Institute for Enterprise Ethics
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By SuperUser Account on 7/11/2014 12:49 PM
Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics
Enterprise Ethics | University of Denver | GM Headquarters
Why did the problem of a faulty ignition switch languish in some small local backwater of the GM bureaucracy for over a decade? Well, there appear to be several reasons:
  • Some GM executives didn’t think it was a “safety problem” only an inconvenience (which apparently is OK).
  • Some thought it would cost too much to fix it (90 cents) and not produce a sufficient “ROI”
  • Some worried that the fix might delay other product introductions
  • Others thought there were not yet enough customer complaints
  • Some thought the issue was merely a “customer satisfaction” issue and presumably, therefore, not worth dealing with
  • At least one engineer said he did not want to raise such issues because his predecessor lost his job for doing so.
  • The problem existed in a low end model that carried very little margin and very little GM brand equity.
By SuperUser Account on 6/25/2014 12:47 PM
By Dan Sweeney
Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England | Enterprise EthicsMr. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England made this statement in a speech before the Inclusive Capitalism Conference in London on May 27, 2014. More completely, he said: “For markets to sustain their legitimacy, they need not only to be effective but also to be fair. And nowhere is that more acute than in financial markets.” (To view the speech click here: Carney. Pay particular attention to the timeframe 6:15 to 10:30).

By SuperUser Account on 6/23/2014 3:20 PM
By Dan Sweeney
Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Time Cook, CEO AppleYes, indeed, according to the reporting of Matt Richtel and Brian X. Chen in the Sunday, June 15, 2014 article in the New York Times, at a shareholders meeting in February Tim Cook responded to an investor’s query whether Apple should avoid embracing environmental causes that lack a clear profit motive with just that moralistic retort: “We do things because they’re right and just…. If you want me to make decisions that have a clear ROI, then you should get out of the stock, just to be plain and simple.”
By SuperUser Account on 6/3/2014 3:14 PM
Seawell and Gibbons | Institute for Enterprise EthicsTwo different perspectives on accountability arrived on my screen recently, from two good friends, great colleagues and very keen thinkers. One perspective used accountability as a prime dimension of leadership, arguing becoming an effective leader requires accepting accountability for results well beyond one’s own level of comfort. The other perspective dealt with the proposition that corporations could be held morally accountable not because they have a soul, but because they have a culture and that culture should drive ethical behavior. It seems to me these two perspectives are very complementary.
By SuperUser Account on 3/7/2014 11:02 AM
By Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Enterprise Ethics | SAC Insider TradingOn Thursday, February 6, Mr. Mathew Martoma was found guilty on insider trading charges by a jury that spent only 15 hours in deliberation (Click here). The supposedly confidential information he was able to acquire from a doctor responsible for overseeing the trial of experimental drugs for treating Alzheimer’s enabled Mr. Martoma to advise his boss, Mr. Steven A. Cohen, founder and CEO of the hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors to score a profit of some $275M from both long and short trading before and after the otherwise secret information became public.
By SuperUser Account on 3/7/2014 10:53 AM

By Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute of Enterprise Ethics

Enterprise Ethics | New CEO for MicrosoftMicrosoft’s new CEO, its third in 30 years, comes to the job with two very important tailwinds and two very strong headwinds.

First, let’s deal with the headwinds. Mr. Nadella was clearly not a candidate developed through a long term and thorough executive succession program. He did not emerge via a careful and thorough succession development process and therefore was not being groomed for several years as the likely next CEO. He was not under the close evaluative scrutiny of the board’s nomination committee and the company’s senior HR executive to assure that he was receiving all the right experience, training and counsel to succeed as Microsoft’s next CEO. He was, obviously a compromise candidate plucked from within the bowels of the organization with less than unanimous support from the full board. This is a tough way to start a new CEO career.

By SuperUser Account on 1/15/2014 4:13 PM

John Holcomb
Professor, Business Ethics & Legal Studies

Dan Sweeney
Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Top 5 Board Questions in 2014The opening of a new year always suggests new opportunities, challenges and priorities. Daniels’ Professor John Holcomb and Institute Director Dan Sweeney have developed a short list of five top priorities for Boards of Directors for the coming year.
By SuperUser Account on 11/11/2013 2:25 PM
By Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Insstitute for Enterprise EthicsAccording to the Wall Street Journal of November 5, :Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay a total of $2.2 billion and plead guilty to a misdemeanor in a deal that would settle U.S. Department of Justice investigations into the marketing of antipsychotic  Risperdol and other drugs”. This follows a decade or more of other mishaps and gaffs by various J&J divisions in the manufacture, distribution and marketing of drugs. Attorney General Eric Holder is quoted as saying of the most recent case:  “J&J displayed a reckless indifference to the safety of the American people.”
By SuperUser Account on 11/7/2013 9:15 AM
Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Institute for Enterprise EthicsOn November 4, The Wall Street Journal published an article by Francesco Guerrera in his Current Account column under the title “Why Market Rigging Deserves Our Attention”.
The article focuses on “The probes into the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and the separate, and less advanced, foreign-exchange investigation (which) are looking into what could be widespread, coordinated attempts to manipulate two key cogs in the global financial machine: the interest rate used in more than$300 trillion in derivatives and loans and the 5.3 trillion-a-day currencies market, respectively.
By SuperUser Account on 8/23/2013 6:22 AM
By Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics

A Brief Code of Enterprise EthicsMost corporate codes of ethics are long tomes of regulations, policies and declarations of “thou shalt not’s”. They are rule books rather than statements of principles. Principles are important because many circumstances in which the right behavior is not clear require some guidelines or guardrails for the application of good judgment. Here are six basic principles that can establish a solid foundation for such judgment and for the remainder of a corporate ethics policy manual.

 
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