Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Articles

Workplace Issues

The Business Case for Mindfulness
Summary of a presentation by Oli Mittermair on the advantages and downsides of mindfulness practices in the workplace
Patrick Coutermarsh
Women in the Silicon Valley Workforce
Summary of a panel featuring Jennifer Gill Roberts, Kara Helander, and Ann Skeet
Patrick Coutermarsh
Job Search Ethics
Questions on the right approach to finding work with integrity
Carmen Wahlgren
Should Part-Time Workers Have a Say on Their Schedules?
Should employers pay employees extra for on-call work and give two weeks? notice of a work schedule? Are employers obligated to factor in their employees? family and personal lives into their bottom line business decisions?
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 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
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
The Ethics of Working from Home
A panel discussion, "Economic, Ethical, and Legal Attributes of Working from Home," explores this growing trend.
Margaret Steen
LittleBrother is Watching You
New technologies allow employers to check whether employees are wasting time at recreational Web sites or sending unprofessional e-mails. But when do an employer's legitimate business interests become an unacceptable invasion of worker privacy?
Miriam Schulman
24/7 Workplace Connectivity: A Hidden Ethical Dilemma
An exploration of the effect of digital technology on workers' health and relationships
Charles F. Piazza
Betting on the Death of Employees
Increasingly, companies are taking out insurance policies on the lives of their employees, and keeping the proceeds when they die. Is this practice unethical?
Kirk O. Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
Another Hoop for Job Applicants to Jump Through
The online retailer Zappos has removed all traditional job postings and is requiring applicants to join and participate on the company's social network. Is this an abuse of power?
Kirk O. Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
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
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
Retraining vs. Hiring Aborad
Do tech firms have an obligation to hire Americans over foreign talent?
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
Balancing Corporate Giving With Employee Perks
In tight economic times, how high of a priority should companies grant corporate citizenry relative to other expenses?
Kirk Hanson and Patrick Coutermarsh
E-mania: Ethical Approaches to E-mail Overload
E-mail behavior raises questions about how we treat each other and how we treat common resources.
Miriam Schulman
Transformation of Work
Summary of a presentation by Edward Lawler highlighting findings from his book "The New American Workplace."
Anne Federwisch
Is It Ethical to Shop at Wal-Mart?
Wal-Mart is frequently the target of criticism for its employment practices and its effect on the larger economy and community. How should consumers evaluate these issues?
Bob Brownstein, Jeffrey Seglin
Work-Life Balance
Providing time for family at a start-up company.
an interview with Warren Anderson
Blurred Lines
What is company time?
an interview with a Young Entrepreneur
Hurry, Hurry
The role of rushing in ethical lapses.
an interview with Gina Pastega
Who is a Customer?
Hyping vs. lying at a start-up company.
an interview with Umang Gupta
Time to Go Home
Long work hours have ethical ramifications.
Miriam Schulman
Treatment of Emplolyees in High-Tech Start-Ups
Weakness rather than evil accounts for many instances of unethical behavior.
Denis J. Moberg