Ethics Communications 2

Aside: Leo Strauss & Ethical Communications

Neoconservative philosopher, 1899-1973

¡  From knowledge to the overdrawn notion of intelligence as deception

¡  Proponent of esoteric knowledge: hidden meanings

¡  Confine the discourse of rule & ruling to elites (vanguards fanning populism?)

¡  In order to defend the institutions of liberalism (corporate-based business, capitalism), one had to be cautious, creative, and duplicitous

¡  Secretiveness, hidden agendas, manipulation: good means to “noble” ends...

Edelman 2010

¡  What shapes a trustworthy reputation?

¡  Transparent and honest practices            83%

¡  History of trustworthiness                           83%

¡  High quality products/service                     79%

¡  Frequent communications                           75%

¡  Treats employees well                                  72%

¡  Good corporate citizen                                  64%

Grassroots Campaigns

¡  Spontaneous, self-organizing generation.

¡  Coordinated alliances between individuals and groups.

¡  “Ground-up” structure: hives & swarms?

¡  Boycotts, advocacy, conservation/preservation.

¡  Historically contingent: grievances, illegitimacy, historical


¡  “Fake populism”

¡  Top-down organization

¡  Highly orchestrated campaigns

¡  Attempt to disguise/conceal leadership.

¡  Deceptive at the outset?

¡  E.g. Koch brothers

What is Whistle blowing?

¡  Whistleblowing

§  “[A]llegations made by someone inside the organization” to those who are in the position to take corrective action (Liyanarachchi and Newdick, 2009)

¡  Remember Fleming & Zyglidopoulos: usually occurs when deception is severe and pervasive, not long before crisis or organizational failure

Types of Whistle blowing

¡  A communications process: reporting by one without power to effect change to one with power to effect change. (MacNab and Worthley, 2008)

¡  Internal: reporting within the organization (Ombudsman, hotlines)

¡  External: reporting outside of the organization (law enforcement, the press).

¡  Links have been well established between the lack of a well-managed internal process and the occurrence of external whistleblowing (MacNab and Worthley, 2008)

Whistleblowers: Who & What

From Liyanarachchi & Newdick (2009)

¡  “A complex phenomenon”

¡  Process and timed-based

¡  Moral reasoning abilities

§  Conflicting loyalties: to self, to moral and social obligations, to organization.

¡  Reasons for not blowing the whistle:

§  Effective action will not be taken

§  Report will not be treated confidentially

§  Risk averse; fear of retaliation

Whistle blowing

¡  34.2% of “occupational fraud” detected in 2006 was revealed by whistleblowers

¡  Toll-free “whistleblower hotline” mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley, along with legal protections.

¡  Half of Fortune 500 companies utilize external hotlines: Allegiance, Inc., ReportLine, EthicsLine.

¡  Frequency of episodes increasing

¡  Public support increasing

¡  Awareness of necessity for adequate whistleblowing support within organizations.(Liyanarachchi and Newdick, 2009)

Helping the Whistleblower

¡  Foster culture that promotes the organizational benefits of internal reporting.

§  Workshops

§  Training

§  Demonstrations

¡  Remember: moderators, control systems, codes of ethics

Communicating Ethics

¡  Culture is all: the environment can encourage/discourage whistleblowing

¡  More ethics education needed to foster ethical reasoning.

¡  Work to enable professional awareness (campaigns) of highest ethical standards.

Rewards of High Ethical Corporate Culture

¡  The stronger the ethical culture, the more employees perceive executive compensation as appropriate.

    • Strong culture                   90%
    • Strong-leaning culture   69%
    • Weak-leaning culture     45%
    • Weak culture                     20%
¡  Those reporting strong workplace cultures perceive less need for government oversight and/or regulation.       

    • Strong culture                   30%
    • Strong-leaning culture   42%
    • Weak-leaning culture     43%
    • Weak culture                     51%