Magazine article Strategic Finance

The Art of Ethics

Magazine article Strategic Finance

The Art of Ethics

Article excerpt

WHEN WE HEAR the word I "ethics," most of us immediately proceed to our own visual of its meaning: a news broadcast, a legal proceeding, or perhaps even a specific personal event. Despite much effort across our professional associations to define its objective criteria, ethics is inevitably one of the most subjective areas open to interpretation. But one thing is for sure: Ethical behavior is driven by our intentions to commit to a higher standard of achievement. This higher standard is about a pervasive corporate culture, one that instills true integrity by valuing not only getting to a profitable conclusion, but also leading to the right answer. Or, from my almost-four-year old's perspective, we need to "ease off and not beat that yellow light!" (There really isn't an exclamation point suitable in describing his delight when I slammed on the brakes.)

While every aspect of our personal lives is affected by our subjective approach to ethics, when it comes to our professional behavior, IMA has taken a leadership role by promulgating the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice. For more than 30 years, IMA has advocated the importance of promoting a positive ethical culture, as well as subordinating personal interests beneath the following four principles and standards (in words taken directly from the Statement).

Principles: Honesty, Fairness, Objectivity, and Responsibility.

Standards:

Competence. Leadership, knowledge, skills, standards, decision support, and risk management;

Confidentiality. …

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