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By SuperUser Account on 6/5/2015 3:19 PM
By Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Institute for Enterprise Ethics \ Big PharmaOn Monday, June I, the Wall Street Journal ran two items decrying big pharma’s manufacturing and pricing practices that are denying many cancer patients of their needed medicines. Manufacturing and pricing are two very basic functions of any production business and should have been mastered in the companies’ infancies.  However, both France’s Sanofi SA and U.S.-based Merck & Co., the only two manufacturers of BCG, a lifesaving cancer treatment, have been unable to keep the product in adequate supply for over two years. It is irresponsible for the only two producers of a potentially life-saving drug cannot manage their manufacturing processes in a manner to keep adequate supplies available. 
By SuperUser Account on 6/5/2015 3:01 PM
By Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics

The Institute for Enterprise Ethics | UBER Hiring PracticesWhat is with these new-age high-tech operations, playing at business with absolutely no professional dignity, much less decorum? Within the past week, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported on two example of high-tech companies being accused of pilfering key employees and all of their intellectual capital from competitors and presumed business partners.
By SuperUser Account on 5/22/2015 12:57 PM
By Dan Sweeney
Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Enterprise Ethics | Can Banker's (Be Made To) Behave?William D. Cohan, author of House Cards and Money and Power and contributor to many major periodicals on topics of finance and Wall Street wrote a powerful piece in the May 2015 edition of The Atlantic magazine addressing just this question – “Can bankers Behave?” His answer appears to be yes, but it’s not likely. Cohan asks if “Wall Street’s deepest flaws (might) be cultural, promulgated over generations by leaders who have chosen to reward those who cut corners, stab colleagues in the back and engage in otherwise unethical behavior?"
By SuperUser Account on 1/7/2015 3:13 PM

By Dan Sweeney, Director
Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Institute for Enterprise Ethics | SONY DecisionThe Sony Corporation has been heavily criticized for their original decision to cancel the release of their film The Interview in the face of 9/11 type threats from North Korea. Much of this criticism was on the premise that in so doing, Sony was bowing to a terrorist foreign power and subjugating US citizens’ right to free speech.    

My opinion is that Sony was right to cancel the theatre release for one very important, but little mentioned reason: If Sony had not canceled the release they would have put the lives of thousands of United States citizens at risk. Inviting customers into a transaction that, for all the company knew, could cost them their lives just to stand up to a freakish bully and defend their freedom of speech regarding a totally silly message and medium would for sure be an irresponsible act and possibly an immoral decision. Well done, Sony.

By SuperUser Account on 12/11/2014 11:19 AM
By Dan Sweeney
Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Institute for Enterprise Ethics | How Wall Street Bent SteelOn Sunday, December 7, the New York Times ran a lengthy article with the above mentioned title detailing how an activist investor forced a publicly traded but family dominated steel company to split up into two public companies and put an entire city at risk. The board said they had no choice because “If the number is big enough the board is going to have to look at it and say ‘Ugh, OK….’ We are a publicly traded company.”
By SuperUser Account on 10/16/2014 9:24 AM
By Dan Sweeney
Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics

Introduction

Federal ReserveOn May 8, 2014, the Institute for Enterprise Ethics hosted a Governance and Leadership roundtable discussion entitled “How to Think About the Ethics of Executive Compensation”. The discussion was moderated by John Balkcom, independent director and former executive compensation consultant and Lisa Victoravich, associate professor in the School of Accountancy at the Daniels College of Business. During the discussion, a participant raised the issue of wealth disparity and how it related to executive compensation. Given the importance of the subject matter and the strong interest displayed by the participants regarding that specific issue, the Institute decided to host a more focused roundtable discussion follow-up discussion on the topic of Executive Compensation and Wealth Disparity.

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.
 
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