Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles



Creating an Ethical Culture

When Do Startups Have to Grow Up and Embrace Diversity?
Do startups get a ?pass? on creating diversity in their rapidly growing staffs? If so, for how long? Second, at what point do startups owe the public transparency about their worker diversity?
Creating an Ethical Culture as CFO
In a presentation entitled "Role and Responsibilities of the CFO in the Ethical Culture of the Organization," three panelists discussed how to create a culture that will encourage employees to withstand the pressure to falsify financial records.
Margaret Steen
Performance-based Pay and the Law of Unintended Consequences
How can an organization implement performance-driven metrics, but avoid the pitfalls of incentive gaming and flat out manipulation?
Kirk O. Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Should Executives be allowed to be on Social Media?
A recent incident involving PayPal and a disgruntled (and former) executive prompts an evaluation of corporate thinking on social media.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Racism in the Corner Office
Can someone with racist views own or operate an organization?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Kids in the Workplace
Should kids be allowed in the workplace? Are parents entitled to extra flexibility than nonparents?
Patrick Coutermarsh
The Board's Role in an Ethical Culture
A video conversation on tone at the top.
Jim Balassone, Catherine Lego
Paying Employees to Quit
Paying dissatisfied employees to quit is becoming increasingly common. Is this a policy that should be embraced?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Can a CEO Hold Conflicting Values with Company?
Mozilla CEO under fire for Prop 8 contributions.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Unlimited Vacation Time: Best Practice or Cost Cutting Measure?
At first glance, unlimited vacation hours seem only to benefit employees, but recent research suggests there are other motives in play.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
The Two-Tier Labor System
Companies are increasingly turning to a two-tiered labor system, where two groups of employees are treated quite differently despite performing the same roles.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Disappearing Messages in the Workplace
Disappearing messages are all the rage for personal use, but now the technology is being marketed to the workplace.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
The Pitfalls of Performance-Based Pay
A recent U.K. court ruling on an incentive structure that led to illegal sales tactics and numerous conflicts of interest sparks a discussion on the pitfalls of performance-based pay.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Golden Leash? Hedge Funds Paying Board Nominees
A new trend of hedge funds offering performance-based bonuses to their preferred board nominees has emerged, raising concerns of conflict of interest.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Using Fines to Enforce Gender Equality in the Workplace
A recent trend in Australia has Boards fining their executives for not promoting enough women to senior positions.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Twitter IPO: Where are the Women?
After filing for its IPO, Twitter came under heavy scrutiny for the lack of diversity in its senior leadership team.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Rethinking Corporate Policy Toward Whistleblowers
In light of Edward Snowden's NSA revelations: should companies leave room for principled whistleblowing on specific issues?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Incentivizing Employees to be Healthier
Corporations are increasingly turning to incentive programs to get employees to be more health conscious, and in turn bring down medical costs.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Does the Buck Stop With Management?
Do senior executives get a free pass for actions of subordinates hidden from them? Or does the buck stop at the top? Should the boss always bear the ultimate blame?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Respecting User Privacy Despite Profiting From It
Given the value of "big data" to Google, company managers face a dilemma in determining where to draw the line between data they should collect and data that violates privacy.
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
The Six Ethical Dilemmas Every Business Professional Faces
Video of a talk delivered at Bentley University as the Verizon Visiting Professor of Business Ethics address
Kirk O. Hanson
The Unavoidable Ethical Dilemmas That Entrepreneurs Face
Predictable ethical questions that arise in startups
Online Business Ethics Course
Business ethics pioneer Kirk Hanson offers a free, 4-week MOOC
Kirk O. Hanson
Transforming An Organization's Ethical Culture
Video interview with Greg Coplans, executive vide president of Hitachi Data Systems
Building and Nurturing an Ethical Culture
An overview of what companies can do to promote ethics in the workplace by Albert C. Pierce.
Margaret Steen
Trayvon Martin, Race, and Justice (Podcast)
Panel discussion featuring Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Chris Boscia and SCU Law Professor Margaret Russell.
Chris Boscia, Professor Margaret Russell
The Ethical Dilemma of BYOD
As people increasingly bring their own (mostly mobile) devices into the workplace, and use them for both personal and professional activities, new challenges arise--for the employees as well as their employers. Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of VMware, discusses some of the implications of BYOD for data security and personal privacy.
Pat Gelsiger
The Disconnect: Accountability and Consequences Online
A discussion of the breakdown among responsibility, accountability, and consequences in the online world, as demonstrated by some digital media coverage.
Stephen Luczo
Internet Access Is a Privilege
What would our lives be like if we no longer had access to the Internet? How much good would we lose? How much harm would we be spared? In this brief video, one of Apple's co-founders argues that Internet use is a privilege and considers ways to minimize some of the harms associated with it, while fully appreciating its benefits.
A. C. "Mike" Markkula Jr.
Protecting Privacy and Society
Consumer and business data is increasingly moving to the "cloud," and people are clamoring for protection of that data. However, "maximum privacy" is really anonymity, and some people use it as a shield for illegal and unethical behavior. How should cloud service providers deal with this dilemma?
Steve Bennett
Legitimate Role of Whistleblowers in an Organization
Video of a conversation with Hank Shea, former federal prosecutor and professor of law at St. Thomas University
Hank Shea
Investigation: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Against the background of financial scandals and the recent economic collapse, companies are under increasing scrutiny and are facing real risks in terms of regulatory action that can impair their ability to conduct business, according to Craig Martin, a partner at Morrison & Forester. Martin and Catherine Madrid, a partner at Ernst & Young, talk with Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson about the role of internal investigations as one of the affirmative steps companies can take to make sure they are in compliances with the law.
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
What is Business Ethics? A Video Introduction
Markkula Ethics Center Director covers basic concepts in business ethics
Kirk O. Hanson
Role And Responsibilities of Ethics and Compliance Officers
Differences between ethics and compliance and best practices for executives
Patrick Gnazzo and Kirk Hanson
Ethical Collapse: Signs and Cases in Point
The "Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse" in business organizations
Marianne Jennings and Kirk Hanson
Ethical Risk Assessment: Crisis-prone or Crisis-prepared
Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson and SCU Assistant Professor of Management Shawn Berman describe a risk-assessment tool.
Anne Federwisch
Sustaining Ernst & Young's Ethical Culture
Susan Sweet describes EYs process developing their Americas ethics program for more than 35,000 employees in North, Central and South America, Mexico, Israel, and Canada.
Anne Federwisch
Reconstituting the Ethical Culture at Hewlett Packard
Summary of a presentation by Hewlett-Packard Vice President and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Jon Hoak on steps the company took to renew their commitment to ethics after the pretexting scandal.
Miriam Schulman
Building a High Performance Team: Creating an Ethical Culture (ppt)
Founder and CEO of Ariba uses that company as a case study for defining key principles in building an organization
Keith Krach
General Counsel's Role in Building an Ethical Organization (video)
Retired Agilent Technologies General Counsel Nordlund talks with Center Director Kirk Hanson
Craig Nordlund
Role of the CFO in the Ethical Culture of an Organization
The CFO can become an ambassador for ethics throughout a corporation.
Miriam Schulman
Internal Audit, Partner in Ethics
Chief legal officer of Millennium Management discusses making internal audit an integral part of an organization's ethical culture
Kirk Hanson, Simon Lorne
Five Ways to Think Ethically
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson reviews five classic approaches to ethics: the greatest good; rights and duties; fairness; virtue; and the common good.
Kirk O. Hanson
Four Strategies for Managing Ethics
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson performs a comparative analysis of strategies companies use to manage ethics: relying on employee values, compliance, ethics exhortation, and managing values.
Kirk O. Hanson
Am I Responsible?
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson offers five tests for business people to determine whether, in any particular case, they are responsible for acting.
Kirk O. Hanson
Creating an Ethical Business Culture: The Role of the Board
Two introductory videos on what boards of directors must to to foster an ethical culture in their organizations
Michael L. Hackworth
What is Business Ethics?
An introduction to ethical concepts and how they can be applied in a business context.
Kirk O. Hanson
Board Governance and Culture Research Report
A PowerPoint presentation delivered at the April 6-7, 2005 Business and Organizational Partnership Meeting
Vail Leadership Institute
Character Mentoring
A PowerPoint presentation on character formation in a business context keywords, business ethics, character, role model
Dennis Moberg
Understanding Rule Bending
A PowerPoint presentation on the Devaluation of compliance in the DOD
Leslie Sekerka
Speaking Truth to Power: A White Paper
O'Toole, aresearch professor in the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California, explores how to encourage candor within organizations.
James O'Toole
Making the case that your program works (ppt)
The Editor of Ethikos magazine talks about what makes a credible ethics and compliance program
Joe Murphy, CCEP
Zimbardo's Theories Applied to Business
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo proposed 10 traps that organizations inadvertently create to ensnare good people in bad behavior.
Cameron Bilger
Giving Wise Advice
Results of an empirical study on wisdom and ethics
Dennis Moberg
Whistle Blowing: The Good, the Bad, and...
Michael Winston describes his experience as a whistle blower at Countrywide in an interview with Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson
Kirk Hanson
What Really Went Wrong With Enron? A Culture of Evil?
A panel of Santa Clara University Business Ethicists reflect on the reasons behind the Enron scandal.
Business Ethicists Panel
Link Between Moral and Market Values
Market value accounting and fraud.
William K. Black
Encouraging Internal Whistleblowing in Organizations
How can businesses encourage employees to report ethical lapses?
Lilanthi Ravishankar
Board's Role in Ensuring an Ethical Corporate Culture (video)
What role should the Board have in assessing, maintaining and even improving the corporations ethical culture? And exactly what is ethical culture? between ethical culture and performance?
Michael Hackworth
MBA Oath
Podcast discussion of the effort by MBA students to promote a pledge to create value ethically and responsibly
Center Emerging Issues Group
Business Ethics: Why Do Good People Do Bad Things?
Podcast of an interview with Center Executive-in-Residence Jim Balassone.
Ethics and the Middle Manager: Creating "Tone in The Middle"
Specific behaviors middle managers must demonstrate in order for lower level employees to understand that the organization is serious about ethics
Kirk O. Hanson
Roles and Responsibilities of the General Counsel in the Organization
Panel discussion among general counsels of large and small cap companies
Tom McCoy, Craig Nordlund, Martin Collins, Fred Go
Toward an Ethical Culture
Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson identifies characteristics of an ethical organization.
Anne Federwisch
Principles for Building an Ethical Organization
R. Gopalakrishnan, executive director of Tata Sons, offers five principles for executives.
Miriam Schulman
Speaking Truth to Power: The Role of the Executive
James O'Toole argues that great leaders encourage candor.
Jennifer Pittman
Assessing for Ethics
Dan Pracher, business development manager for Development Dimensions International, explores how to hire employees who mesh with the ethical culture of the organization.
Anne Federwisch
Incorporating Ethics into the Organization's Strategic Plan
Robert Finocchio, former CEO of Informix, offers prescriptions for making ethics part of strategy
Miriam Schulman
Ethical Challenges in Human Resources
A talk given to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at the Business and Organizational Ethics Partnership
James O'Toole
CEOs: Setting the Ethical Tone
The role of the CEO in setting a company's ethical culture was the focus of a panel at the April 6 meeting of the Business and Organizational Ethics Partnership, a program of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and 13 corporations.
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Ethics of Human Capital
What specific social responsibilities should businesses assume?
James O'Toole
Silicon Valley Executives Discuss Building an Ethical Organization
These comments are excerpts from presentations at the Ethics Center's third biennial global business Ethics Conference, "The Accountable Corporation," held February 18-19, 2005, on the Santa Clara University campus.
Ned Barnholt, Dan Warmenhoven
Culture Suggests Cheaters Do Prosper
Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson looks at the results of Americans' winner-take-all attitude.
Kirk O. Hanson
Confronting Unethical Conduct
Ethics for associations and nonprofit organizations.
Kirk O. Hanson
Employee Loyalty
A company founder talks about employee loyalty in boom times.
an interview with Cheryl Breetwor
Ethics and Company Folklore
One of the co-founders of Apple Computer talks about instilling ethics into company culture.
A.C.
When Good People Do Bad Things at Work
Rote behavior, distractions, and moral exclusion stymie ethical behavior on the job. Discusses Ford Pinto case.
Dennis J. Moberg
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
In desperate need of a tax break for his company, a CEO contemplates a questionable campaign contribution.
Leon Panetta & Paul Locatelli, S.J.
Nutritional Foods
A company confronts the possibility that its product is causing illness.
Kirk O. Hanson
How Trust is Achieved in Free Markets
A free-market approach to establishing reliability.
Daniel B. Klein
Good Start
How businesses can incorporate ethics from the start-up phase.
Kirk O. Hanson