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BSR Issue Briefs

Ethics Training
Author: BSR Staff


Introduction Leadership Examples
Business Importance Sample Policies
Recent Developments Awards
External Standards Resources
Implementation Steps

Introduction

An increasing number of companies have recognized the benefits of a comprehensive ethics program that includes an effective training component. Well-designed training programs can help companies avoid fines, criminal sanctions, litigation, and damage to their reputation associated with ethical lapses. As an example, the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines allow prosecutors to diminish fines and criminal sanctions against a company that has a credible ethics program that includes training. Such programs can also help create a positive corporate and brand image, and help with recruitment and retention. Finally, ethics training programs can help companies build a cohesive corporate culture, a factor that is proving especially important to global companies whose operations encompass dozens of countries and legal systems, and a diversity of ethical values and priorities.

The globalization of business, an explosion in new communications technologies such as the Internet, and a proliferation of partnerships and alliances have created a rapidly changing business landscape, one in which new ethical dilemmas emerge on an almost daily basis. Companies that clearly communicate their ethical values, decision-making processes, and codes of conduct to all employees empower them to make appropriate ethical decisions, even when they may be far from headquarters or confronted with a brand new cyber-ethics dilemma. Companies have also responded to the changing business environment by using technology to help with training, by adopting "train the trainers" programs, and by instituting ethical training for boards of directors.

Business Importance

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Companies wishing to avoid litigation and costly fines need to be able to demonstrate they have instituted training programs to communicate their ethics codes and values. A strong ethics program brings other benefits as well, such as safeguarding corporate reputation, supporting strong financial performance, and creating a global corporate culture.

  • Potential Avoidance of Fines, Sanctions and Litigation: Companies and their employees are required to comply with local, national, and international laws governing their operations and actions. An effective ethics training program greatly reduces the likelihood of fines resulting from a range of illegal activities including fraud, conflict of interest, corruption and bribery, and insider trading. As an example, the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations state that companies that develop "good corporate citizenship" actions can potentially see reduced penalties when misconduct occurs. The guidelines state specifically that in order to demonstrate due ethical diligence, companies must have an effective program to communicate codes and compliance standards.

  • Safeguarding and Improving Corporate Reputation: A 1998 Burson-Marsteller study on the link between CEOs and corporate reputation reported that a CEO's ethical reputation helps earn a company the benefit of the doubt in times of crisis. Several ethics awards and media lists on corporate reputation (e.g. American Business Ethics Awards, Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and Business Ethics "100 Best Corporate Citizens") use a range of ethical considerations as criteria in determining the companies' awards or rankings, including internal communication tools and systems.

  • Enhance Financial Performance: As early as 1988, a study by The Business Roundtable, "Corporate Ethics: A Prime Business Asset," reported that "a strong corporate culture and ethics are a vital strategic key to survival and profitability in a highly competitive era," and that "sound values, purposes, and practices are the basis for long-range achievement." More recently, some academic studies have shown a positive link between the existence of corporate ethics training programs and financial performance. A 1997 DePaul University study found that companies with a defined corporate commitment to ethical principles do better financially (based on annual sales/revenues) than companies without such a commitment. The above-mentioned Burson-Marsteller study showed that a CEO's ethical reputation also enhances a company's ability to attract investment capital. Another study by the University of Southwestern Louisiana entitled "The Effect of Published Reports of Unethical Conduct on Stock Prices" showed that publicity about unethical corporate behavior lowers stock prices for a minimum of six months.

  • Employee Commitment, Recruitment and Retention: A 1997 WalkerInformation survey of employees' views on business ethics revealed that 42 percent of respondents said a company's ethical integrity directly influences their decision to work at the company. In addition, a 1994 survey by the same organization entitled "Corporate Character: Highlights of a National Survey Measuring the Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility," reported that the most important factors for employees in deciding where to work were employee treatment and business practices. The above-mentioned Burson-Marsteller study showed that a CEO's ethical reputation also enhances a company's ability to recruit the best employees.

  • Cohesive Corporate Culture: Ethics is central to every decision an employee makes and affects every facet of an organization's operations. Whether all a firm's employees work in one location, or whether they are scattered around the world, communicating a values-based culture can help build a sense of community in the workplace. Successful ethics programs leverage training as a way to communicate a company's values and build a common corporate culture.

Recent Developments

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Companies are responding to new changes in the business environment and adapting new tools to help them effectively communicate their ethics programs.

  • Globalization of Business: With the globalization of the economy and media, and the growth of the Internet, companies are increasingly held accountable for their ethical conduct and the conduct of their business partners throughout the world. More and more, companies face the challenge of communicating values and ethics programs to thousands of employees in dozens of countries with many legal systems, cultures, and ethical priorities. According to a 1999 Conference Board Report on "Global Corporate Ethics Practices," the rapid internationalization of business and increased pressure from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has led to more comprehensive ethics programs on a global scale.

  • Rapid Increase in Technological and Cyber-Ethics Dilemmas: Employees now have access to a range of new technologies - including the Internet and e-mail - which have created new ethical dilemmas and accelerated the pace at which ethical decisions must be made. In response, companies have targeted issues such as appropriate use of office e-mail and viewing of inappropriate websites and incorporated them into existing programs.

  • Increasing Pace of Business and Shift in Responsibility to Employees: Companies increasingly rely on the creativity, entrepeneurship, and initiative of all their employees to be successful. As consumer and market needs change more rapidly, and many companies become more decentralized, employees on the front lines must be empowered to make good decisions on their own. Ethics training is key to rapid and appropriate decision-making, especially since written "do's and don'ts" codes cannot keep up with newly emergent ethical dilemmas.

  • Increase in Partnerships and Strategic Alliances: As the nature of business competition changes, companies are increasingly involved in a web of partnerships and strategic alliances with other firms and with suppliers. This has raised new and complex ethical challenges, especially those around conflict of interest, and has created the potential for damaging ethical decisions to increase. The sheer volume of information gathered from partners, purchasers, and competitors, can lead to unethical or even illegal use of proprietary information.

  • Technology-based Training: Companies have begun to use technologies such as CD-ROMs and web-based company intranets to help communicate ethical values. For example, Lockheed Martin has created a full ethics training program available to each employee on its intranet. This web-based training allows employees to work at their own pace, and allows managers to see whether an employee has completed the various stages of training and learned the information. Lockheed Martin has found this type of training to be 25 percent more efficient than traditional classroom teachings and that retention of information is higher. This type of training also lets companies make ongoing changes to the curriculum - such as including new case studies and scenarios - at relatively little cost.

  • Cascading Training Process: Commitment from senior management is key to a successful ethics program. According to a 1999 Arthur Anderson study on the effectiveness of programs, the most important factor in the success of a company's ethics program is whether employees perceive a genuine commitment at the top. For this reason, many companies, such as Interface carpets have chosen to implement a cascading "train the trainer" system in which the CEO trains his or her direct reports, who in turn train their direct reports.

  • Ethics Trainings for Boards: One key to an effective ethics program is enlisting support and leadership from the board of directors. Many companies are developing codes of conduct and trainings designed specifically for their boards. For example, the Michigan Physicians Mutual Liability Company's board devotes time at its meetings and retreats for ongoing ethics training. The directors discuss potential ethical dilemmas in an attempt to align their values with those of the rest of the organization.

  • Broad Range of Resources Available: Companies have an increasing number of places to turn to for support in developing their ethics training programs. These resources include both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations specializing in ethics training and program development. Merck has partnered with the Ethics Resource Center to sponsor the creation of a number of global ethics centers - including the Hong Kong Ethics Development Center and the Gulf Center for Excellence in Ethics in Abu Dubai, United Arab Emirates - designed to help companies design and implement successful ethics programs world wide. In addition, major U.S. consulting firms have begun to play a larger role in helping companies design ethics training programs.

External Standards

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Legal standards defining acceptable conduct cover virtually all aspects of a company's operations, addressing issues such as non-discrimination and equal opportunity; harassment; environment; health and safety; corruption and bribery; anti-trust; and entertainment and gift-giving. An effective training program can help make sure employees behave both ethically and legally. In addition, numerous voluntary principles have been developed by governments and trade associations to help guide corporate ethical decision-making across specific industries such as defense. Several of the most influential legal standards and voluntary principles are outlined below.

Legal Standards:

  • U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines: First promulgated in late 1991 and revised in 1995, the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines, created by the U.S. Federal Sentencing Commission, have dramatically influenced how prosecutors respond to misconduct by corporations, not-for-profits, and other organizations. While these guidelines mandate severe penalties for misconduct, they also provide "adequate deterrence and incentives for organizations to maintain internal mechanisms for preventing, detecting and reporting criminal conduct." The guidelines' commentary specifically states: "The organization must have taken steps to communicate effectively its standards and procedures to all employees and other agents, e.g., by requiring participation in training programs or by disseminating publications that explain in a practical manner what is required." ()

  • U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): The FCPA, a U.S. law enacted in 1977, was developed to prevent bribery of foreign government officials overseas by U.S. companies. The FCPA prohibits giving anything of value - such as a payment, gift or bribe - to induce a foreign government to enter into a contract or business relationship. Both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department have responsibilities for enforcement of the FCPA.

Industry Specific Principles:

  • Defense Industry Initiative (DII) on Business Ethics and Conduct: A number of U.S. defense industry companies have signed the DII Principles of Business Ethics and Conduct that address their corporate responsibilities under federal procurement laws and to the public. The six DII principles address: (1) written code of business ethics and conduct, (2) employees' ethical responsibilities, (3) corporate responsibility to employees, (4) corporate responsibility to the government, (5) corporate responsibility to the defense industry, and (6) public accountability.

Implementation Steps

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Companies interested in developing comprehensive ethics training programs may want to consider some of the following steps:

  • Start with Company Values and Ethics Code of Conduct: Without a clear and consistent set of company values - and an ethics code that flows from those values - no training program can be effective. Revisit your company's mission, vision, and especially values to be certain they provide a solid ethical base. Involving employees in the process helps make sure the outcome will accurately reflect your company's values, and may help identify areas in need of improvement.

  • Involve Executive Management and Secure Adequate Funding: Enlist executive management support for these programs, and encourage managers to take the training themselves. A 1999 study by Arthur Anderson found that employees perception of senior management's commitment was the most important component of a successful ethics program. Senior management understanding of the value of ethics training will also ensure that adequate resources are allocated for the task. Some ethical practitioners have found value in making a list of the cost of other companies' ethical lapses to make the case to senior management of the importance of funding comprehensive training programs.

  • Develop a Range of Materials: Create a range of easily referenced materials for employees including pamphlets, posters, wallet cards, and multi-media presentations. This is important not only to reinforce the message, but because different employees absorb information in different ways. Lockheed Martin has developed an Ethics Challenge board game based on the characters of the popular cartoon strip Dilbert. The interactive game allows players to think through and discuss various ethical dilemmas.

  • Consider Innovative Delivery Strategies: Effective programs involve employees in active learning, for example through case studies and group discussions. When General Electric evaluated its ethics training programs, it discovered that interactive training had a 70 percent better retention rate than simple lecturing.

  • Know When Not to Use Technology: Don't underestimate the value of face to face ethics training between managers and employees. While Boeing offers its training program to employees on the company's Intranet, it also encourages managers to incorporate training into staff meetings in order to stimulate meaningful discussion of often-complex ethical dilemmas.

  • Tailor to Specific Job Requirements: Some employees may have responsibilities that expose them to more possibilities for ethical lapses. For example, Baxter International has developed detailed trainings for its employees involved in purchasing.

  • Integrate Key Ethics Concepts Into Other Training Courses: Consider incorporating ethics into managerial and new staff orientations to communicate to employees that ethics is an integrated part of company culture. Other companies offer special training to overseas sales representatives working in environments that have high levels of corruption and bribery.

  • Make Training Programs both Global and Local: Involve international personnel as early as possible in the development of your training program to make sure it is understood and embraced by all employees. Some global companies have found training programs to be more effective if delivered in the local language by a well respected employee who is a national of the country or region.

  • Evaluate the Program: Follow up on training with regular evaluations to ensure that employees are retaining and acting on what they have learned. Weyerhauser has created a committee that regularly reviews its ethics program. In the course of one such evaluation, the company found its training program did not address new cyber ethics issues, and subsequently developed specialized training programs on proper employee use of e-mail and the Internet. Evaluation can also help you document the benefits of ethics training to senior management, and thus make the case for continued funding.

  • Consider Using Case Studies from Both Inside and Outside Your Industry: Some experts in the field suggest starting with examples of ethical dilemmas from industries outside your own to encourage unbiased discussion, then moving to examples that directly relate to the company and even to specific job descriptions.

  • Consider a Train-the-Trainer/Cascading Process in which each manager trains his or her direct reports, starting with the CEO. Such a process ensures that all employees go through the training and demonstrates clear commitment from the top of the organization to the importance of a comprehensive ethics program.

  • Consider Outside Trainers: Many companies have found that bringing in an outside expert trained in ethics or values-based management is a helpful step. If a company chooses this option, it is important to make sure that the trainer understands the client company's mission and values, a key component in developing an effective communications program.

Leadership Examples

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These "leadership" practices have been chosen as illustrative examples in the area of corporate social responsibility addressed by this White Paper. They are intended to represent innovation, higher than average commitment, unusual industry practice or a comprehensive approach to this issue. Periodically, the examples listed may be changed. If you wish to share information about your company's leadership practices or policies, please contact editor@bsr.org with the relevant information. (Many of the company examples and policies cited in this report have been verified and approved. Final approvals for others are pending and information will be modified if necessary.)

Baxter International : Baxter's medical therapies are used by health care providers and their patients in more than 100 countries. Because Baxter's 40,000 employees are located throughout the world (with more than half outside the United States), the company has approached the challenge of communicating its business practice standards to a global workforce by decentralizing its ethics training programs. All new employees - and in many cases, prospective employees - are given a copy of the company's business practice standards, which have been translated into 14 different languages. Each new employee takes part in mandatory training conducted by managers who have been designated as ethics trainers. Additional training programs and training schedules are left up to each region and business unit, with headquarters providing resources. For example, the team responsible for the company's Asian operations has developed a yearly training program, based on real-life scenarios, that is designed to encourage group discussion and participation. In Latin America, the company's employees develop and present their own scenarios as part of the training. In addition to the large library of case studies, Baxter is developing web-based vehicles to supplement existing communication channels of ethical standards. (Large, Health Care, United States)

BellSouth has integrated its ethics and compliance training materials into multiple delivery sources to demonstrate to employees that ethics is integral to every part of the business and to leverage existing infrastructure. Using media such as CD-ROMS, videos, and the company's Intranet, BellSouth has blended its ethics and compliance training into new employee orientations, general management courses, sales training, and other learning modules. The ethics and compliance team sees Human Resources as a key partner in its work, and continually looks at ways to include ethics and compliance topics in other employee training programs. In addition, each operations unit has a compliance executive and a coordinator responsible for ethics and compliance oversight in that operating division. These managers draw information from "the bottom up," conduct risk assessments, and report back to the compliance office when gaps in training or communication are discovered. If the subject can best be handled on a small scale, the compliance coordinator will take care of it. However, if the corporate compliance office sees that many areas are addressing similar issues, time and money can be saved by creating cross departmental programs. Examples of this include anti trust and environment training. While the company uses technology to deliver the message, it views that the most productive work comes from face to face meetings, where employees are giving the time to sit and discuss the nuances of various ethical dilemmas. (Large, Communications, United States)

Boeing : Responsibility for training and communicating ethical values lies at Boeing lies with line management. In addition to other training mechanisms, Boeing has developed a comprehensive "Ethics Challenge," an interactive, web-based training program designed to stimulate employee discussion of various ethical issues. The training is accessible on the company's external website (), and takes users through 14 different categories, each containing one to four case study scenarios. The interactive technology allows employees to take the challenge individually; however, the company encourages teams to experience the scenarios together. The Challenge contains Intranet links to all appropriate policies and statements, and allows the company to change the scenarios - which are taken from real life situations sent to the office by employees - often and at minimal cost. (Large, Aerospace, United States)

Sample Policies

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Columbia-HCA Healthcare: (from the company's external website: http://www.columbia-hca.com/)
"We consider ethics training an integral part of the Ethics and Compliance Program. One of the methods we have used to provide this ethics training is the distribution of the Code of Conduct. A thirty-minute training videotape and facilitator's guide served as the basis of classes that were taught to 25-30 colleagues at a time on the content of the Code. The introductory training session included basic background information and leadership messages, but the core of the tape and the training were three vignettes - one on patient confidentiality, one on meeting stakeholder commitments, and one on reporting misconduct. These vignettes invited discussion. This Code of Conduct rollout program was enthusiastically received in our hospitals. We believe that this was a highly successful start to articulating core values and basic employee expectations in a 'reinvented' Columbia/HCA.

"Facility ECOs oversaw the rollout of the initial ethics training. Each employee signed an acknowledgment that he or she received the Code and understands that it represents mandatory policies of the organization. These acknowledgment cards are collected and filed locally. We translated the Code into Spanish and distributed the Spanish language version to facilities that required it to train some of their employees. Each new colleague receives a copy of the Code and participates in awareness training within his/her first 30 days of employment with Columbia/HCA.

"It is our plan to deliver at least an hour of refresher training on the Code of Conduct to all employees each year. The 1999 refresher training consists of eleven new vignettes of which each colleague must see four. Each colleague must view the sexual harassment vignette. Other topics include: gifts, conflicts of interest, personal use of organization resources, health and safety, patient confidentiality, integrity of records, coding and billing. The facilities may conduct the training in one one-hour session or several shorter sessions provided that each colleague receives training on four vignettes . . ."

Texas Instruments (from the company's external website: http://www.ti.com/corp/docs/company/citizen/ethics/employ.shtml)
Employee/Employer Partnership
"At TI, each individual employee is considered to be a valuable asset, to be respected and to be nurtured, both as an empowered individual and as a team member. TI has remained focused on the individual and is committed to providing a safe workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination where each employee is encouraged to set high goals.

"This business philosophy of employee/employer partnership is evidenced by:

  • "an 'open door' that gives every employee access to higher levels of management;
  • "a work environment prohibiting retaliation and retribution, discrimination, and harassment;
  • "required sexual harassment training;
  • "40-hour annual training requirement;
  • "external educational assistance available to all employees;
  • "a job opportunity system whereby employees are allowed to move from job to job within the company;
  • "multiple, company supported diversity networks, with a major goal of career development; and strong TI support for community involvement."

Awards

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BSR is not currently aware of any awards given specifically for ethics training. The awards mentioned below apply more generally to overall excellence in corporate ethics programs. We welcome submissions of relevant information; please click here to submit.

  • The Council for Better Business Bureaus (BBB) confers the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics on three companies - one large (more than 1,000 employees), one mid-size (100 to 999 employees), and one small (1 to 99 employees) - that maintain a solid commitment to conducting their business practices in an ethical fashion. 1997 corporate recipients of the award were Dollar General Corporation, Jordan's Furniture, and Cuglewshi, Timko, and Associates, D.D.S., Inc. Contact the BBB at 703.247.9312.

  • The American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters & Chartered Financial Consultants annually confers the American Business Ethics Awards to companies that demonstrate a firm commitment to ethical business practices in everyday operations, management philosophies, and response to crises or challenges. In 1997 and 1998, recipients were Delta Sand & Gravel Co., Fenimore Asset Management, Lockheed Martin Corporation, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP, Western EXTRALITE Company, and Weyerhaeuser Company.

Resources

Council for Ethics in Economics
http://www.businessethics.org Back to the top ^

Organizational Overview: The Council for Ethics in Economics (CEE) is a nonprofit worldwide association of leaders in business, education, religion and other professions working together to "strengthen the ethical fabric of business and social life." The Council implements its mission by (1) promoting awareness of issues and developments affecting ethics in economic life through publications, conferences, and study programs; (2) building an international network of leaders; (3) serving clients through consulting and education; and (4) advising and supporting communities in implementing character education programs.

Products and Services:

  • Case Study Materials: The Council is the producer of the I-Caseď Series of interactive, computer-based business ethics case studies. These multimedia-rich cases are available via the Web, institutional server, or CD-ROM. Case studies include "Informed Consent: Dow Corning and the Breast Implant Controversy" and "The Infant Feeding Controversy: How Should Multinational Corporations Respond to Protests Against the Ethics of Their Policies?" CEE also offers numerous print and video business ethics case studies.
  • Consulting: The Council provides a range of custom-designed consulting, educational workshops, and products for its clients on a fee-for-service basis.
  • International Program: This program provides an on-going forum for CEOs and senior executives of global companies to address a range of business ethics issues.
  • "Ethics in Economics:" This newsletter is published on a quarterly basis and seeks to "present diverse perspectives and foster discussion on issues related to applied ethics."

Website: The Council's website includes detailed information on its publications, services, membership, Board of Trustees and corporate and not-for-profit supporters. Publications can be ordered on-line.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

Council for Ethics in Economics
125 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3605
United States
Phone: 614.221.8661
Fax: 614.221.8707

Ethics Officer Association
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Organizational Overview: The Ethics Officer Association (EOA) is a U.S.-based professional association for leaders of corporate ethics and compliance programs. Formed in 1992, the EOA is a nonprofit, non-consulting association dedicated to promoting ethical business practices. The EOA also serves as a "forum for the exchange of information and strategies among individuals responsible for setting ethics, compliance and business conduct programs in their organizations."

Products and Services:

  • Research on Corporate Ethics & Compliance: The EOA conducts ongoing research on a range of ethical issues. In 1998, in collaboration with the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters and Chartered Financial Consultants, the EOA conducted two national studies - one on workplace pressure and ethics and the other on new technologies and ethics.
  • Online Member Forums: A member-only online discussion group; online ethics and compliance libraries; and numerous documents and research findings.
  • Joblink: A listing of open ethics and compliance positions.
  • Annual Conference: EOA's annual conference "addresses current ethics and compliance issues and provides opportunities for the exchange of information about innovations and existing practices in ethics, compliance and business conduct programs."
  • Professional Development Program: In conjunction with the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College, the EOA offers a professional development program for prospective and recently appointed ethics officers and others who have responsibilities for their organization's ethics, compliance or business conduct programs.
  • Ethics Administration Software: The EOA has developed an ethics software program that "assists ethics officers in collecting, managing, reporting and graphing details regarding ethics allegations, inquiries and human resources." This software is available to members only for a small handling fee.
  • Corporate Ethics & Compliance Library: The library contains codes of conduct from many of its member companies as well as videos and other communication tools companies use to get the message out to their employees. EOA members can use these materials at no cost.
  • "EOA News:" The EOA News is published four times a year.

Website: The EOA website provides detailed information on its annual conference, newsletter, publications, and membership. The site also provides links to other ethics organizations and to a selection of their corporate members' websites.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

Ethics Officer Association
30 Church St., Suite 331
Belmont, MA 02478
United States
Phone: 617.484.9400
Fax: 617.484.8330

Ethics Resource Center
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Organizational Overview: Established in 1977, The Ethics Resource Center (ERC) is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization whose vision is an ethical world. Its mission is to be a leader and a catalyst in fostering the ethical practices in individuals and institutions." The ERC fulfills its vision and mission through its work in four core areas: Institution & Coalition Development, Research & Knowledge Building, Education & Advocacy and Consulting & Technical Assistance.

Products and Services:

  • Institution & Coalition Development: The ERC is expanding its reach by creating, or providing assistance to, other international ethics centers. The organization supported the development of the Hong Kong Ethics Development Centre in 1985, and launched the Gulf Centre for Excellence in Ethics in 1998. The ERC has also helped create or build partnerships with similar centers in other regions of the world, including South Africa and Colombia.
  • Research & Knowledge Building: The ERC conducts research on a wide range of business ethics issues. Members of the ERC Fellows Program, a group of business leaders, corporate ethics officers and ethics scholars that meets biannually, are research topics such as Ethics and Compliance Issues in a Global Economy, Ethics as a Leadership Issue, and the Integration of Ethical Principles into Practice.
  • Education & Advocacy: The ERC serves as an educational and ethics advocacy center for businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations, universities and the public at large. The organization distributes publications such as its quarterly newsletter, Ethics Today, shares information and research through its website and speakers bureau, and convenes conferences and meetings worldwide.
  • Consulting & Technical Assistance: The ERC provides customized consulting on a fee-for-service basis for U.S. and international companies, non-profits, trade associations and governmental departments to develop, implement and maintain effective ethics and compliance programs.

Website: The organization's website provides information on its mission/vision/values, history, and leadership. The site also provides information on ERC's publications, videos, and management tools - all of which can be ordered through the Internet. In addition, detailed information on the ERC's 1994 National Business Ethics Survey; the 1997 survey conducted jointly with the Society for Human Resource Management; as well as a number of ethics articles, bibliographies, and links to ethics resources can be found. The site also plans to provide a compendium of ethics codes from Fortune 500 companies and non-profits in the future.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

Ethics Resource Center
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
United States
Tel: 202.737.2258
Fax: 202.737.2227
E-mail: jennie@ethics.org

Gulf Centre for Excellence in Ethics
http://www.ethics.org/erc/gdeelaunch398.html Back to the top ^

Organizational Overview: The Gulf Centre for Excellence in Ethics (GCEE) was launched in April 1998 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and is headquartered at the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training. The GCEE was established by a grant from The Merck Company Foundation in cooperation with the UAE's Ministry of Health and Ministry of Higher Education, and the Ethics Resource Center, which is currently overseeing the organization's operations. The mission of the GCEE is to "assist private and public institutions throughout the Gulf Region in developing organizational ethics programs and practices."

Products and Services:

  • Pilot Projects: The Centre has two pilot projects, one with the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health, and the other with a major private banking organization in the country. The GCEE is assisting both in developing ethics programs for their organizations.

Website: No website has been developed at this point.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

United States:
Regional Director,
Policy & External Affairs,
Middle East-Africa
Merck & Co., Inc.
Phone: 908.423.4542

United Arab Emirates:
Gulf Centre for Excellence in Ethics
Phone: 971.2.456244
Fax: 971.2.459089 GCEE@hct.ac.ae

Hong Kong Ethics Development Centre
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Organizational Overview: The Hong Kong Ethics Development Centre (EDC) was established in May 1995 under the auspices of the Community Relations Department of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which was established in 1974 to fight corruption in both the public and the private sectors in Hong Kong. The EDC operates under the guidance of the Hong Kong Ethics Development Advisory Committee, comprised of members from leading chambers of commerce in Hong Kong.

Products and Services:

  • Resource Center: The Center has more than 1,000 local and overseas reference publications on business ethics. These include books, journals, teaching and information packages, videos, and sample codes of conduct from different trades and professions.
  • Consulting Services: The Center provides consulting services on various ethics issues including the formulation of codes of conducts for companies.
  • "Ethics in Practice:" This newsletter is published on a quarterly basis and is distributed free of charge both locally and internationally.

Website: The Center's website provides past issues of the newsletter. Other products and services are not profiled on the site. However, the site does provide a link to Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption, which provides extensive information on its activities.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

Hong Kong Ethics Development Centre
1/F, Tung Wah Mansion
199-203 Hennessy Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Phone: 852.2587.9812
Fax: 852.2824.9766

Institute for Global Ethics
http://www.globalethics.org/corp/default.html Back to the top ^

Organizational Overview: The Institute for Global Ethics (IGE) is an "independent, nonprofit, non-sectarian, and non-partisan organization dedicated to elevating public awareness and promoting the discussion of ethics in a global context." As an international, membership-based think tank, IGE divides its work into three main areas: Corporate Services, Education Programs and Public Policy Programs.

Products and Services:

  • Corporate Services
    • Ethical Fitness Seminars: The Institute offers assessments, trainings and other fee-based services to create and maintain "Ethical Fitness" within companies and/or organizations. These services are available throughout the year in the United States and in London and can be arranged in other locations worldwide.
    • Business Ethics Newsline: The Newsline is a weekly, on-line, fee-based subscription service for corporate ethics officers and other managers wanting to be kept abreast of business ethics issues. Each issue contains a summary of the weeks important ethics stories, an analysis and commentary of these stories, and a research page featuring new studies or surveys from IGE.
    • Publications: The Institute has published several books, reports, videos, and audiotapes regarding global ethics issues.
    • "Insights on Global Ethics:" This quarterly newsletter is only available to the Institute's members. It covers emerging domestic and global ethical issues, as well as views on Institute programs.
  • Education: IGE'sEducation programs include seminars for teachers and community leaders, conference presentations, and specially tailored programs and teaching tools.
  • Public Affairs: The IGE uses commentary in the media, speeches, and programming to bring an ethical on current events.

Website: The website contains detailed information on the Institute's wide range of education, public policy, and corporate programs and activities.

Awards: N/A

United States:
11 Main Street
P.O. Box 563
Camden, Maine 04843
United States
Phone: 207.236.6658
Fax: 207.236.4014
E-mail: webethics@globalethics.org

United Kingdom 16 Northwick Close
London NW8 8JG U.K.
Phone: 44.171.266.5404
Fax: 44.171.266.0404
E-mail: northwick@easynet.co.uk

The Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics
http://www/josephsoninstitute.org Back to the top ^

Organizational Overview: The Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics is a nonprofit membership organization that aims "to improve the ethical quality of society by advocating principled reasoning and ethical decision making." The Institute conducts programs and workshops for corporate, non-profit, government, and media leaders.

Products and Services:

  • Ethics in the Workplace Training Program: This training program provides the "tools and knowledge to design and implement an ethics program."
  • Consulting: The Institute offers consulting services for a fee to businesses in several areas including internal ethics audits and needs assessment, employee codes of conduct, and crisis intervention and management.

Website: The Center's website provides information about the Institute's "Ethics in the Workplace" training program and other consulting services and lists a number of its corporate clients.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

Josephson Institute of Ethics
4640 Admiralty Way, Suite 1001
Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6610
United States
Phone: 310.306.1868
E-mail: JI@JIethics.org

Center for Ethical Business Cultures
http://tigger.stthomas.edu/mccr/ Back to the top ^

Organizational Overview: "Founded in 1978, the Minnesota Center for Corporate Responsibility (MCCR) is a membership organization that includes large businesses as well as start-ups. Since its inception, the Center has encouraged and assisted business leaders in developing practical, productive and responsible relationships that contribute to the long-term success of their organization and balance the competing claims of key stakeholders - customer, employees, shareholders and communities." The MCCR is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Business and The Caux Round Table

Products and Services:

  • Business Ethics Management Series: This ongoing MCCR program series provides companies with a comprehensive overview of ethics management strategies and systems.
  • Ethics and Integrity Service: A specialized consulting service that assists employers in taking practical steps to design and implement an effective business ethics strategy.
  • Publications: MCCR has written several publications pertaining to business ethics. Two of these are "Solid Ethics Yields a Solid Bottom Line," (1998) and "Advertising on Higher Ground" (1998).
  • Forums and Workshops: Assists business leaders in creating and strengthening ethical business cultures.
  • Principles for Business: International standard for business ethics originated by MCCR and adopted by the Caux Round Table, a group of senior business leaders from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Website: The MCCR's website outlines many of the organization's products and services, and contains an overview of current activities. Many publications and texts of speeches are available on the website, as well as a membership directory and application for membership.

Awards:

Contact Information:

Minnesota Center for Corporate Responsibility (MCCR)
1000 LaSalle Avenue Suite 153
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2005
United States
Phone: 651.962.4120
Fax: 651.962.4125
E-mail: MCCR_UST@stthomas.edu

Center for Business Ethics, Bentley College
http://www.bentley.edu/resource/cbe Back to the top ^

Organizational Overview: The mission of the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College is to provide an "international forum for the advancement of business ethics. The Center is committed to developing strategies for ethical business conduct and providing a bridge between theoretical research and practical business activity." The Center helps corporations and other organizations strengthen their ethical cultures through educational programming and consulting.

Products and Services:

  • Corporate Education and Training: CBE provides organizations and their employees with specialized ethics education and training programs on a fee-for-service basis.
  • Annual Conference: Past conferences have included sessions on business values and social justice, ethics of the management of computer technology, ethics and mergers and acquisitions, international business ethics, and corporate governance and institutionalizing ethics.
  • Kallman Executive Fellows Program: The Center hosts academic and executive scholars to assist "in building relationships with the business community, to create an atmosphere of intellectual discourse on matters of business ethics, and to recognize and respond to public concerns on ethical business practices."
  • Consulting: CBE consults with businesses on a fee-for-service basis to develop guidelines and programs on business ethics.
  • Surveys: The Center conducts surveys on a range of business ethics issues. Past surveys include: "Instilling Ethical Values in Large Corporations" (1992) and "Ethics Officer Survey Results" (1992).
  • Research Library: The Center's library includes a database of business ethics books and articles.
  • CBE News: The Center's newsletter is published bi-annually.

Website: The Center's website provides detailed information on its mission, history, funding, membership, publications and activities. The site also lists members of the Center's Advisory Board, which includes representatives from companies such as Guardsmark, Inc.; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; and Texas Instruments.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

Center for Business Ethics
Adamian Graduate Center, Room 108
Bentley College
Waltham, MA 02452
United States
Phone: 781.891.2981
Fax: 781.891.2988
E-mail: cbeinfo@bentley.edu

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University
http://www.scu.edu/Ethics/ Back to the top ^

Organizational Overview: The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics operates as a "unique community of faculty, students, staff and community members with the common goal of equipping people, both from the on- and off-campus communities, with strategies to heighten ethical awareness and improve ethical decision making." The Center provides workshops, private seminars, and other educational tools to companies, professional organizations, and private practitioners. The Center explores the ethical dimensions of issues in the following areas: Business, Health Care, Technology, and Public Policy.

Products and Services:

  • Training/Workshops: The Center holds ethics trainings and workshops for businesses.
  • Ethics Roundtable for Executives: Created in early 1997, the Ethics Roundtable for Executives periodically brings together business leaders to talk about ethical issues.
  • Conference: The Center held its Third Annual "Ethics and Technology" Conference in June 1998.
  • Case Studies: The Center has developed several cases, many of which address business ethics issues. These can be read and responded to on the Web.
  • Articles Database: The Center's website provides access to a number of business ethics articles.
  • "Issues in Ethics:" This publication is published three times a year.

Website: The website provides information about the Center and its products and services. Past issues of the newsletter are available online. The site also provides links to a number of other business ethics organizations and message boards where visitors can engage in dialogue about ethics.

Awards: N/A

Contact Information:

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA 95053-0633
United States
Phone: 408.554.5319
Fax: 408.554.2373
E-Mail: ethics@scu.edu


This document contains information from a variety of public sources such as newspapers, books, on-line services, and reports from various NGOs and academic studies, as well as information shared directly by companies. Where appropriate, we have made reference to the source of information and sought approvals for its use. If you are aware of any information in this document that is inaccurate or not properly attributed, or if you have additional information that could be helpful to us as we update this report, please email editor@bsr.org. Thank you.

Last updated: October 2001




Published by Business for Social Responsibility at http://www.bsr.org/BSRResources/IssueBriefDetail.cfm?DocumentID=437.

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