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Chapter 6 (values based moral leadership) and this class offer us an opportunity to reflect on the basic tenets behind this country, beyond our system of commerce, finance, education, international relations, and healthcare; and to ponder where our nation may be headed.

During the mid-term campaigns, the national television media called attention to “Fact Checkers” and “Truth Squads” (and a variety o other titles) with the level of scrutiny intense. Whether this morphed into “fake news” would be an interesting research topic. Keeping in a business mode, you’ve read (or at least read about) Sarbanes-Oxley—the idea being that a piece of federal legislation can address corporate accounting moral obligations and solve ethical ills. You’ve also read Lennick & Kiel’s book, Moral Intelligence, which hopefully most found useful reading. So, what next?

Some pundits believe that political and corporate corruption is the result of greed and any attempt to legislate “corporate morality” will be defeated. Others add that corruption is systemic, starting with the top but communicated throughout the organization from the board room to the factory floor to the sales force to suppliers and other stakeholders. The idea being that corruption starts with small things done “on the slide” and spreads to larger issues—corporate banality, if you will, in that lower level employees perceive those above them as beingsomewhat corrupt and begin to emulate that perceived behavior (values), with such behavior becoming “acceptable” over time.

Collectively, our class represents a broad array of work experiences, professional interests, and employment environments. You can substitute “factory floor” and “sales force” for whatever fits your environment.

Question 1 – Based on your readings, and coupled with your experience, what causes those ethical problems popularly classified as ‘corporate corruption’?

Question 2 – How would you address such in your own environment (which may remain nameless) if and when you have the power to do so?

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