Managing for Organizational Integrity
Ethics is as much an organizational as a personal issue. Managers who fail to provide leadership and institute systems that facilitate ethical conduct share responsibility with those who knowingly benefit from corporate misdeeds. Executives who ignore ethics run the risk of personal and corporate liability. In addition, they deprive their organizations of the benefits available under new federal guidelines that recognize for the first time the organizational and managerial roots of unlawful conduct and base fines partly on the extent to which companies have taken steps to prevent that misconduct. An integrity-based approach to ethics management combines a concern for the law with an emphasis on managerial responsibility for ethical behavior. When integrated into the day-to-day operations of a company, such strategies can help prevent damaging ethical lapses, while tapping into powerful human impulses for moral thought and action.