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Creating an Ethical Business Culture: The General Counsel's Role

Friday, Jun. 17, 2011

Who is responsible for the ethics of an organization?  In this discussion with Center Executive Director Kirk Hanson, Craig Nordlund, former general counsel of Agilent Technologies, argues that the responsibility must finally rest with the CEO although concern for ethics must be disseminated to everyone in the organization.

A theme among the panel of general counsels that Nordlund moderated for the most recent meeting of the Center's Business and Organizational Ethics Partnership was that general counsels are responsible for compliance but not ethics, which should be more broadly shared.  Nordlund suggests that whether the responsibility for ethics training resides with the general counsel's office, HR, or a separate Ethics Office, such programs will not work unless there is leadership on ethics from the company's top executives.

Tags: business ethics