Tuesday, November 22, 2005
U.S. corporations: Scared ethical?
Thirty years ago, law enforcement came up with the approach documented in the film "Scared Straight" — using tough-talking prison inmates to frighten juveniles out of their lawless behavior.
Today, corporate America is using the same approach to teach ethics. The tough guys this time are corporate executives who've served prison time for accounting fraud, stock manipulation and other such crimes and who now lecture their fellow executives and business students on the dangers of ethical misbehavior. Their message: You're going to get caught and humiliated, and even if you don't, you'll have trouble sleeping at night.
Two things seem to be driving Scared Straight II: Public concern that the unethical behavior that has been in the news at least since the Enron scandals must be the result of inadequate ethical training, in colleges and elsewhere; and the recent Sarbanes-Oxley legislation that puts corporate executives at risk for the unethical behavior of their employees — unless they can show that they provided ethical training for them.
posted by Brian Moran @ 8:00 AM