Essentials of Business Ethics: Creating an Organization of High Integrity and Superior Performance / Edition 1

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The essential guide to creating an organization ofhigh integrity and superior performance

With the high-profile corporate scandals that have taken place in recent years, corporate ethics are more important to a business than ever before. The failure of ethical leadership in an organization is very destructive-it demoralizes the workforce, breeds public distrust, and ultimately results in organizational decay.

Based on more than two decades of consulting, teaching, and research, Denis Collins's Essentials of Business Ethics is designed with appreciation for your demanding professional obligations, with easy-to-find, at-your-fingertips information. Its nuts-and-bolts presentation provides you with practical "how-to" examples and best practices on every area of managing ethics inside your organization in a handy, concise format.

This brief yet powerful guide presents executives and leaders with timely discussion on:

  • Human nature and unethical behavior in organizations
  • Determining the ethics of job candidates
  • The differences between a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct
  • The best practices for managing diversity
  • Using Management-by-Objectives to establish work goals that encourage ethical behavior
  • Performance appraisals that reward ethical behaviors
  • Aligning community outreach with the company's mission and assets
  • Handling the environmental change process
  • How to manage three internal communication mechanisms for employees to report potentially unethical or illegal behaviors: an Ethics & Compliance Office, Ombudsman, and Ethics Hotlines

Providing a five-step ethics job-screen process and an ethical decision-making framework, as well as guidelines for conducting a variety of business ethics workshops, Essentials of Business Ethics is the only guide you will need containing all the relevant facts on business ethics, all in one place.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book provides a practical guide to business ethics and harnessing ethics to improve business performance. It is part of the 'Essentials Series', which is intended to enable busy business advisory and corporate professionals to achieve rapid knowledge and skills in key business areas. The book is thus designed as "a managerial 'how-to manual' on business ethics for executives and leaders. The book presents a wealth of practical suggestions and initiatives accompanied by examples. Collins does an excellent job of trying to inspire professionals to be proactive in approaching ethical matters and seize the bull by the horns." (The Marketing Review, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 2)

"Essentials of Business Ethics, adheres to the notion that ethics can be taught, that ethics can always be improved, and that in business it is crucial for leaders to set a strong example. This book aims to help all those involved in the ethics process, beginning with business owners and managers and including ethics and compliance officers, as well as ombudsmen who guide employees. The how-to format of the book makes it an easy-to-use resource." (The CPA Journal, March 2010)

"Full of practical examples for managing ethics, this brief book offers critical advice on issues ranging from ethical decision making and ethics training to environmental management and community outreach. A great "nuts and bolts" overview." (, 2009)

"Full of practical examples...A great "nuts and bolts" overview."(Ethical Corporation Magazine, March 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470442562
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/4/2009
  • Series: Essentials Series , #47
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Denis Collins, PhD, is a tenured Professor of Business at Edgewood College and teaches in the areas of business ethics, management, leadership, and organization behavior. Considered a leader among business ethics professors, Dr. Collins serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Academic Ethics, and Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society and has published numerous books and articles in the areas of social philosophy, participatory management, business ethics, and service learning.
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Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Preface xvii

About the Web Site xxiii

Acknowledgments xxv

Part 1 Background 1

1 Human Nature and Unethical Behavior in Organizations 3

Daily Occurrence of Ethical Dilemmas 4

Competitive Advantages of Ethical Organizations 7

Managing Morally Imperfect People 11

What Is the Extent of Unethical Behaviors at Work? 12

What Types of Organizations and Operational Areas Have Ethical Problems? 13

Why Do Good People Behave Unethically? 13

What Are the Costs of Unethical Behaviors? 14

What Is Human Nature? 16

Summary 17

Notes 17

2 The Ethical Foundation of Capitalism and the Optimal Ethics Systems Model 19

Adam Smith's Capitalism and Business Ethics 20

Federal Sentencing Guidelines 24

The Optimal Ethics Systems Model 28

Summary 31

Notes 32

Part 2 Getting Everyone on Board 33

3 Hiring Ethical People 35

The Five-Step Ethics Job Screen Process 36

Summary 55

Notes 56

4 Codes of Ethics and Codes of Conduct 59

Difference Between a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct 60

Importance of Code Expectations and Awareness 61

Prevalence of Codes of Ethics and Conduct 62

Code of Ethics Content 63

Code of Conduct Content 65

Effective Codes 67

Annual Code of Ethics Assessment 70

Summary 74

Notes 75

5 Ethical Decision-Making Framework 77

Rotary International's Four-Way Test 78

Raytheon's Ethics Quick Test 78

The Ethics Decision-Making Framework 79

The Five Ethical Theories 81

Persuading Others 91

Ten "Ethical Hazard Approaching" Signs 94

Summary 95

Notes 95

6 Ethics Training 97

Extent of Ethics Training 98

Who to Train 99

Web-Based Ethics Training 100

Facilitating an Ethics Discussion 100

EthicsTraining Options 101

Assessing the Ethics Training Workshops 123

Summary 124

Notes 124

7 Respecting Employee Diversity 127

Competitive Advantages of Diversity Management 128

Four Layers of Diversity 130

Implementing a Diversity Initiative 133

Best Operational Practices for Managing Diversity 135

Diversity Training Problems and Solutions 137

Diversity Discussion Guidelines 139

Diversity Training Exercises 140

Summary 150

Notes 151

Part 3 Daily Internal Operations 153

8 Ethics Reporting Systems 155

Undesirable Employee Reactions to Ethical Issues 156

Ethics & Compliance Officer (ECO) 157

Ombudsman 161

Assist Lines 165

Whistleblowing 168

Summary 173

Notes 173

9 Ethical Leadership, Work Goals, and Performance Appraisals 177

Managers as Ethical Role Models 178

Great Place to Work® Dimensions 180

Virtues and Leadership Practices 181

Work Goals 183

Performance Appraisals 190

Collection and Evaluation Issues 195

Performance Appraisal Feedback 197

Disciplining Work Rule Violations 198

Forgiveness 201

Summary 202

Notes 203

10 Empowering Ethical Employees 205

Go-Getters, Fence-Sitters, and Adversarials 206

Effective Teams 212

Systematic Team Problem-Solving Process 212

Connecting Employees to the Mission-Appreciative Inquiry 217

Daily Performance Reflections 220

Scanlon-Type Gainsharing Plans 221

Open Book Management 223

Profit Sharing 224

Stock Options 225

Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) 226

Cooperatives 227

Summary 228

Notes 229

Part 4 Being a Good Citizen 231

11 Environmental Management 233

Competitive Advantages of Being Eco-Friendly 234

Managing the Environmental Change Process 237

Environmental Management System (EMS) 241

Environmental Risk Assessment 243

The Natural Step (TNS) Framework and Cost Reductions 247

Product Packaging and Design 250

Green Buildings 251

Environmental Performance Indicators 253

Sustainability Reporting 255

Summary 256

Notes 257

12 Community Outreach and Respect 259

Business Case for Community Involvement 260

What to Give 262

Giving to Whom? 268

Team Building and Project Management Training Opportunities 276

Community Involvement Management Process 276

Community Reputation Assessment 278

Social Performance Reporting 279

Summary 281

Notes 284

Index 287

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