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Ethical Dilemma #2: Half-baked Marketing - A Justice vs. Mercy Dilemma.

Posted October 23, 2010

In this second installment of our Ethical Dilemmas Series, Kevin Moss puts forward a Justice vs. Mercy dilemma.  When a colleague crosses the line should you enforce the rules or look with mercy on a transgressor?  As a CRO do you have a special obligation that goes beyond that of the average executive?

Help us test our draft Ethics Code by playing out this scenario in your own mind and giving us your feedback.  Or join us at CRO Summit for a live-fire exercise.  Share how you'd resolve this dilemma and how the Ethics Code helped (or didn't).



CRO Association Board of Governors Takes Shape

Organization's board adds chairman, six practitioners and three influencers in bid to professionalize CR

Since CRO magazine publisher Jay Whitehead announced in October 2008 that the CRO was forming the CRO Association to more rapidly evolve the corporate responsibility professions—sustainability, CSR, GRC and philanthropy—he received over 100 inquiries about serving on the influential group’s 15-member board of governors.  “With economic scandal and loss all around,” said Whitehead, “suddenly, corporate responsibility is sexy.”  



Survey Finds Most Companies Do Not Appraise Employee Ethics

Minority of human resources professionals report existence of company ethics and compliance programs

Less than half of human resources professionals report their companies include ethical conduct as part of employee performance appraisals, a new survey has found.

The study, prepared by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Ethics Resource Center, questioned 513 human resource professionals.


Integrating Circuits and Responsibility

Intel constructs powerful agenda for new initiatives

Despite lofty positions on various best-of corporate responsibility and sustainability rankings, including the No. 1 slot on CRO’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2008 list, chip maker Intel—led in its CR efforts by Dave Stangis, its Director of Corporate Responsibility—believes its efforts are still a work in progress.

These planned improvements come at a time when various antitrust lawsuits against the company and an anti-competition investigation recently launched by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reach critical mass.



Who’s Responsible for Responsibility?

Figure out what you want to do, then the organizational form will follow

Want to understand the recent history of business? Just look at the expansion of the executive suite over the past couple of decades. The 1990s saw the advent of the Chief Information Officer as companies realized that technology had crossed the line from back-office obscurity to strategic priority. Then, in 2002, the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulatory pressures brought a host of Chief Compliance Officers in its wake. We’ve seen Chief Strategy Officers, Chief Accounting Officers and Chief People Officers.

And now, corporate responsibility (CR), sustainability and climate-change concerns have become the latest big issue driving the exploration of new executive roles.



Corporate Responsibility’s Staying Power

CEOs see long-term benefits in a ‘New Deal’

Companies have made their environmental, social and ethical performance a priority over the past decade. Despite a softening economy, three factors guarantee that corporate responsibility is here to stay: A “New Deal” between corporations, governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); Millennials; and globalization.


Omaha Groups Create Ethics Alliance

Conflicts of interest, generational disparity hot topics for university, business initiative

Business and education leaders in Omaha, Neb., launched a community-wide initiative to create what they envision as a “world class center for Superior Business Ethics”—the Greater Omaha Alliance for Business Ethics at Creighton University.


Intel CAO Recalls Tiny Flaw Making Big Waves

Andy Bryant told Spring CRO Conference guests about embracing corporate culture in an era of potential Internet infamy

Being a good corporate citizen can be a combative and transformative endeavor and nearly 300 advocates of the art form gathered at the Spring CRO Conference at the Union League Club in Manhattan March 27 to hear corporate responsibility veterans relay their war stories, advice and battle plans for sustaining the drive. In his morning keynote address, Andy Bryant, Intel’s Chief Administrative Officer, said the chip maker’s goal has been to create a corporate responsibility culture.



Days in the Life of a Whistleblower

Former WorldCom VP Cynthia Cooper spoke at the CRO Spring Conference of ethical choices, loyalty and recovery after company collapse

Cynthia Cooper said she was having her hair done at a salon one morning in 2002 near her home in Mississippi when WorldCom Chief Financial Officer Scott Sullivan called her up and “chastised” her for informing the company’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, about improper accounting entries and transfers for line costs that had no support or foundation. The dressing down from Sullivan was only the beginning of the rough treatment and periods of duress for Cooper, then WorldCom’s Vice President of Internal Audit.


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