year rolling!

The Crane and Matten Blog explain why business ethics is more significant culturally than CSR.

Here’s a quote CSR is also, as might be expected, a lot more business-friendly than business ethics. In fact, people often tend to use CSR when they’re talking about the good things companies are doing, and business ethics (or a lack of them) when talking about the bad things they do.

The Ruder Finn Ethics Blog discusses ethics and giving while providing some fascinating statistics.

Here’s a quote We give for many different reasons. We may give as an expression of friendship and love or just reciprocate. Retailers, economists and Wall Street eagerly all hope that people will spend much this year are and thus sustain the slow recovery of our economy. The National Retail Federation expects an increase in 2010 Holiday sales of 2.3% to $447.1 billion. (Gifts from the rich to the rich.)

From the web blog, Business Ethics Training, we have a review of the book, Ship of Fools: How Corruption and Stupidity Sank the Celtic Tiger.

Here’s a quote With all the talk of toxic assets (real estate) and the resulting fallout in the States – its easy to overlook what happened in Ireland. Particularly the situation with NAMA (National Asset Management Agency), that holds the toxic assets.

From the web site, Ethix: Business Technology Ethics, we have a book review of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism From Wall Street—and Washington by Nicole Gelinas

Here’s a quote Gelinas key message is that capitalism needs clear rules in order to flourish, and that must include allowing bad businesses to fail. Bail outs only encourage further bad behavior, and what we have seen in the recent financial meltdown is simply a lesson forgotten from what happened in the 1920s and ’30s.

David Yamada’s Minding the Workplace has several posts. I recommend you read his year end closing, but the one I discussing is the next to the last. He explains what one should do if bullied at work.

Here’s a quote There’s a lot of cheap and sometimes dangerous “one size fits all” advice out there on how to handle workplace bullying situations, especially in newspaper work advice columns. These resources are no substitute for understanding the dynamics of workplace bullying and how they relate to one’s specific circumstances.

From Australia, via Facebook: The raw impact of workplace bullying (via Minding the Workplace)

David Yamada blogs regularly on the subject of workplace bullying (among other issues). I very much respect his work and this piece is particularly eloquent and I recommend it to your attention.

I would like to praise the article but the power of the article and its raw emotional power is beyond my poor powers of description. You should just read.

James Pilant

Beyond Workplace Bullying Australia is one of the many Facebook (FB) pages that have formed in response to workplace bullying (more links here). A few days ago, I began noticing a series of short, wise, and plaintive posts from that page, obviously written by one person. The honesty, emotional intelligence, and pain expressed in these posts struck me as a form of raw testimony about the destructiveness of workplace bullying and just how much work … Read More

via Minding the Workplace

Is emotional detachment an antidote for a nasty workplace? (via Minding the Workplace)

David Yamada is back discussing whether emotional detachment (withdrawel?) is an appropriate response to work place problems. He contrasts Roberts Sutton’s current view with that of a much older source, Albert O. Hirschman. Yamada concludes that it is a solution of a sort but a sad solution.

Organizational psychologist Robert Sutton advises on his blog "Work Matters" (hosted by Psychology Today) that "for people who are trapped in nasty workplaces, and can't escape at least for now," one useful coping mechanism "is to learn the fine art of emotional detachment — so the poision (sic) around you does not ruin or infect your soul."  Sutton, who draws on his popular book The No Asshole Rule (2007), further explains: Passion is . . . won … Read More

via Minding the Workplace

Best Ethics Blogs – Advocacy Groups 7/9/10

From the Blog, Minding the Workplace, hosted by David Yamada comes a posting discussing the increasing use of the phrase, “disgruntled employee,” in legal opinions. The use of the term is not an indicator of an unbiased judiciary. I worked in a factory as a much younger man. There was plenty to be upset about and describing me as a disgruntled employee would certainly have cheapened what I experiencee from gross unfairness on the part of my employer to the exaggerated feelings of an emotional worker. The facts of a case are the facts of the case. The use of such a term indicates more a preference for the sanctity of an economic class as opposed to a fair analysis of the circumstances of the case.

(David Yamada refers to the law professor Charles Sullivan in the article. Professor Sullivan’s blog is Workplace Prof Blog.)

The Ethics Resource Center has a new study on employee engagement. The Ethics Resource Center identifies itself as the oldest nonprofit organization devoted to high ethical standards in public and private institutions.

From the report : “The recent recession was a jarring reminder that efficiency and effectiveness are essential
to the survival of any organization and that employee engagement—the commitment employees feel toward their employing organization—is a critical part of the equation.”

One of the more interesting conclusions of the study was that employees who observed wrongdoing were less likely to be highly engaged employees (committed, dedicated workers). Many reports of this type are virtually impenetrable to the casual reader. This one is not.

Transparency International (The Global Coalition Against Corruption) in its corruption news section cites a Wall Street Journal report that an Italian oil and gas firm has been fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission $365 million for bribing Nigerian officials. This reference is one of dozens that are timely reports of international wrongdoing usually by corporations. It’s an excellent resource if you want to keep up with international corporate crime.

There are a good number of other moral advocacy groups on the web. I have several more listed that I read but they don’t do weekly or sometimes even monthly articles. Your suggestions are most welcome.

James Pilant

Dell’s full scale ethical meltdown (via Minding the Workplace)

David Yamada’s blog, Minding the Workplace, has a great post about Dell computers and the company’s ethical problems as revealed in a current lawsuit. I could say a lot but I’ll let the article speak for itself.

James Pilant

Here's one they'll be studying in business school ethics classes for years to come: The story of how Dell, one of the world's leading computer manufacturers, morphed from being an industry icon to the latest ethics-challenged poster company. As reported by Ashlee Vance for the New York Times, a major lawsuit against Dell is unearthing a corporate cover-up campaign that concealed from customers serious malfunctions in millions of computers sold be … Read More

via Minding the Workplace