Powerful as it is, the supply chain metaphor draws our attention away from the larger forces that shape the problems we should be tackling. These include the sustainability of current consumption patterns; the absence of economic alternatives; weak regulatory oversight; scant protection for whistleblowers and journalists; the ease with which corporate ownership can be hidden and disguised; and the commercial pressures and incentives that likely drive those profiting from abuses or taking shortcuts. Our efforts to build stronger and more resilient supply chains will get us only so far. The thing we’re trying to perfect is only an image, and a partial one at that. Alternative visions can help us return these broader issues to the debate, while reminding us, for example, of the importance of engaging everyone affected by global supply chains in the discussion of how they should be organised.
via Aeon Media, 11 September 2020See More
Ethical fading is a legitimate business risk. It occurs when the ethical aspects disappear from the decision-making process and happens when people focus heavily on some other aspect of a decision, such as profit. CEOs and executive teams may focus on compliance, but other competing priorities within the company might influence the final decision. That can lead to court, and penalties. Fines can convert ethical issues into business problems by attaching a price tag to them.
This piece draws lessons from the case of Carnival Corp. and its subsidiary Princess Cruise Lines, which were initially fined $40 million for dumping waste, and then another $20 million for violating their probation terms, by the US Department of Justice.
Via Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University, 24 June 2019See More
Firms face a more challenging environment. Non-financial factors will increasingly need to be incorporated into core business strategies. This will involve new measurement frameworks, greater scrutiny, and careful consideration of the balance between profits and purpose.
via Reaction, 25 November 2019See More
When the report of the Financial Services Royal Commission was handed down more than a year ago, it was a shock to the system. But have practices in finance or any other sector actually changed?
In evidence to the Commission, former Treasury Secretary and NAB chair Dr Ken Henry pondered whether the cause of business misconduct might be capitalism itself. “The capitalist model is that businesses have no responsibility other than to maximise profits for shareholders,” said Henry. The consequence of this mindset, he argued, is that customers are treated in an instrumental fashion: as a means to profit rather than as human beings with rights and interests. This same might be said for the environment, or animals. If profit is King, who or what plays the role of serf?
In this audio interview Professor Elizabeth Sheedy discusses the new study of unethical behaviour in major organisations she co-authored.
Radio National, 12 February 2020See More