corporate ethics

corporate ethics


Volkswagen Cheated Simply to Make More Money

Volkswagen February 14th, 2018

I learned about Volkswagen’s cheating on diesel emissions a year or two ago. It wasn’t until now that I watched a wonderful documentary on the debacle, Alex Gibney’s expose featured on the Netflix series, Dirty Money. It was outlandishly bad corporate behavior. In this drama, however, the State and Federal authorities were the good guys. Here is my take on it, and a few quotations to channel my feelings about it.

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Corporations, Law & Democracy

corporations December 3rd, 2017

There is a lot of talk these days about “corporate citizenship” and “socially responsible business.” Some people think that is great — no more unnecessary polluting, propping up totalitarian regimes, and globehopping for the cheapest labor. It seems pretty clear that corporate citizenship is still pretty much a joke because of financial irregularities, bribes of politicians, abuse of people, ruination of the environment, etc. Those who make decisions that favor the shareholders and flout positive values are people who don’t have an internalized sense of ethics or honor. They are getting away with murder, often literally. Randy Hayes says: “Politicians and corporate ‘leaders’ have merged, reducing our political system to a ‘democracy theme park.’ This leaves us with the Republican side and the Democratic side of the ‘Big Business Party.’” I discuss these kinds of ideas with the man who knows what the deal is, Richard L. Grossman, in this blog.

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Business Ethics: Doing the Right Thing (V&E-16)

business ethics November 17th, 2017

The goal today is to discuss business ethics, corporations, companies, non-profits, workplaces, and industry: what best practices are, which ethical principles are relevant, what can go wrong, what ought to happen, how corporations fit into the scheme of corporate social responsibility, how business ethics relates to sustainability, the “triple bottom line,” and the like. Ronald F. Duska, Ph.D. is my first partner in dialogue. He served as a past president and executive director of the Society of Business Ethics, and has published many books on this topic. Currently, he is an adjunct professor in the graduate business schools of St. Joseph’s and Villanova Universities. My second guest is Michael Boylan, Ph.D., the John J. McDonnell, Jr. Chair in Ethics as well as the philosophy department chair at Marymount University. In addition to books entitled Natural Rights and The Origins of Ancient Greek Science, he put one out last year named A Just Society – his manifesto on ethics and social-political philosophy.

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“Money Values” vs. “Life Values” (V&E-8)

money values October 22nd, 2017

The following piece, “‘Money Values’ vs. ‘Life Values'” is chapter 8 in the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom (itself based on an Internet-based talk radio show of the same name I did in times past).  My educated and humane partner in dialogue is noted author and thought leader, Kevin Danaher, Ph.D. His words are indicated by the initials K.D., and mine are J.M. For paragraphs with no initials, assume they are a continuation of the speaker who was speaking in the previous paragraph. I highlight words having to do with values and virtues by placing them in boldface type. Enjoy this look at “money values” vs. “life values,” based on Kevin’s characterization of two ways of organizing our economic system.

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Corporations as Persons – An Oxymoron?

corporations are now ubiquitous April 12th, 2017

Corporations were originally a commonsensical way to pool money and reduce risk for business ventures. It can take credit for quite a few industrial, trade, and capitalistic advancements. However, this Frankenstein has come to dominate the planet. Something is very, very wrong. The United States may be the worst example of this devolution. The nature of the modern corporation “as a person” is dubious, alarming, and harmful. How it came to be and the nature of the transmutation is fascinating, if not disturbing. To investigate this intriguing phenomenon and to discuss values and ethics in this Frankenstein of an institution, Jason and guest Jenni Prisk (of the organization Voices of Women), speak with Richard Grossman, the Co-director of the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD). He is co-author of Taking Care of Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation. He offers his wisdom by lecturing widely on issues of corporate power, law, and democracy. It’s a no-holds-barred look at what is wrong with capitalism in America.

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Corporate Social Responsibility

April 12th, 2017

What is corporate social responsibility? It’s an intriguing question, with myriad nuances, guidelines, principles, outcomes, and benefits. Jason was pleased to hear from the noted British expert on doing the right thing, and incorporating values in business, Mallen Baker. Mallen is very experienced in matters of corporate social responsibility and is able to offer many words

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The Ethical Business in the Era of Globalization

April 12th, 2017

Ethical concerns for business pop up in the newspaper almost daily. Businesses have always been challenging and rich with opportunities to do the right (or wrong) thing, but with the advent of corporations and globalization, it has only gotten more intense. With sourcing, production, marketing, human relations, and so on, there are countless decisions that could

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Values in Business

April 10th, 2017

For the fifth show Jason has done on business values and ethics, we all have our personal values, but of course, values are inherent in the business world. Do we cheat or tell the truth? Do we compete fairly or in an unscrupulous manner? How do we treat the employees (or, do we steal time

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Socially-Responsible Investing/Business

April 10th, 2017

What is the proper role of business? How can one who is making investments through the stock market invest wisely and responsibly, while instilling their values and ethics? What does it mean for an act to be “socially-responsible?” Why should one bother to worry about these concerns when making money or turning a profit are

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Exploring “Social Entrepreneurship”

April 10th, 2017

What is “social entrepreneurship?” How can it help to transform the top-heavy and callous corporation? How does the concept of worker-owned business make it possible to bring about a sea-change in our conservative and bourgeois free enterprise system? What difference will changes along these lines make? Can we bring more ethics and values into our

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