Ethikos Editor’s Weekly Picks: Business Ethics, AKA Ethics

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Examining ethics and compliance issues in business since 1987


Business ethics, aka ethics

By Charlie Dexter for Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Perhaps the most important word in any language is ethics. Before proceeding further, however, I must confess that this writer is not St. Charles the Perfect.

In fact, I must admit that I recently bought a book by Dr. John Maxwell, “There’s No Such Thing As Business Ethics,” expecting a juicy, scandal-ridden expose on business that would make me feel better about myself. Instead, I was indicted by this great book on successful customer service strategy and prosperous living. Maxwell’s premise is that one cannot separate business, spiritual and personal ethics. Right is right and wrong is wrong with no shades of gray. The 1960s concept of “situational ethics” allows followers of that philosophy to justify any behavior, leading to business leadership scandals the likes of WorldCom, Tyco, Arthur Andersen, Enron, Adelphia, Congress, etc… ad infinitum. Read more

Business schools should stop teaching ethics and start teaching Federal Sentencing Guidelines

By Walter Pavlo for Forbes

The reality is that most ethics training occurs long before students enter business school.  Parents, family, friends, coaches and faith leaders all have a hand in forming the beliefs of our youth.  Noted professor and friend of mine for many years, Prof Jonathan Haidt (NYU Stern), wrote an article on challenges faced by university programs that teach ethics. One of Haidt’s conclusions was that “… one of the central findings of social psychology is that social forces can easily outweigh personal integrity.”  To address that future social force, professors consistently remind students to always make sure that they make good choices now so that they are prepared to also make those good choices in the future.  So here’s an idea to help people remember ….  include a bit of reality by incorporating  The Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG) into the curriculum. Read more

Silicon Valley’s questionable ethics are finally being challenged… by its employees

By K.G Orphanides for Wired UK

Big tech is facing a backlash: from its employees. “Those creating powerful technology have to ensure what they build is used for good, and not for harm,” wrote Microsoft employees in a letter to CEO Satya Nadella this week.

The open letter protested the tech firm’s work for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which has been forcibly separating children from their families and imprisoning them in conditions that have prompted international condemnation. Read more

AI is poised to make a huge impact on healthcare, but what about the ethics?

By Ian Scales for Telecom TV

It’s an idea that might chime with research on healthcare being undertaken by Accenture which has found that the healthcare industry is “aggressively adopting intelligent technologies, such as the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), but that many health organizations need new capabilities to ensure that technology acts with responsibility and transparency as businesses evolve.

“As AI continues to play a greater role in [medical] decision-making, four-fifths (81 percent) of health executives said they are not prepared to face the societal and liability issues that will require them to explain their AI-based actions and decisions. As a result, about three-fourths (73 percent) said they plan to develop internal ethical standards for AI to ensure that their AI systems act responsibly.”  Read more

 

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