Business Ethics on the Web

By Schroeder, Stephanie | Risk Management, September 1998 | Go to article overview

Business Ethics on the Web


Schroeder, Stephanie, Risk Management


STEPHANIE SCHROEDER

According to a recent survey, four in 10 employees say they are aware of ethical or legal violations such as sexual harassment, lying, conflicts of interest, stealing and discrimination talking place at their company in the last two years. And the study, conducted by Walker Information, found that only 37 percent of the surveyed workers said they would be comfortable reporting on-the-job misconduct.

If these statistics aren't disturbing enough, here's another reason for corporate executives to take notice: workers often don't think much of senior management's ethics - many say leaders don't practice what they preach. However, when workers have a high opinion of their employer's ethics, they are more committed - 42 percent say a company's integrity directly influences their decision to work there. These findings, as well as the remainder of the study, can be found at www.walkerinformation.com. In addition, you can find out how to use the company's Business Integrity Assessment to evaluate your organization's ethics and measure the effectiveness of your compliance program.

If you're interested in seeing how other companies maintain their business ethics programs or what advice and guidance various organizations can offer, visit the following suggested Web sites.

After a number of environmental and public relations problems, Shell Oil was determined to put itself back on track with the development and implementation of its General Business Principles. Shell's Web site, www.shell.com, provides comprehensive coverage of this statement as well as a copy of its 1998 report entitled 'Profits and Principles - Does There Have to Be a Choice?,' which details Shell's commitment to renewable energy, sustainability and human rights around the globe.

The Body Shop is a leader in 'green' purchasing, manufacturing and marketing. To see what the lifestyle products company has been up to lately, visit www.the-body-shop.com. The 'Action' section describes the Body Shop's joint effort with Amnesty International to celebrate and campaign for the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while the 'Company & Values' section has a detailed statement of organizational performance on social, environmental and animal protection issues.

Columbia/HCA Healthcare, the subject of a recent U.S. government inquiry, has developed a corporate ethics and compliance program that is 'intended to demonstrate in the clearest possible terms the absolute commitment of the organization to the highest standards of ethics and compliance.

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