Tagged: Ethics

Business Ethics, Values and Personal Ethics (Part I of IV)

This week I am examining in a four-part series the issue of business ethics in an attempt to provide practical approaches to business ethics to help build and promote a company’s culture. As more attention is paid to the importance of an ethical culture, I wanted to first offer some general observations. The field of business ethics is thick with definitions, moral arguments and theoretical...

Ethics, Temptation and Money

A corporate entity is like its own community – it has a culture, a set of values and principles that form the foundation for the company’s operations, and an overall purpose. The interesting factor that has to be identified, assessed and addressed is that a corporate entity has to be profitable, or in other words, it has to make money. We often hear that a...

The Perfect Compliance Combo: Culture and Controls

Compliance practitioners divide their commentary and insights into two general categories – ethical culture and compliance controls. It is easy to divide compliance issues into these two categories. Ethical culture articles are a little less concrete; compliance controls are practical and focused on policies and procedures. A compliance program cannot be deemed effective, however, unless there is a combination of these two important functions. An...

When Business Supersedes Compliance – A Recipe for Disaster

When looking through the wreckage of a major corporate compliance disaster, it is relatively easy to spot the important events when business needs (or money) are consciously elevated over compliance concerns or even reputational risks. It is easy to spot the circumstance, and with perfect hindsight announce to everyone (assuming someone is listening) that you would not have followed that course of action. In the...

Defining Business Ethics

One of the more frustrating topics for discussion is defining business ethics. It is frustrating to see how complex and unhelpful the discussion turns when defining business ethics. I have two tests for how to deal with this issue. Do you use simple terms that can be easily communicated internally in a company? Do the terms embrace the kind of values important to the company?...

The Person (Idea) of the Year – Corporate Ethics and Culture

Each year I have identified the so-called “person” of the year to capture the most significant enforcement and compliance trend. In the past, I have given the award to the Chief Compliance Officer, the Ethics Officer, the Prosecutors, and others. This year is not an easy choice. In my view, there have been three significant events or trends, each of which could easily be named...

Counterfeit Goods: Third Party Due Diligence Beyond the FCPA

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting about third-party due diligence.  Lauren’s profile is here, and she can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Most discussions of third party due diligence begin with an explanation of indirect liability and the “deliberate ignorance” standard of knowledge the FCPA imposes. With so much focus on anti-bribery it is easy to lose...

Organizational Justice: The Importance of Transparency

You know a company’s culture is suffering when you hear the CEO or senior executives say the best way to develop a “Speak Up” culture is to just tell all the employees “we want to hear from you.” I am an advocate for simplicity but sometimes simplicity can slip into stupidity. A “Speak Up” culture requires a commitment to a number of important principles and...

Due Diligence and Beyond — Balancing Competing Priorities

DOJ’s compliance counsel, Hui Chen, pronounced this year as the compliance year of third party due diligence. This has been a good year for compliance, but I would not characterize this year as limited to third party due diligence. I am not sure why Ms. Chen focused on third party due diligence but frankly there have been a number of significant developments in compliance, including...