Demonstrating Ethical Responsibility: Implementing a Self-Governance Program
Paul M. Carren and Richard B. Pazornik
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it the superficial appearance of being right.
Over the past decade, media and regulatory attention has focused time and time again on what has been perceived as corporate irresponsibility. No industry has escaped criticism of its ethical probity. Areas of business activity as diverse as the environment ( Exxon Valdez), securities ( Drexel Burnham Lambert), government procurement (Operation "Ill Wind"), and banking ( Lincoln Savings) provide a few examples where corporate America has seemingly failed to uphold its responsibility to society at large, its customers, and its employees.
This chapter is intended to assist companies that either are developing a self-governance program or are already operating under some form of self-governance program and wish to reevaluate or update the program in light of the current environment. After reading this chapter, one will be able to identify the key elements of a successful self-governance program and to set a company agenda for implementing such a program.
In the past it was taken for granted that companies, like individuals, should act within the bounds of the law. The U.S. business community