In developing an ethical culture, what element is essential because without it, employees will try to take advantage, if an opportunity for misconduct presents itself?
A compliance element
What are some characterizations of a corporate culture?
Innovation and Risk Taking
Attention to Detail
What are some informal expressions of a corporate culture?
Statements, both direct and indirect. Shared values are expressed by instituting informal dress codes, working late, participating in extracurricular activities. Can be expressed through gestures, looks, labels, promotions, programs, and legends
What are group norms and what are the characteristics of group norms within an organization?
Group norms are standards of behavior groups expect of their members. Characteristics: govern group rates of production and communication with management, provide a general understanding of behavior considered right or wrong, ethical or unethical.
Is it possible for management’s sense of the organization’s culture to be quite different from employees’ perceptions?
Management’s sense of an organization’s culture may not be in line with the values and ethical beliefs that actually guide a firm’s employees.
How do organizations create motivation?
To create motivation, an organization offers incentives that encourage employees to work toward organizational objectives.
In centralized organization structures what type of communication is an ethical concern?
What types of retaliation might a whistle-blower experience?
Labeled traitor or terminated, forced to retire
What common elements do all definitions of culture share?
1. culture is shared among individuals belonging to a group or society 2. culture is formed over a relatively long period of time 3. culture is relatively stable
What type of organizational structure delegates decision-making authority as far down the chain of command as possible?
What are the five characteristics of an ethical corporate culture?
1. Management and the board demonstrate their commitment to strong controls
2. Every employee is encouraged and required to have hands-on involvement in compliance
3. Every employee is encouraged and empowered to report policy exceptions.
4. Employees are expected to be in the communication loop through resolutions and corrective actions.
5. Employees have the ability to report policy exceptions anonymously to any member of the organization.
What type of organizational structure tends to be more ethical?
Centralized organizations tend to be more ethical
What are the five power bases from which one person may influence another and how would you describe each?
1. reward power – influencing a person’s behavior by offering a reward
2. coercive power – opposite of reward power, behavior is penalized
3. Legitimate power – certain people have right to exert influence and others have an obligation to accept it
4. Expert power – derived from a person’s knowledge, superiors credibility with subordinates
5. referent power – one person perceives that his or her goal or objectives are similar to another’s
How would you describe an apathetic culture?
An apathetic culture shows minimal concern for either people or performance. Individuals focus on their own self-interest.
How would you describe an exacting culture?
An exacting culture shows little concern for people but a high concern for performance, organization focuses on its own interest.
What is a major concern of the proposed monetary incentives of the Dodd-Frank Act for whistle-blowers?
One major concern is whistle blowers will go external with the information rather than internal. Whistle blowers might go straight to the SEC
What are formal groups?
an assembly of individuals with an organized structure that is explicitly accepted by the group.
What are information groups?
two or more individuals with a common interest but without an explicit organizational structure.
To be truly effective, what must a whistle-blower have?
adequate knowledge of wrongdoing that could damage society.
How would you describe an integrative culture?
combines a high concern for people and performance. Superiors recognize employees are more than interchangeable parts
How would you describe a caring culture?
exhibits high concern for people but minimal concern for performance issues.
What has an impact on an employee’s ethical intention?
Individual and organizational ethics
What does differential association refer to?
the idea that people learn ethical or unethical behavior while interacting with others who are part of their role-sets or belong to other intimate personal groups. Associating with others who are unethical creates an opportunity for unethical behavior.
Does the Sarbanes-Oxley Act concern itself with internal whistle-blowing?
SOX and FSGO institutionalized internal whistle-blowing to encourage discovery for organizational misconduct.
What is a cultural audit and how is it used?
an assessment of an organization’s value. The audit is conducted by outside consultants but may be performed internally
Who is responsible for implementing disciplinary action for violation of a firm’s ethical standards?
The ethics officer is usually responsible for implementing all disciplinary actions for violations of the firm’s ethical standards.
Which ethics program (compliance vs. Values) increases employees’ awareness of ethics at work?
Value based programs
To avoid designing an ethics program that does not address needs of the average employee, what should a company do to make program materials more user-friendly?
To avoid this problem, ethics programs-including codes of conduct and training materials-should include feed back from employees from across the firm, not just the legal department.
What does a strong ethics program include?
Written codes of conduct
Ethics officers to oversee the program
Careful delegation of authority
Formal ethics training
Rigorous auditing, monitoring, enforcement, and revision of program standards
What are common mistakes when designing and implementing an ethics program?
Failure to understand and appreciate goals
Setting unrealistic/immeasurable objectives
Unsupportive top management
Ineffective or incomprehensible content
Transferring an “‘American” program to a firm’s international operations
Designing a program that is little more than a series of lectures resulting in low recall
How comprehensive are codes of conduct, a code of ethics and statement of values?
1. Code of Ethics is most comprehensive; consists of general statements serving as principles and the basis for the rules in a code of conduct
2. Statement of values – Serves the general public and addresses stakeholder interests
3. Code of Conduct – is a formal statement with the organizations expectations of its employees
What type of philosophy is at the heart of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (FSGO)?
What do top managers tend to focus on?
Top managers tend to focus on financial performance because of their jobs and personal identities are often intimately connected to their firms’ quarterly returns.
What are some of the resources used to monitor ethical conduct and measure the program’s effectiveness?
Effective programs employ various methods to measure effectiveness
Internal audits and investigations
What leads to diminished employee trust and increased employee turnover?
What are some of the key characteristics of a code of ethics?
code of conduct
code of ethics
statement of values
formal ethics training
systems of monitoring, auditing, and enforcement
In the absence of an organizational ethics program, employees are likely to make decisions based on what?
their own observations of how their coworkers and superiors behave.
What is a code of conduct?
formal statements that describe what an organization expects of its employees.
What is the difference between a compliance orientation and a values orientation?
compliance orientation creates order by requiring employees identify with and commit to specific require conduct. Values orientation strives to develop shared values, the focus is more on an abstract core of ideals such as accountability and commitment.
For an ethical compliance program to properly function, what is essential?
consistent enforcement and disciplinary action are essential
According to the FSGO, Federal Judges are encouraged/required to increase fines on organizations that ______ and to reduce/eliminate fines for firms with extensive compliance programs that are making ______.
1. continually tolerate misconduct
2. due diligence attempts to abide by legal and ethical standards.
Which legislation has increased the responsibilities on ethics officers and boards of directors to monitor financial reporting?
Sarbanes-Oxley and the amendments to the FSGO
According to a fraud survey, most executives believe that ____ is the primary reason for much of the unchecked misconduct in business.
inadequate ethics and compliance programs
What are some advantages of a values-based ethics program?
Value based programs increase employees’ awareness of ethics at work, integrity, willingness to deliver information to supervisors, use of reporting mechanisms, and perception that ethical decisions are being made.
What are the key goals of successful ethics training programs?
1. Identify key risk areas employees will face.
2. Provide experience in dealing with hypothetical or disguised ethical issues within the industry through mini-cases, online challenges, DVDs, or other experiential learning opportunities.
3. Let employees know wrongdoing will never be supported in the organization and employee evaluations will take their conduct in this area into consideration.
4. Let employees know they are individually accountable for their behavior.
5. Align employee conduct with organizational reputation and branding.
6. Provide ongoing feedback to employees about how they are handling ethical issues.
7. Allow a mechanism for employees to voice their concerns that is anonymous, but provides answers to key questions (24-hour hotlines).
8. Provide a hierarchy of leadership for employees to contact when they are faced with an ethical dilemma they do not know how to resolve.
According to the FSGO guidelines, ethics officers should report to whom and why?
ethics officers should report to the board of directors rather than the general counsel. Because top managers may be more vulnerable to pressures placed on them to push employees to engage in unethical activities and thereby become more competitive.
Why are organizational ethics programs needed?
to promote legal and ethical conduct. Without ethics programs, it is difficult for employees to determine what behaviors are acceptable within a company.
What are keys to successful ethics training?
1. educate employees about the firm’s policies and expectations, relevant laws and regulations, and general social standards.
2. make employees aware of available resources, support systems and designated personnel who can assist them with ethical and legal advice.
3. empower employees to ask tough questions and make ethical decisions
4. make employees aware of ethical issues
5. increase the importance of ethics training to employees
6. increase employees’ confidence they can make the correct decision when faced with an ethical dilemma.
What are the benefits of having an ethics code?
1. Guide employees in situations where the ethical course of action is not immediately obvious.
2. Help the company reinforce—and acquaint new employees with—its culture and values. A code can help create a climate of integrity and excellence.
3. Help the company communicate its expectations for its staff to suppliers, vendors, and customers.
4. Minimize subjective and inconsistent management standards.
5. Help a company remain in compliance with complex government regulations.
6. Build public trust and enhance business reputations.
7. Offer protection in preempting or defending against lawsuits.
8. Enhance morale, employee pride, loyalty, and the recruitment of outstanding employees.
9. Promote constructive social change by raising awareness of the community’s needs and encouraging employees and other stakeholders to help.
10.Promote market efficiency, especially in areas where laws are weak or inefficient, by rewarding the best and most ethical producers of goods and services.
What are ethics officers responsible for?
Ethics officers are responsible for managing the ethics and legal compliance programs
1. assessing the needs and risks an organizations-wide ethics programs must address 2. developing and distributing a code of conduct or ethics 3. conducting training programs for employees 4. establishing and maintaining a confidential service to answer employees’ questions about ethical issues 5. making sure the company is in compliance with government regs. 6. monitoring and auditing ethical conduct 7. taking action on possible violations of the company’s code 8. reviewing and updating the code
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