Tag Archives | ethics

Stakeholder Theory: Impact and Prospects

Stakeholder Theory: Impact and Prospects edited by Robert A. Phillips provides a great education in history to those of us who have been using the term “stakeholder” but who have little idea of its origins. Honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of R. Edward Freeman’s Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, Phillips assembles a collection of commentaries and critiques […]

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Review: Trust & Control in HRM

Trust and Human Resource Management, edited by Rosalind Searle and Denise Skinner highlight trust as key to human resource management (HRM) from pre-entry to post-employment. The collection will be of great value to academics in the HR field and to practitioners interested in enhancing trust levels in their organizations. Trust has long been associated with […]

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FCPA Liability

Two recent developments bring the potential for individual criminal liability under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) back into the spotlight. These developments underscore the extensive reach of the FCPA, which can extend criminal liability to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike and to circumstances where an individual does not have actual (more…)

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Review: The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles, and Operations–A Legal Guide

I heard Charles L. Howard discuss working on ombuds issues and his book The Organizational Ombudsman during panel presentations at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors and at Stanford University. With all the advantages such offices offer to corporations I was wondering why more corporations haven’t set up programs. At the […]

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Pepper Spray as Meme

At the University of California-Davis, a group of student Occupy Wall Street protesters were pepper sprayed by university police for refusing to vacate the campus quad. Thanks to the widespread availability of phones with cameras, the incident was photographed and recorded by dozens of onlookers. As a result, images and videos of the pepper spraying […]

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Science of Stock Manipulation

Unless current shareowners suffer a penalty for having CEOs who engage in earnings manipulation and insider trading they are likely to encourage such unethical and damaging behavior, finds a study by Ramy Elitzur, since choosing less ethical managers may be in the best interests of current shareholders, but not future ones. Many accountants believed that markets are efficient […]

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1st Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Report

Even thought the SEC’s final regulations for the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program just became effective on August 12, 2011, the agency has already filed its first report on the whistleblower program. During the first seven weeks of the program, the agency received 334 whistleblower tips. The SEC itself cautions that “due to the relatively recent launch of the […]

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The Folly of a $-Centric Universe

Michael Levin argues cites Milton Friedman and Michael Jensen to support an argument that wealth maximization provides investors and executives with apparently the only clear means of setting priorities they really need. McDonalds Corporation should treat cattle and chickens humanely if doing so will sell more sandwiches profitably, not (more…)

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The Church and Occupy London: What Would Jesus Do?

PIRC Alerts November 8 issue carries an article pointing to an increasingly restive Church of England about executive pay and ethics in the City. The Church has struggled to find an appropriate way of responding to the Occupy London demonstrators (holding camp in front of St Paul’s Cathedral). However, this is clearly (more…)

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Video Friday: Why #OccupyWallStreet? 4 Reasons

Since 1979, adjusted for inflation, incomes of the broad middle class (solid blue line labeled “21st to 80th percentiles”) have increased about 40 percent, which comes to a sluggish 1 percent per year. During the same period, the incomes of the richest 1 percent have increased about 280 percent, or 7 percent per year. See […]

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The Governance Ombuds: SVNACD & Stanford's Rock Center

Why are corporate employees unwilling to report serious misconduct? Why are they also frequently unwilling to share good ideas for improving products, services and business processes? Fear of retaliation is most often cited for the failure to report misconduct; a sense of futility for the failure to suggest improvements. All too often, employees have a […]

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Support Grows for Transparency in Corporate Political Spending

A group of 43 House Democrats is urged the SEC to require public companies to disclose their political contributions. The Council of Institutional Investors also sent a comment letter on a petition (File Number 4-637) filed by prominent law professors. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D., N.Y.) and 42 other House colleague argue the high court’s ruling in the […]

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CalPERS Dumps Mtn Top Removal Project

After pouring $200 million into vineyards across California, Oregon and Washington, CalPERS said this week that it is firing the firm that has been its investment partner and land manager. The investment has lost 40 percent of its value and was worth $122 million as of March 31, the latest figures available. The California Public Employees’ […]

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Publix, Google & UPS Top CSR List

Publix Super Markets, an employee-owned supermarket chain, earned the No. 1 spot followed by Google and UPS in the 2011 ranking of the 50 companies with the best corporate citizenship reputations among the U.S. public as compiled by the Center for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute. The CSR Index was developed to understand how companies’ […]

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Higher CSR Linked to Lower Cost of Capital

Firms that score strongly in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) find that their cost of equity capital financing is consistently lower than firms with weaker CSR track records, according to Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect the Cost of Capital?, winner of the 2011 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing. The Center for Responsible Business at […]

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Occupy Wall Street

The NY Transit Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 voted to join the protestors in the financial District of New York City, and so have the Verizon union members. Other unions, including the Teamsters (yes, those Teamsters who once supported Ronald Reagan) have issued public statements of support for Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests… includes video […]

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Anonymous Analytics Examines Corporate Governance

Anonymous is “a decentralized network of individuals focused on promoting access to information, free speech, and transparency. The group has made international headlines by exposing The Church of Scientology, supporting anti-corruption movements in Zimbabwe and India, and providing secure platforms for Iranian citizens to criticize their government.” Anonymous Analytics, a faction of Anonymous has moved […]

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Shareowner Alienation

I stumbled upon an interesting article in the Vol. 52, No. S3, Supplement to the April 2011 edition of Current Anthropology, which gets to the heart of the schizophrenic way we have organized capitalism. While many of us work to make the world a better place, our investments externalize costs and jeopardize everything we hold […]

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Inspiration: Many CEOs Don't Recognize It

CEOs are six times more likely than employees to believe they work in a company where people are inspired. Instead, employees see themselves as coerced (84%) or motivated (12%) by “carrots and sticks,” rather than a commitment to mission and purpose (4%). Are CEOs just deceiving themselves… or employees deceiving their CEOs? How important is […]

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McKenna's Insights into Berkshire Hathaway

Francine McKenna isn’t afraid to take on the big four auditing firms or the rich and powerful. Look for her column, Accounting Watchdog at Forbes.com. The following is an extended excerpt from a recent post, The Berkshire Hathaway Corporate Governance Performance. “Buffett judges the investments he makes ruthlessly, but allows his operating companies to run on autopilot.” […]

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CharlesLevine

When the CEO Really Must Go

It is often said that “the most important function of a board is to hire and fire the CEO.” Yet the experience of many is that boards do a pretty good job on the hiring front and a not-so-good job on the “exit.” An exciting SVNACD session in Palo Alto focused on the pitfalls of […]

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Deadline for Golden Peacock Awards: September 14

If you know of good candidates for the Golden Peacock Awards, instituted by Institute of Directors in 1992, now is the time to get nominations in, since they are due September 14, 2011. Below are the categories: A.      Golden Peacock Global Awards Sustainability Excellence in Corporate Governance B.       Golden Peacock National Awards Climate Security Sustainability […]

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Why Would Anyone Invest in China?

Francine McKenna writes that Deloitte Shanghai refuses to turn over workpapers and documents relevant to the SEC in their investigation of Longtop. “Chinese law prohibits Deloitte China from providing the requested documents directly to a foreign regulator,” said spokesperson Lauren Mistretta. “Deloitte China is caught in the middle of conflicting demands by two government regulators, […]

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