Latest "Corporate Ethics" Posts

ABB: When an Unethical Fox Guards the Ethics Henhouse

Ethics is a word that is often tossed about with reckless abandon. Executives often take on the role as “ethics officers,” when they, themselves have no idea of what the responsibility entails. It is window dressing. Then there are people who assume the role of ethics over-seers or ombudsmen whose credentials are never explored because, frankly no one else can be bothered to do ABB Ethicsthe training.  This became a real problem for ABB.

You may never have heard of a Swiss engineering group called ABB. They are a huge, multinational organization with operations in South Korea. The treasurer of the Korean branch is also one of two executives in charge of ethics training and for “legal and ethical integrity.”

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in business ethics, Corporate Ethics and tagged , , , , , ,

What Ethically Happened on that United Flight?

No one needs me to tell them that flying, in general, has become a miserable experience. Perhaps you are old enough to remember when flying was “classy” or “chic.” In that case, you are, sorry to say, pretty old (don’t fret, I’m right behind you!). However, for general passenger’s warm meals or even chocolate chip cookies are a thing of the past.  Just ask folks who fly United and other major carriers.  But that isn’t the issue ethically speaking at hand.

I frequently fly, which means I get benefits. To get those benefits I was a long-suffering general passenger. Were I to fly on a particular airline just a little less, my frequent flyer benefits would be removed. No one at the airline would much care something like that would happen to me.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Corporate Ethics and tagged , , ,

Jon Ruggles and Poor Financial Ethics at Delta Airlines

When there is no oversight associated with an important corporate function, sooner or later poor decision making or unethical behavior is bound to occur. This fact was reaffirmed just this past week with Delta Airlines and the man who was in charge with the important fuel hedging program, Jon Ruggles.

Delta Airlines As there was apparently little to no oversight, Ruggles set up a personal commodities trading account for jet fuel, alongside the huge corporate trading account he ran for Delta. When major corporate traders such as a multi-billion dollar airline take a position in any commodity it naturally affects the prices of that commodity. It is, after all, a supply and demand scenario.

Though the trades actually took place in 2011 and 2012, the final disposition of the case didn’t occur until September 2016.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Business and Personal Ethics, Corporate Ethics, Ethical Behavior and tagged , , ,

5 Ways to Create a Culture of Ethics in Your Company

To create a culture of ethics in your company can be seen аѕ аbѕtrасt аnd tоugh to mеаѕurе. It’s more thаn all thоѕе саrеfullу drafted соrроrаtе values ѕtаtеmеntѕ аnd еthiсѕ соdеѕ— practically it’ѕ thе way thingѕ work. Workplace сulturе inсludеѕ hоw еmрlоуееѕ drеѕѕ, hоw they work with customers, how they perform their job, аnd hоw they intеrасt with thеir supervisors. It bеginѕ with made ѕtаndаrdѕ оf conduct thаt are well соnсеivеd, саrеfullу сrаftеd аnd еffесtivеlу imрlеmеntеd. Be that as it may, to bе mеаningful, wе require more thаn mеrе lip ѕеrviсе tо moral qualities. Create a culture of ethicsOrgаnizаtiоnѕ with ѕtrоng moral social orders gain ground tо еnѕurе that thеir ѕtаndаrdѕ аrе extensively accessible, progressed аnd took after bу thеir lеаdеrѕ аnd еmрlоуееѕ.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Corporate Ethics, Ethical Behavior, ethics training and tagged , , ,

Don Blankenship sentenced to one year! Ethics Achieved at Massey?

What should be the punishment meted out for the CEO of a company where safety violations took the lives of 29 men? Is one year sufficient, too much, or not nearly enough?  Was ethical balance achieved at Massey?

Don BlankenshipPete Williams, in an article he wrote for NBC News (April 6, 2016) entitled: “Former Coal Mine Executive Sentenced to One Year in Prison After Explosion Killed 29,” states:

“Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in federal prison for safety lapses connected to a deadly West Virginia coal mine explosion.

A jury in federal court convicted Don Blankenship in December of conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards, connected to an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in 2010 that killed 29 men. One year in prison was the maximum sentence for the misdemeanor charge.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in business ethics, Corporate Ethics, prison and tagged , , , ,

JP Morgan Banker Trainees Caught Cheating in Ethical Scandal

In the world of banking, JP Morgan has had a reputation of always hiring the best, and of those in the banking community, we have all embraced the image of the solid, British banker as the rock-solid, unflappable personality. The British banker was always – to our mind – of being without peer and always, impenetrable in terms of scandal or poor behavior.

J P MorganNow, we have learned our impressions may need an ethical revamping as banker trainees caught cheating in ethical scandal.

Holly Elliot, for CNBC (October 23, 2015), in an article entitled: “British trainees at JPMorgan fired for cheating tests: Report,” reported the following:

“Nearly a dozen junior bankers, some from the U.K., have been sacked by JPMorgan in New York after being discovered “cheating” at a basic math test, according to a report in The Telegraph newspaper.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Banks, business ethics, Corporate Ethics and tagged ,

Volkswagen Business Ethics and Bad Behavior – What now?

Volkswagen is now in the news for unethical behavior on a massive scale.  Volkswagen’s installation of a software “defeat device” in 11 million Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles sold worldwide has led to a massive vehicle recall and an admission of guilt that has surprised many.  The question that is surfacing is how wide spread was the unethical behavior?  Was it limited to a select few Volkswagenor a massive cancer that was pervasive in the company?  One must question Volkswagen business ethics and their bad behavior!

The following appeared as part of an Ethics Alarms article:

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in business ethics, Corporate Ethics and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Imprisonment for Peanut Butter Executive: Stewart Parnell

What is the price of unethical behavior? For peanut executive Stewart Parnell, it is 28 years in prison. He is 61 and he will undoubtedly die behind bars. However his intentional sale of peanut butter containing salmonella resulted in the deaths of nine people and sickened hundreds. He is a callous murderer.

Peanut Corporation of AmericaAccording to the Associated Press (September 21, 2015) entitled: “Peanut executive in salmonella case gets 28 years,” we learn:

“Stewart Parnell, the 61-year-old former owner of Peanut Corporation of America, was sentenced in Albany, Georgia, He and two co-defendants were convicted in U.S. District Court.

Jurors found Parnell knowingly sold tainted peanut butter from his Georgia plant and faked results of lab tests intended to screen for salmonella. Court officers recommended a life sentence based on reports that the outbreak cost Parnell’s customers $144 million and sickened 714 people.”

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Articles, Business and Personal Ethics, business ethics, Corporate Ethics and tagged , , , , , , ,

Volkswagen: Their Ethics are on Trial

“Let’s be clear about this, our company was dishonest with the [EPA] and the California Air Resources Board and all of you.” – Michael Horn, head of Volkswagen in the U.S

VolkswagenVolkswagen, the venerable automobile manufacturer emblematic of German engineering and technical know-how has been caught in a boldface lie. The lie was so outrageous that as I write this, the CEO of the company, Martin Winterkorn has just resigned.

Let me throw some German automobile numbers your way. Volkswagen initially admitted to intentionally programming the emissions sensors on 500,000 cars so that what was “officially” stated by the company showed a sharp discrepancy to what was found on the road. So that no one infers the discrepancy was slight, here is another number: 40. The actual emissions were 40 times higher than claimed.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in business ethics, Corporate Ethics and tagged , ,

Driverless Cars: Are we ethical enough to accept our technology?

My dear friend Richard is a driver’s driver. On top of restoring antique cars and belonging to several car clubs, he is constantly taking driving courses and going to road rallies. No, he does not race in the NASCAR circuit, but he is pretty darn good.

He came out with this statement about two years ago: “Most drivers can’t drive.” At the time I had to sit back and scratch my Driverless Carhead. Then I did something most of us are afraid to do; I observed myself, and I observed other drivers.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Corporate Ethics, corporate social responsibility, Ethical Behavior and tagged , , , ,