Institute for Enterprise Ethics
LinkedIn YouTube Facebook The Discussion - IEE Blog
Institute for Enterprise Ethics The Discussion
Elevate Ethics | The State of Ethical Leadershipin American Business

Ethically Speaking

In this edition of Ethically Speaking Bill Heck and Institute for Enterprise Ethics, Director, Dan Sweeney discuss "Board Governance for Long-Term Performance." Topics include: Activist investors, balancing short-term goals and long-term strategy, and keeping ethics in the forefront.

Click here to listen.


Are You in the "Clawback" Club?

Wall Street Executives | Institute for Enterprise Ethics

On April 21, 2016 Federal Regulators released long awaited new rules for how big banks and other financial institutions can compensate their executives.  The effect of these new rules are to expand the percentage of compensation and the length of time incentive packages are to be deferred and to expand the number and types of employees covered by the rules if it is found "an executive's actions hurt the institution or if a firm has to restate financial result."

The problem with these new rules is that they apply only to individual executives or traders, not to the teams and groups and departments where these decisions are most often made. The idea that such decisions are the purview of autonomous individual actors is anachronistic. If one trader in a group, by his or her independent action causes an institution to be hurt, the  entire group and their bosses should feel the clawback pain.

Not only was there likely some collusion or cultural support from the group, but also because, if the entire group is held responsible some very valuable peer pressure would discourage any individual actor to take any "rogue" actions. Regulators should recognize that business organizations are composed not only of economic actors, but are held together by very strong social networks which can exert more influence on behavior that the authority of individual people.

Sweeney Interviewed by Channel 7

Sweeney Interviewed by Channel 7 | Volkswagen Emissions Scandal.

On April 21, 2016 the news media reported on Volkswagen's settlement with the U.S. Government. The company agreed to buy-back or repair nearly 500,000 customer vehicles, with an estimated cost of $7 billion.

The vehicles covered by the settlement were fitted with software in the Engine Management System (EMS) that circumvented emissions testing, allowing the cars to meet testing requirements, while polluting at far greater levels than reported to consumers and allowable under Federal Law.

To gain insight into this multifaceted issue, and get a local comment, both Channel 7 and Channel 9 interviewed Dan Sweeney, Director of the Institute for Enterprise Ethics on camera.

To view a synopsis of the story on Channel 7's website, click here.


What's New

“Commerce should have a conscience."

Warren Buffet | Conscience

“Commerce should have a conscience. Profit should have a purpose.”

This headline is from the home page of i(x) Investments, a permanently capitalized operating company modeled after co-founder Howard Warren Buffet’s grandfather’s company Berkshire Hathaway, but devoted to finding early stage and undervalued investment opportunities that bring about positive social change and address some of the world’s greatest human needs.

Click here to read more.

What is CSR Business Strategy?

Institute for Enterprise Ethics | David Chandler

Professor David Chandler, Associate Professor at Colorado University at Denver was interviewed recently on this topic by Marc de Sousa-Shields who runs the CSR consultancy, ES Global Consulting for the blog The Sustainable Century.

Dr. Chandler will lead a roundtable discussion for the Institute on March 10, 2016 on “The Sustainability of an Economically Unbalanced Society” on. This podcast will give you an idea of what to expect in March.

Institutional Vs. Individual Ethics

Institutional Vs. Individual Ethics

The typical perception of power and unethical behavior is the powerful person forcing his or her wishes on the powerless minions against their will. Recent research by Professor Jessica Kennedy of Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate school of Management and reported in Strategy+Business suggests that it may in fact be just the opposite.

Her research and the research of others have found that high ranking individuals tend to identify more strongly with the group and are therefore more likely to go along with the group’s recommendation even if that recommendation suggest actions that are unethical. It may not be “tone at the top” but “tone at the middle” that actually carries the day.

Are Corporate Boards Doing Their Job?

John Holcomb | Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Corporate boards are supposed to monitor and not manage.  That adage raises several important questions including considering the scope and seriousness of legal and ethical violations, often generating massive scandals, how well are corporate boards fulfilling their monitoring function?

Professor John Holcomb of the Daniels College of Business offers some important perspectives on this question in the soon to be published paper Corporate Governance: Ethics and Legal Compliance, Risk Management, and Political Activities. In the process, Professor Holcomb takes on a number of other current challenges for corporate boards.

 Click here to read Professor Holcomb’s paper.

What? FIFA has an Ethics Committee?

Institute for Enterprise Ethics | FIFA

Who woulda thought?  And what have they been doing for the past couple of decades? Nevertheless, the New York Times reports that this committee has been hard at work imposing new sanctions on Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, FIFA’s President and head of soccer’s European confederation respectively. 

Strategic Partners

NetImpact's mission is tNetImpact | University of Denvero cultivate a community of Daniel's College of Business students and professionals dedicated to using business as a platform for creating positive social, environmental, and financial impact.

Strategic Partners

National Association of Corporate Directors | Colorado Chapter

The vision of the National Association of Corporate Directors is to develop the best educated directors with a focus on skills, ethics and leadership.  Their mission is to provide real learning and quality networking for directors and board engaged “C” suite officers and to be the voice for the director.


About the Institute

The Institute for Enterprise Ethics was established at the Daniel's College of Business as the vehicle to extend the College’s expertise and resources in business ethics to the practitioner community of executives, officers and directors of commercial and social enterprises in the region.

To learn more about the Institute, click here.

Institute Sponsors:


Program Sponsors:


Deloitte Consulting
Friends & Family Support IEE
© Copyright 2011 - 2016 University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. All Rights Reserved.
Rock Solid Design