Building an Ethical Framework

Thomas R. Krause and Paul J. Voss put forth 10 questions to consider in encouraging an ethical corporate culture.

  1. What is the relationship between ethics and other performance metrics in the company?
  2. Have we, as required by the 2004 federal sentencing guidelines, offered ethics training for all of our employees? Does the training provide more than rote introduction of the company’s code of conduct?
  3. What is the relationship between exercising sound ethics and retaining great talent?
  4. Have we conducted a “risk assessment” to determine our exposure to major ethical damage? What is our potential Enron?
  5. How can we be proactive in the area of ethics, culture and corporate citizenship?
  6. What tone should executive leadership set regarding ethics, integrity and transparency?
  7. What does management need from the board of directors and senior leadership to enhance and buttress corporate ethics?
  8. Who is driving ethics and compliance in the company?
  9. Do we have consistency of message between and among the board, the CEO, the senior executive team and the associates in terms of ethics and culture?
  10. What roadblocks now discourage ethical conversations and the implementation of ethical practices, procedures and protocols?