Welcome to the freshly updated IBEI website! To our longtime friends as well as newcomers, we wish everyone welcome and hope that you find the site helpful and beneficial in continuing to provide information and in stimulating dialogue on global business ethics issues. We welcome your feedback on features you would like to see, as well as topics and issues you think would be useful for us to examine.
This September, the Institute will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its founding. While the world of business ethics has become busier than ever, it’s unclear whether the field has made much meaningful progress as there continues to be a dearth of real “breakthroughs” or innovations in our industry. A look at conferences, seminars, publications and websites show that we’re still talking about the same things that we were talking about a decade ago. And in some respects, with good reason. We know that codes, training and ethics offices can all contribute dramatically to improving the ethical culture and climate of an organization. But fundamental innovations with the capability to propel us into a new era of ethical business conduct remain elusive.
Globally, there is much reason for optimism. There is more openness and understanding of the important role that business ethics plays in world commerce. And there are many companies and organizations doing an excellent job of maintaining truly global ethics and compliance programs. But many others continue to put out a “one size fits all” ethics and compliance program that is at best ignored, and at worst, derided as cultural imperialism or corporate window dressing.
We wish, however, that we would see the same level of progress in creating speak up cultures; but alas, too many companies are failing to put in the effort to create a “listen up” culture before they launch a “speak up” campaign. We will explore this topic further in next month’s post.
So where does this leave the Institute? Eager to ask probing questions and willing to put difficult issues, even within our industry, squarely on the table. We want to foster innovation by acting as a laboratory for ideas and to contribute to the dialogue about how we can more effectively integrate business ethics into future of commerce and industry worldwide.