Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Corporate Ethics Roundtable

CEOs, company presidents, and other business leaders will gather at Santa Clara University April 3 to hear A.C. "Mike" Markkula Jr., co-founder and vice chair of Apple Computer Inc. and head of the Center's Advisory Board, and Manuel Velasquez, Dirksen Professor of Business Ethics at SCU, introduce a new Center program: the Corporate Ethics Roundtable.

According to Center Director Thomas Shanks, S.J., the roundtable was conceived as a place "where participants come to talk with each other about the ethical situations they confront at work, how they think them through, and how to balance conscience, law, corporate culture, and the bottom line."

April's program—the first of four this year—will provide an orientation to the methods of ethical discussion and how to apply these in the workplace. Future topics will range from practical issues like the ethics of hiring and firing to more global issues like work standards in a global market.

All the roundtables (scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m.) will begin with a short presentation by a prominent businessperson and a Markkula Center for Applied Ethics ethicist. Small-group discussions will then be convened, followed by time for each group to report back to the larger meeting and for general discussion.

Although the roundtables target high-level executives, the Center intends to issue a business ethics reference booklet at the end of the series.

Drawing on materials from the roundtables, the booklet will include exercises demonstrating how to use the Center's framework for ethical decision making in a business context.

The booklet will be distributed to SCU students and faculty, as well as to business schools and companies that may wish to use the information in employee training. "The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics plans to use the series to define a model for ethics discussion that can be used by other organizations nationally," said Carol McClory, Center director of marketing and development.

The Corporate Ethics Roundtable is supported in part by a grant from the James S. Kemper Foundation. For information on cost and how to participate in the program, please e-mail Carol McClory.