Ethics in the boardroom: An antidote to crisis?
Times of corporate crisis can be disastrous for companies of all sizes and industries, with regulatory pressure and public opinion against the organizations potentially weakening them for years to come. It’s worth asking what role ethics in the boardroom play in keeping their respective companies out of these trying scenarios.
Board Agenda suggested that when directors exhibit ethical and values-based leadership, they’re setting the tone for their organizations, and thus lessening the chance of a PR disaster rearing its head. (Dec. 13, Harned)
Misconduct that arises among the ranks of supervisors and lower-level employees may be inspired by directors who seem to be tacitly endorsing or supporting ruthless or otherwise immoral methods and practices.
The board members must take it upon themselves to both openly discuss the need for ethical behavior and practice that approach themselves. When leaders say they support efforts to run companies by the book, but don’t visibly adopt that stance, it sends mixed messages.
Transparency and communication are key in creating a more ethical, open corporate environment. When the board is highly visible to employees, and makes it clear that people reporting wrongdoing will be listened to instead of retaliated against, the organization can settle into a productive and ethical operational style.
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