Toward an Ethical Culture: Characteristics of an Ethical Organization

Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, asked at a recent meeting of the Business and Organizational Ethics Partnership: “What are the signs that a company is getting it right and addressing the most important dimensions of managing ethics in an organization?”

Anne Federwisch put together a summary of the presentation, Toward an Ethical Culture: Characteristics of an Ethical Organization, and a copy of the powerpoint slides.

His best practice elements:

  1. Statement of values
  2. Code of conduct
  3. Example of senior executives
  4. Training and repeated communication of values and standards
  5. Systems which embody the values
  6. Continuous evaluation of behaviors
  7. Effective hotline system
  8. Mechanism for resolving toughest cases
  9. Compliance enforcement system
  10. Periodic renewal process for values and standards
  11. Governance system for ethics and values