Launch of Banknote Ethics Initiative
24 May 2013
The IBE welcomes the launching of the Banknote Ethics Initiative (BnEI). The initiative promotes ethical business practice, with a focus on the prevention of corruption and compliance with anti-trust law within the banknote industry. Members must adhere to a strict Code of Ethical Business Practice.
Each organisation will be expected to perform to a standard developed with the IBE that will be audited against a framework that was developed with GoodCorporation
. GoodCorporation and KMPG are auditors of the BnEI Framework.
Philippa Foster Back OBE, IBE’s Director, is Chair of the BnEI’s Accreditation Council.
Tax avoidance as an ethical issue for business
New IBE Briefing
18 April 2013
This Briefing explores corporate taxation and specifically the issue of tax avoidance as a business ethics issue. It looks at public attitudes to avoidance, concepts of fairness and tax as a social responsibility.
Business Ethics Surveys, 2012
28 February 2013
A new Briefing from the IBE summarises the findings of selected surveys on business ethics issues carried out in the past twelve months, including the IBE/Ipsos MORI Survey on Attitudes of the British Public to Business Ethics, the Edelman Trust Barometer and surveys on anti-bribery compliance, social media, fraud and whistleblowing.
Personal and legal risks to Ethics Representatives need to be understood
New report provides guidance and reassurance to corporate Ethics Representatives around the risks and challenges of their role.
25 January 2013
A new report published by the European Business Ethics Forum prompts corporate Ethics Representatives (ERs), and their employers, to consider the extent to which their evolving responsibilities are likely to pose any increase in personal and legal liability.
It reassures that Ethics Representatives (for example ethics officers, ethics champions, compliance officers, ombudspersons) are unlikely to have specific legal risk attached to them as long as they are diligent in fulfilling their responsibilities, ask the right questions and inform the right people of concerns that arise
To ensure that the often voluntary role remains attractive to employees, the report calls for organisations to fulfill their duty of care to their ethics representatives by helping them to perform their roles effectively and reinforcing the opportunities the role brings. They need to reassure themselves and staff that any personal and legal risks are understood. Evolving Responsibilities & Liabilities of Ethics Representatives: a practical guide,
co-written by the IBE, draws upon the experience of practitioners and legals advisers to explain what can be done to support employees and mitigate concerns.
IBE and Institute of Recruiters launch 'Ethics Champion' training initiative
09 January 2013
The IBE has launched a joint initiative with the Institute of Recruiters (IOR) to raise ethical awareness and practice within the staffing sector.
The joint IBE and IOR initiative takes the form of an online ethics training and awareness course. All recruiters and HR professionals of all levels are encouraged to access the training and demonstrate their understanding of business ethics and commitment to high professional standards. Those completing the training will be awarded an ‘Ethics Champion’ certificate endorsed by both the IOR and IBE.
Philippa Foster Back OBE, IBE Director, says: "Doing business ethically is now more important than ever before. Those who work in human resources are at the frontline when it comes to dealing with ethical issues – this course will help identify ethical dilemmas and provide the tools to resolve them. Developing ethical acumen is not only an essential personal skill; it is also a vital business skill. Businesses want to work with consultants who not only invest in their professional development, but also take ethics seriously."
Read the press release in full here
Inspectorate UK awarded the Investing in Integrity Charter Mark
08 January 2013
Investing in Integrity (IiI) is proud to announce that the UK Metals and Minerals business of Inspectorate (part of Bureau Veritas Commodities Division) has achieved accreditation under the IiI Charter Mark.
The IiI Charter Mark was founded in 2012 by IBE and CISI, with the intention of providing reassurance that an accredited organisation has regard for ethical matters and that they ‘practice what they preach’. It is available to business units, as well as whole organisations.
Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director, IBE said: "Inspectorate has worked hard to gain Investing in Integrity accreditation. It is especially challenging as they are part of a larger organisation, but they have demonstrated that they understand how doing business ethically enhances a company’s trustworthiness and reputation.”
IBE Research Director Receives Award
Simon Webley selected as a runner-up for Times/Sternberg Active Life Award
31 December 2012
The Research Director of the IBE, Simon Webley, has been selected as a runner-up for the 2013 Times/Sternberg Active Life Award for "working to create high standards of business behaviour based on ethical values”.The Times/Sternberg Active Life Award
celebrates the achievements of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to society since turning 70.
"It is a great honour to be nominated as runner-up to this distinguished award. What drives me is the conviction that responsible business behaviour wherever it is conducted, is essential for economic prosperity. I benefit greatly from working with a highly competent and happy team and have a wonderfully supportive family”, said Simon.
Simon Webley has been Research Director of the IBE since 1998, having previously been a consultant to the IBE since its foundation in 1986. You can read more about Simon and the full press release here
Majority of workers feel they work for an honest organisation
Results of IBE 2012 Ethics at Work Surveys
06 December 2012
What do employees think about ethical standards in their place of work?
How much support do they get to ‘do the right thing’?
Do different employee groups - employees and managers/supervisors, public and private sector - have different attitudes to ethical practice in the workplace?
In 2012 the IBE surveyed full-time staff and managers in Britain and for the first time, full and part-time employees in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The research demonstrates that a strong ethical culture has a positive effect on employee attitudes and perceptions of behaviour. The majority of British (84%) and continental European (77%) employees say that honesty is practiced "Always/Frequently" in their organisation’s daily practices. In addition, the majority of British and continental European employees perceive their organisation as having an ‘ethical culture’ in place.
Read the Executive Summary
for the Employee Views of Ethics at Work: 2012 British Survey
Read the Executive Summary
for Employee Views of Ethics at Work: 2012 Continental Europe Survey
Both surveys are available for download or to order here >>
The Ethics of Gifts and Hospitality
New IBE Briefing
27 November 2012
The giving and accepting of gifts and hospitality has an important role in facilitating business relationships and practice.
When giving or accepting gifts and hospitality, organisations and their employees need to bear in mind:
This Briefing considers some of the ethical issues around the giving and accepting of corporate gifts and hospitality and outlines good practice.
Results of Annual Survey into Attitudes of British Public to Business Ethics
15 November 2012
The results of an annual survey conducted for the Institute of Business Ethics on the attitudes of the British public to business ethics are published in a new briefing. The survey found:
A substantial decline in the proportion of the public saying that British business generally behaves ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ ethically (from 58% in 2011 to 48% in 2012).
More people think that executive pay needs to be addressed in corporate behaviour than any other issue – a third select it among their top three priority issues (34%).
Philippa Foster Back, Director of the IBE commented: "This year’s results should act as another wake-up call to business that action needs to be taken in order to restore trust with the British public. Executive pay continues to trouble the British public - while the country tightens its belt, extravagant bonuses and rewards for failure tarnish business’s reputation. Scandals such as LIBOR have meant that the ethics of business has yet again become an issue of direct concern to the general public.”
The Briefing can be downloaded for free
The full results are available here >>
New Good Practice Guide
Developing and Using Business Ethics Scenarios
08 November 2012
New IBE research has found that nearly 40% of UK employees do not report receiving any training on standards of ethical conduct. Yet, training is an essential element of a corporate ethics programme. Businesses that train their staff to understand and implement codes of ethics have also been found over the long term to outperform financially
those that do not.
Scenario-based training is a means to sensitise staff to the ethical dilemmas they may face in their day-to-day work and gives them the confidence to deal with those dilemmas in a manner which is consistent with the organisation’s ethical values.
The IBE’s new Good Practice Guide offers practical assistance to businesses and other organisations on developing, using and facilitating dilemma scenarios with their employees. It contains over 15 sample scenarios, as well as case studies from companies such as AWE, Best Buy, Raytheon, RWE npower, Serco and Stryker on how they are used.
This Guide will be of value to ethics practitioners and managers looking to enhance the ethical competence and capability of their team, and those with a responsibility for corporate communications, learning and development.
New IBE Briefing
Anti Bribery and Corruption Standards and Frameworks
31 October 2012
This new IBE Briefing provides a useful overview of standards and guidelines which have been drawn up to combat bribery and corruption in business, including their implementation requirements.
Bribery and corruption are major obstacles to socio-economic development and distort national and international economic relations. In recognition of this, nation states and international bodies have drawn up regulatory frameworks to help fight corrupt practices.
Businesses increasingly recognise the benefits of a ‘zero tolerance’ position on bribery and corruption. Among other things, it reduces uncertainty for employees when under pressure to pay or accept a bribe and helps to create a more stable business environment with positive reputational effects in the long term. The negative impact of bribery on corporate financial performance and reputation has been well documented.
This Briefing is free to download here >>
IBE appoints Head of Development
Harriet Kemp, former Head of Corporate Responsibility at Belron® joins the team
08 October 2012
We are delighted to announce that Harriet Kemp is to join the IBE in the new role of Head of Development on 8th October 2012.
The IBE has expanded its team to include a Head of Development. This is in response to the increased demand for its practical advice and its experience in helping organisations strengthen their ethics culture and build relationships of trust with their principal stakeholders.
"This is an important new appointment for the IBE as it expands its subscriber base and level of international activity. The Head of Development will bea varied role, from providing advice to subscriber companies on aspects of ethics policies and programmes to running training courses, contributing to our research programmes and publications, business ethics advocacy as well as assisting in IBE’s development,” says Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director of the IBE. "Harriet knows the IBE as a subscriber from her time as Belron’s Head of Corporate Responsibility and her practical experience of ethical business practice ‘at the coal face’ will be a great asset to the team.”
Commenting on her appointment, Harriet Kemp said "I am delighted to be joining the IBE at this time in its growth and development. I have greatly valued their approach and expertise in the past and I am looking forward to being part of delivering this going forward.”
Click here to view the press release in full
ENICO and IBE join forces
30 August 2012
The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) is delighted to announce that the European Network of Integrity & Compliance Officers (ENICO) is to be integrated into the IBE.
ENICO and IBE share similar values and approach to applied business ethics. ENICO was established by like-minded Continental European-based Ethics & Compliance Officers in 2009 with a focus on leadership, balanced reward systems and principles-based decision-making and standards based on a "best practice sharing” model. This is similar to IBE’s own charitable aim of ‘raising awareness and sharing best practice’.
Philippa Foster Back OBE, IBE's Director said, "The IBE welcomes this integration. This will offer more opportunities for companies headquartered in mainland Europe to participate in IBE’s activities and the Institute will benefit from their input into our work at all levels.”
Dan Ostergaard, Chairman of ENICO said, "Societal expectations towards ethical business conduct have increased significantly. However, the financial crisis highlighted the need to better address the root causes of behaviour to prevent ethical breakdowns and drive sustainable performance. IBE is a well-respected institution, and with our shared mission and complimentary experience, we will have much greater reach and influence on the development of this important subject".
For further information see the following links:
The Ethical Challenges for Business in China
New IBE Occasional Paper
24 July 2012
A new Occasional Paper by the IBE reviews the business ethics climate within China and explores the operating environment for business and considers the cultural characteristics which underpin this. It also looks at current business ethics and corporate responsibility trends and identifies the key ethical challenges facing businesses seeking to operate with high ethical standards in the Chinese market might encounter.
Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director of the IBE says: "Whilst China is still developing a robust corporate governance framework and universal rule of law, the pace of change in China is fast and the scale of their ambition in areas such as corporate governance, sustainability and anti-corruption is growing. This Paper will assist companies operating there to keep up with these developments when considering the efficacy of their ethics programmes.”
Business Ethics and Human Rights
New IBE Briefing
12 July 2012
A new IBE Briefing explores the link between business ethics and human rights with a brief overview of the current business and human rights landscape.
Trends such as globalisation and the increasing presence of multinational corporations, pressures from NGOs, and reputation risk management, has meant there are increasing expectations of business in respecting human rights.
The Briefing explores how companies are responding to this and the mechanisms they are using to express commitment and avoid human rights violations.
This Briefing is free to download here >>
Prize Winners announced for Coubertin Olympic Awards 2012
Student Essay Competition: Ethics, Business & Sport
25 June 2012
The International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (CIPC) and the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) are pleased to announce the winners of the Coubertin Olympic Awards for 2012 which are supported by London 2012 sponsors EDF, BP and Eurostar.
Shane Kerr, Carla Silva and Paul Bretherton, of Loughborough University School of Sport Exercise and Health Sciences formed the team which took First Prize with their essay "Make them count! Corporate Social Responsibility as an expression of the Olympic and Paralympic Values"
. Their essay illustrated the confluence between Olympism, Paralympism, modern business and society, using examples of private sector CSR schemes at the Games.
This year there were two runners up:
Frederick Hayes and Jana Buhl from London Metropolitan University for their paper: "The influence of commercial partnerships on the Olympic Spirit – a critical analysis of the IOCs actions"
Michael Hislop and Brett Richmond from Exeter University for their paper: "They'll make you an offer you can't refuse: the perpetual link between corruption in sport, organised crime and the Olympic ideal"
The winners and runners up were presented with their certificates at an awards ceremony on 25th June at the Purcell Room in the South Bank Centre in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the awards.
Now in their third and final year, the awards aim to promote research on how the Olympic ideals of fairness, integrity and openness can help businesses balance commercial success with their social responsibilities. The competition rewards essays written by UK University and business school students, working in teams, each year in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Read the full press release here>>
New Good Practice Guide: Globalising a Business Ethics Programme
17 May 2012
How cultural differences can be a challenge to consistent ethical standards
Corporate ethics programmes can be ineffective on a global scale if they are perceived locally as irrelevant or inappropriate. This Good Practice Guide helps organisations achieve consistent standards of business practice by recognising the cultural attitudes and practical issues they will face when communicating their ethical values to a global workforce.
Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director of the IBE, welcomed the publication. "Many companies launch their ethics programmes from the head office without proper adaptation to international locations where the company does business. This Guide will help them review their programme so that it has relevance wherever they operate and actually makes a difference to business practice."
Globalising a Business Ethics Programme provides practical advice on:
Organising an ethics function to best deliver all the elements of a global ethics programme
Developing organisation-wide values and disseminating standards and guidance in a way that takes account of the varied cultures in which a business operates
Assessing whether existing ethics programmes are effective and culturally appropriate
Designing training which is culturally relevant in terms of content and delivery
Click here to view the Introduction and press release. To order a copy click here >>
40% of FTSE250 companies do not offer training in ethics
IBE launches translations of its first e-Learning training tool as affordable alternative
10 May 2012
"What is business ethics and why is doing the right thing important?”
IBE research in Does Business Ethics Pay – Revisited
showed that businesses that train their staff to understand and implement codes of ethics, financially outperform those that do not by a significant margin. But in spite of this, results of the IBE’s triennial survey
into how companies use their codes of ethics show a staggering 40% of those who responded do not offer training in the use of their code of ethics to all staff.
Offering training in how to solve ethical dilemmas can help support staff to ‘do the right thing’. E-learning can offer a simple but effective way to introduce the topic and start internal discussions about ethical issues. Due to subscriber demand, the IBE e-learning tool - Understanding Business Ethics – has now been translated into French, German and Spanish. Click here to see a short demo >>
New IBE Briefing
Code Certification Statements
27 April 2012
Many companies require employees and/or management to sign a statement certifying that they have, at a minimum, received and read their code of ethics. This Briefing explores how companies use such certification statements as a part of their ethics programme, using the results of an IBE survey. It examines the uses and drivers for certification statements as well as providing examples of companies’ certification statements.
This Briefing is free to download here >>
IMI Group becomes first company to be awarded the Investing in Integrity Charter Mark
03 April 2012
IMI plc, the FTSE 100 engineering company, has become the first to gain the Investing in Integrity (IiI) Charter Mark across its global business.
Investing in Integrity is a new accreditation system which demonstrates an organisation has in place ethical policies, procedures and practices that are embedded with its employees.
To gain accreditation IMI plc carried out a comprehensive on-line self- assessment of their ethical policies, procedures and practices; once this was completed, they underwent an independent assessment, carried out by Investing in Integrity partner, GoodCorporation. This is a requirement of full accreditation and involved site visits, staff interviews, an employee survey and reviews of documentation.
Jo Morgan, IMI’s Chief Compliance Officer commented on the process: "It was a very comprehensive exercise and gaining such a standard required extensive input and assessment throughout the organisation. It allowed us to strategically evaluate and reflect on our current architecture and benchmark ourselves against the Investing in Integrity principles. It enabled us to showcase our commitment to the accreditation and to understand the importance of gaining independent accreditation for the values and standards we have implemented through the IMI Way."
Martin Lamb, Chief Executive of IMI Group said: "Doing business the right way, the IMI way, is at the heart of everything we do and we have welcomed the Investing in Integrity initiative as an independent way of checking that we are living up to the high ethical standards we set ourselves right across our global organisation. "
Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director, Institute of Business Ethics said: "IMI have worked hard to gain Investing in Integrity accreditation. They understand that doing business ethically enhances a company’s trustworthiness and reputation, and by extension, increases its value and sustainability."
Simon Culhane CISI CEO said: "We hope IMI Group’s achievement will assure other firms across sectors of the benefits of the Investing in IntegrityCharter Mark to both their staff, their stakeholders and their bottom line."
Read the full press release here >>
Investing in Integrity Chartermark launched
15 March 2012
New Charter Mark scheme invites business from all sectors to undertake external assessment in the name of integrity and ethics – launched Thursday 15th March
Organisations are being invited to join a new accreditation system which shows that their businesses have in place appropriate ethical policies, procedures and practices demonstrating a commitment to act with integrity at all times.
Investing in Integrity
(IiI) is a new initiative jointly developed by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment
(CISI), two leading non-profit bodies who promote high standards of ethics and integrity in business and finance.
Balfour Beatty and IMI Group are the first companies to submit to the process. Ian Tyler, Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty said: "Increasingly organisations that are determined to conduct business ethically are seeking ways of demonstrating that commitment to customers and other stakeholders and gaining better assurance that their partners and suppliers share that commitment. This is true of both public and private sector organisations, which are increasingly aware of the legal and reputational damage that third parties can cause them, if they do not operate to the same ethical standards. We believe that Investing in Integrity, backed by the IBE’s reputation in business ethics, can perform a valuable role in helping Balfour Beatty and other like-minded organisations to provide evidence of their commitment to act with integrity."
Martin Lamb, Chief Executive of IMI Group said: "Doing business the right way, the IMI way, is at the heart of everything we do and we have welcomed the Investing in Integrity initiative as an independent way of checking that we are living up to the high ethical standards we set ourselves right across our global organisation."
Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director, Institute of Business Ethics said: "Companies which aim high in everything they do, know the benefits of working ethically. The IBE is asked how an organisation can demonstrate that their code of ethics, policies and procedures are embedded with their employees. With the development of Investing in Integrity, they can do this."
Simon Culhane Chartered FCSI, CISI CEO said: "The public has a distrustful attitude towards business and financial services and Investing in Integrity accreditation is intended to provide reassurance to the public that your business does have regard for matters which are important to your customers and the public, and that firms "practice what they preach".
The full press release can be viewed here >>
New IBE Briefing: Concerns and Ethical Lapses 2010 and 2011
06 March 2012
This new IBE Briefing
provides an overview of major ethical concerns and lapses, as recorded in the IBE’s weekly media monitoring in 2010 and 2011.
Finance (includes insurance companies) received by far the most news coverage (295 news stories). This is consistent with previous years. Retail was the next most reported on sector in the media, closely followed by the technology (includes IT companies) and extractive (oil, gas, metal and mining) sectors. The tobacco, chemicals, construction and property sectors were least mentioned in the news.
The most commonly reported on ethical issue was bribery, corruption and fraud, followed by executive remuneration, corporate governance and fair competition. News items reporting on whistleblowing/speaking up, lobbying/donations, discrimination, and human rights were less common.
Download the IBE Briefing for free here: Concerns and Ethical Lapses, 2010 and 2011
Restoring Business Trust: the stories beyond the headlines – new IBE report
The Recovery of Trust: case studies of organisational failures and trust repair
14 February 2012
Real case studies of how trust has been lost, and regained, for six international organisations.
A new report by the IBE explores how organisations have dealt with crises of trust and the processes they have undergone to rebuild their reputations internally and externally.
The Recovery of Trust: case studies of organisational failures and trust repair takes a frank and open look at how the responses of six organisations to a variety of incidents impacted on their trustworthiness. Taken from interviews with those involved and media reports at the time, this publication shares insights into the process of organisational trust repair and asserts the case for a commitment to ethical business practice.
The six organisations included in the report are:
- Siemens: Accused of systemic bribery in 2006, the German engineering giant has overhauled its structures, leadership, processes and culture.
- Mattel: Faced with a series of toy recalls in 2007, the firm’s exemplary response has drawn widespread praise, and minimised reputation damage.
- Toyota: By contrast, Toyota’s initial response to its own product recall crisis in 2009-10 was widely criticised. However, its subsequent programme of thorough reforms has attempted to recover its lost reputation.
- BAE Systems: Beset with persistent allegations of corruption and bribery in arms deals, the company has undergone a major programme of cultural, structural and procedural transformation in pursuit of a more ethical reputation.
- The BBC: The Corporation’s phone-in scandals in 2007-08 led to a comprehensive review of its operations, and a series of innovative reforms, but implementation has not been easy, or necessarily welcome.
Severn Trent: Found guilty of distorting performance data for the industry regulator Ofwat and fined a total of £38m, Severn Trent had, within two years, been voted Utility of the Year by its peers, in part due to its innovative and impressive recovery efforts.
Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director of the IBE says: "Organisations need to know how trust is won, developed and sustained, and what to do when that trust is threatened or has broken down. Trustworthiness can be nurtured to support an organisation’s resilience and aspirations for an ethical corporate culture, contributing to a powerful business case for paying attention to trust."
To download the Paper for FREE click here>>
To order a hardcopy of the Paper click here>>
New IBE Briefing
Surveys on Business Ethics, 2011
06 February 2012
A new Briefing from the IBE summarises the findings of selected surveys on business ethics issues carried out in 2011, including the IBE/Ipsos MORI survey on Attitudes of the British Public to Business Ethics, the Edelman Trust Barometer, the ILM Index of Leadership and Trust and surveys on whistleblowing, fraud and antibribery and corruption.
Download the Briefing for free here >>
New standard for anti-bribery systems
22 December 2011
IBE has assisted BSI in the development of its new standard to help organisations demonstrate that they have robust anti-bribery policies, practices and systems in place
An anti-bribery policy is an essential component of an organisation’s business ethics. This ethical commitment helps an organisation to avoid potentially corrupt business and the high cost and reputational damage which can result from involvement in corruption and to enhance its corporate reputation.BS 10500 - Specification for an anti-bribery management system
responds to a growing requirement and interest in an anti-bribery standard. Interest in the UK has increased in particular as a result of the UK Bribery Act 2010 which came into force in July 2011 and introduces a new offence of "failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery”.
NEW Briefing: The Ethical Challenges of Social Media
12 December 2011
This Briefing aims to raise awareness of the ethical challenges social media presents for companies and considers good practice in providing guidance for employees on its use, whether for business or personal use.
The ethical challenges for business in the next 25 years
Institute of Business Ethics celebrates 25th Anniversary with predictions from 25 thought leaders
05 December 2011
Since the IBE's founding in 1986, the business world and the application of business ethics have changed beyond recognition.
As part of the Institute of Business Ethics 25th Anniversary celebrations, the IBE asked 25 thought leaders on what the next 25 years may have in store. What will the challenges be and how can these be met?
Taken from the world of business, academia, politics and strategic thinking, from the UK, US and Europe, their opinions are many and varied.
From the rise of social media, to the importance of emerging economies, the shifting roles of business and government and the erosion of privacy are just some of the challenges they identify. Others include climate change, an aging population, corporate citizenship and staff parenting skills.
A recurring theme is that of trust in business and the importance of ethical values in all aspects of business.
The booklet can be downloaded here >>
IBE celebrates 25th Anniversary at Mansion House breakfast
Sir Robert Worcester calls for business to communicate remuneration policies clearly in order to build trust
04 December 2011
At a breakfast meeting held at the Mansion House on Monday 5th December to celebrate the IBE’s 25th Anniversary, Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL, President of the Institute of Business Ethics, called for businesses to take more notice of the public’s perception of them. "While the results of the IBE’s annual survey of public perception of business may not be as bad as some fear, there is still a disconnect between what business leaders think is important and what public attitudes to business."
Each year the IBE asks Ipsos MORI to survey the British public as to their attitudes to business and whether they believe business behaves ethically. In 2011, 58% of the public said they believe business behaves ethically; this is an 11 percentage point increase from when the survey was first run in 2003 (47%). However, the public were also asked which issues they think need to be addressed by business; the most common answer was that executive pay should be addressed (36%). In contrast, a survey conducted by IBE of FTSE250 companies revealed different issues emerging as priorities, albeit from a somewhat different list of options. "Executive pay” was not measured specifically, but business remuneration policies were only the 11th most important issue, far below issues such as bribery and corruption, discrimination and whistle-blowing (all of which were around 80%).
Sir Robert also called upon the City to communicate remuneration policies clearly in order to build trust. "The success of our economy depends on attracting and retaining talented people to lead our companies. But they need to be valued for more than their pay packet. And the time for rewards for failure is past."
Sir Robert will also say that business schools could do more to embed ethical values within their business graduates. "Our future business leaders are today attracted to a company not solely for the golden handshake, but also for its ethical culture."
To download the full press release, including details of the survey click here >>
To download the survey results click here>>
New article published
How to repair employee trust: the lessons from Severn Trent
22 November 2011
Graham Dietz and Nicole Gillespie, authors of the IBE publication, Building and Restoring Organisational Trust, show how one company faced a behavioural and ethical crisis, and recovered in this article published by Ethical Corporation
To buy a copy of Building and Restoring Organisatonal Trust
please visit here >>>
Call for business education to integrate ethics into its core curriculum
07 November 2011
Only 20% of HR professionals believe that MBA candidates are adequately knowledgeable about business ethics
The Institute of Business Ethics welcomes a consultation document published by the Institute for Global Ethics calling for universities to integrate business ethics into the MBA curriculum.
An IBE survey of Human Resource professionals across 40 large UK companies found that 80% felt business ethics should be taught as a compulsory module. The majority of business studies courses have ethics as an elective module, if it is taught at all.
All respondents believed that ethical sensitivity was an important criterion in selecting employees, assessed through behavioural/competency-based interviews with dilemma cameos or reference made to the company’s values. Furthermore, when asked whether MBA candidates were deemed to be adequately knowledgeable about business ethics, only 20% said ’yes’ with the remainder saying ‘somewhat’.'Promoting Cultures of Integrity: Six ethical issues for business education'
, presents key thoughts from an ongoing consultation exercise on embedding business ethics into business education.
To read the full press release, click here >>
IBE Occasional Paper - Doing Business in South Africa: An overview of ethical aspects
22 September 2011
This Paper explores the operating environment for business in South Africa and considers the cultural characteristics which underpin this.
Some of the issues the Paper identifies as a priority for doing business in South Africa include:
- Combating bribery, corruption and fraud by supporting staff to speak up about their concerns
Understanding how the legacy of Apartheid has shaped the business environment and expectations of corporate social investment
Ensuring that ethical values underpin board level decision making and behaviours as prescribed by The King Reports on Corporate Governance
Managing high levels of conflicts of interest
Achieving a diverse workforce through the policy of ‘Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment’
The duty of care for employees with HIV/AIDS.
This Occasional Paper will be useful to companies operating in or considering entering the South African market and to individuals doing business there.
To download the Paper for FREE click here>>
To read the press release click here>>
NEW IBE Briefing - Business Ethics and Board Diversity
01 September 2011
Following Lord Davies' recommendation in early 2011 that company boards need to have greater female representation, this Briefing examines some business ethics issues and the challenges of achieving a diverse board.
The Briefing presents:
- The relationship between business ethics and board diversity
- The current global context of board diversity
- The case for board diversity
- How to achieve a diverse board
- Good practice examples
To download the Briefing for FREE click here>>
Coubertin Olympic Student Essay Awards 2011
18 July 2011
The Awards Ceremony for the 2011 Coubertin Olympic Awards Student Essay Competition took place at Cass Business School on Tuesday, 12 July.
Brenda Atuona, University of Kent and Luke Harris, Canterbury Christ Church University formed the team which took First Prize with their essay "The effects of corruption in sports on the Olympic Ideals and Sponsorship programmes."
Mark Panton, Liz Ellen, Peter Clarke and Jon Saunders from Birkbeck Sports Management Business Centre were the runners up with their essay "To what extent does the decision to hand over the ownership of the Olympic Stadium after the Games to West Ham United FC meet with the Olympic ideals?"
Further details of the event, which included a discussion chaired by Roger Mosey, BBC Director, London 2012, can be found here>>
The winning essays are available to download from the Coubertin Awards website here
Launch of Principles for Anti-Corruption Programme for Extractives Industry and Energy Sector
04 July 2011
The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) is pleased to welcome the publication of Principles for an Anti-Corruption Programme under the UK Bribery Act 2010 for the Energy and Extractives Sector.
The Principles have been developed by a group of leading energy and mining companies and draw on their considerable experience of managing potential bribery and corruption. They represent a sharing of best practice and are intended to provide assistance to organisations operating in these areas on the key issues to consider as they seek to prevent bribery in their organisations.
The IBE provided assistance in the development of the Principles.
The key Principles are based on those that the contributor companies employ in their own businesses. It is anticipated that the Principles will be used as a helpful reference to assist organisations to develop or enhance their own policies and procedures.
The Principles may also be of benefit to companies in other sectors who are considering policies and procedures to help prevent bribery in their own organisations.
The contributors are grateful to the Serious Fraud Office for the opportunity to discuss the Principles. Commenting on the publication, Richard Alderman, the Director of the SFO said:
"It is very clear from reading this guidance that the companies in this sector are committed to full compliance with the Bribery Act and that they are living up to the high ethical standards that society expects from them. I am delighted therefore to welcome this readily accessible guidance. It is an excellent example of good practice and is a model of what is needed."
A copy of the Principles can be viewed here
New Report: Building and Restoring Internal Trust
30 June 2011
BP, The BBC, Severn Trent, Siemens, Goldman Sachs, Mattel Toys – just some of the organisations that have faced crises in recent years which damaged their reputation, affected their share prices, and threatened their sustainability.
Building and Restoring Organisational Trust - a new report from the Institute of Business Ethics, published on 30th June - draws on the experiences of these organisations and more to provide an understanding of the importance of internal trust, how to encourage it and how to rebuild it following a crisis.
Building and Restoring Organisational Trust by Graham Dietz & Nicole Gillespie ISBN 978-0-9562183-8-4 Price £25.00
Good Practice Guide - Ethics in Decision-making
09 June 2011
Encouraging ethical decision-making can help protect companies from financial and reputational risk
Faced with the pressures of business – demands to succeed, to ‘make the numbers’, to deliver on time, to follow the boss’s orders – it is often too easy to make decisions without considering the ethical implications. High profile business scandals have shown that organisations’ failure to instil the habit of ethical awareness and reasoning across all decision-making can lead to significant reputational and financial hits.
This new Good Practice Guide from the Institute of Business Ethics draws on the experience of UK and international companies, as well as psychological and behavioural research, to provide practical assistance on how to encourage and embed ethical values and commitments across all decision-making.
Ethics in decision making is about maximising the conditions that best support any decision in an organisation, so that it has the desired outcome with respect to its ethical commitments.
It will be useful for organisations looking for ways to instil the habit of ethical awareness and reasoning across all their decision-making.
New publication - Corporate Ethics Policies and Programmes
IBE Triennial Survey on Companies Ethics Programmes
26 May 2011
The IBE surveys UK companies every three years on the use of their codes of ethics. In 2010, six out of ten UK companies provide training in business ethics for all their staff. This is a drop in 10% from 2007, when training was provided by seven out of ten UK companies.
"Although we are living in a time of austerity, cutting back on ethics training is a short-sighted thing for companies to do,” says Simon Webley, Research Director of the IBE and author of the report. "Many say that this financial turmoil is the result of lack of integrity – we need to learn from that. In these straitened times, it is even more important that maintaining corporate values and ethics remains top of the agenda.”
For the first time, the survey also included companies listed on the stock exchanges of Spain, Italy, France and Germany. An interesting finding was that references to the corporate code of ethics in the recruitment process are more likely to be made by continental European-based companies - (Spain (60%); Italy (60%); France (57%); Germany (50%) - than those in the UK (38%).
"These results are indicative of the way corporate leadership in continental Europe is embedding ethical values in their organisations,” says Simon Webley. "Talking about ethics right at the start of an employee’s time with the organisation sends the message that ‘doing the right thing’ is taken seriously.”
IBE in New Zealand
IFA launches business ethics course for financial advisors
09 May 2011
It was announced in New Zealand's National Business Review that The Institute of Financial Advisers (IFA) is to launch the first business
ethics course specifically aimed at the financial advisory profession later
The two courses will be run in connection with their forthcoming road shows
in Wellington and Auckland. The two-hour course has been developed by the Institute of
Business Ethics (IBE) in London and is tailored
for the New Zealand
To see the article click here>>
NEW IBE Briefing Business Ethics in the Sports Sector
A new IBE Briefing that addresses the main business ethics issues in the sports sector
27 March 2011This Briefing examines some business ethics issues affecting the sports sector. The sector is a multi-billion pound global industry that comprises a variety of professional sports practice and sports businesses such as merchandise retailers, suppliers of kit and equipment, gambling, professional sports clubs and governing bodies for sports.
The issues explored are:
- The supply chain
- Bribery and corruption
- Pay differentials
- Sponsorship and marketing
- Social impact
- Health and wellbeing of players
The Briefing also provides examples and guidance on good practice.
To download the Briefing for FREE click here>>
New Publication - Religious Practices in the Workplace
A new report issued by the Institute of Business Ethics urges employers to take religious practices of staff seriously
06 March 2011
A new report issued by the Institute of Business Ethics urges employers to take religious practices of staff seriously
In an IBE Occasional Paper issued on 7th March, Simon Webley, IBE Research Director, calls for organisations to be sensitive to employees' beliefs and make provision for them. "Employees do not leave their religious beliefs at the entrance to their place of work: it is integral to their lives. A positive approach to these matters not only deters adverse publicity and exposure to legal cases, it also enhance harmonious relations at work - a condition necessary for enhancing productivity.”
This IBE Occasional Paper explores situations where religious beliefs and practices impact the day-to-day operations of organisations and reviews the ethical issues which can arise. It describes how religious sensibilities are being accommodated by employers and includes a short guide to good practice.
The topic has relevance for those involved with corporate governance, risk management and human resource management as well as those responsible for business ethics standards in their organisations.
Research Director to be interviewed on BBC Radio 4
04 March 2011
Tune in to BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 6th March to hear the IBE's Research Director, Simon Webley, interviewed live on the Sunday programme
focussing on Religion and Ethics.
The interview begins at 7.15 am.
The interview will discuss the forthcoming IBE Occasional Paper, 'Religious Practices in the Workplace'. The paper will be available to download for free on Sunday after the Radio Programme.
Live Webcast - When does gift giving or corporate hospitality become bribery?
17 February 2011
Philippa Foster Back will take part in a live webcast on Thursday, 10th March at 15:30 GMT. This webcast is being hosted by SAI Global and is in assocation with IBE, Norton Rose and EADS
The implications of the UK Bribery Act for the area of corporate gifts, hospitality and entertainment are set to be significant, and the potential pitfalls substantial, and yet it is one area surrounded by vagueness. Some businesses will argue that due to the pitfalls involved it is even more important for organisations to create and communicate clear policies on gifts, hospitality and entertainment, leaving no doubt in employees minds as to how they should behave. Others will argue that this is extremely challenging and highly subjective when you have to take into consideration local traditions and cultural differences.
Topics to be discussed by the panel will include:
Gift giving and receiving – the cultural challenges
Hospitality and Entertainment - Where do organisations draw the line? How do you determine what's excessive and what's reasonable?
Practical steps companies can take to ensure they don't fall foul of the UK Bribery Act with regards to gifts, hospitality and entertainment
Other panellists will be:
Sam Eastwood, Partner, Norton Rose LLP
Pedro Montoya, Group Chief Compliance Officer, EADS
The session will last approximately 30 minutes plus Q&A
To take part register here
Philippa Foster Back featured in New Zealand Management magazine
16 February 2011
The IBE and Philippa Foster Back are featured in a 2-page article by Peter Jessup in February's edition of New Zealand Management, with the message to New Zealand businesses that "Business ethics is common sense". In an interview which focusses on the increased scrutiny New Zealand finance companies have come under, she reinforces the message that "business ethics pays".
To see the full article follow this link
IBE Briefing - Surveys on Business Ethics, 2010
31 January 2011
This Briefing outlines the findings of surveys conducted and published in 2010 on business ethics issues . This includes surveys by Ernst & Young; the Edelman Trust Barometer; Kroll; PwC; and KPMG, conducted on global, regional and national scales.
Business ethics topics covered are:
To view earlier IBE Briefings and download a copy of the Briefing on Surveys in 2010 for free click here>>
IBE's Research Director in Generation magazine
05 January 2011
An article by Simon Webley, the IBE's Research Director has been published in the 2010 Autumn/Winter edition of Generation Magazine. The article explores how ethics in family-run businesses can provide a competitive advantage.
To download the article for free click here>>
IBE comments on best practice case studies
20 December 2010
Every year, Ethical Performance publishes a set of case studies on businesses which are examples of best practice in business ethics.
The IBE team reviews these case studies and provides insightful comments on each company. Key 'points of interest' are also highlighted.
This year's publication includes case studies on:
To view the case studies and IBE comments, and to request a free copy of the publication click here>>
IBE Briefing- Attitudes of the British Public to Business Ethics, 2010
17 December 2010
This Briefing on Attitudes of the British Public to Business Ethics outlines the findings from the 2010 survey by Ipsos MORI. The Briefing highlights the key results, with some brief discussion. The findings from this years survey show a dramatic change in public attitudes towards ethics in business.
The Briefing addresses:
Which issues the public believe need most addressing by businesses
Public attitudes towards ethics in business over time
Differences in attitudes between social groups
To download a free copy of the Briefing, please click here>>
IBE to work with IFA New Zealand
01 December 2010
The IBE has entered into a partnership with the Institute of Financial Advisers in New Zealand, to provide ethics training to the financial services sector in New Zealand.
Peter Lee, IFA New Zealand Chief Executive, says New Zealand's financial markets will be strengthened if financial advisers and professionals in the broader financial services sector abide by internationally researched best practice standards in business ethics.
Philippa Foster Back, IBE Director has said "Doing business ethically is an integral part of establishing trusting relationships and an effective business culture, and I am delighted that the Institute of Business Ethics will be able to contribute towards a stronger appreciation of professional ethics in the New Zealand finance sector by working with the IFA,"
To read a pdf of the full press release please click here
IBE Briefing - Ethical Due Diligence in Recruitment
26 November 2010This Briefing on Ethical Due Diligence in Recruitment provides practical guidance on how to recruit individuals which 'fit' with your organisation's ethical culture and values.
The Briefing covers issues such as:
For more information and to download a free copy of the Briefing, go to our Publications page.
- Ethics profiling
- Pre-screening of applicants
- The use of ethical dilemmas in interviews
- Identifying applicants' knowledge, experience and sensitivity of ethics and ethical value
Sir Robert Worcester - Evening Standard Interview
17 November 2010
IBE President, Sir Robert Worcester, was interviewed by the Evening Standard. The article appeared on 17 November 2010 and full text is available here
Latest Good Practice Guide - Ethics Ambassadors
28 October 2010
Ethics ambassadors are employees selected to formally assist in embedding ethical values into corporate culture and promoting ethical behaviour.
A new Good Practice Guide from the Institute of Business Ethics draws on the experience of UK and international companies. It sets out the case for using ethics ambassadors and the significant role they play in promoting an ethical culture.
This publication will provide practical assistance to companies on:
selection and recruitment
the training and support of ethics ambassadors
ways to create and motivate a network of ethics ambassadors
evaluating their efficacy.
For more information see the full press release or go to our publications page
New President of the IBE
01 July 2010
The IBE is delighted to announce that Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL, Founder of MORI and Chancellor of the University of Kent, has agreed to become President of the Institute of Business Ethics. He succeeds Sir Peter Walters, now Non-executive Director of Nomura International, formerly Chairman of BP, who has served as IBE President since 1994.
for the full press release.
New Publication - Marketing Responsibly: Addressing the Ethical Challenges
17 November 2009
This new report explains why a discipline of ethics and
responsibility is essential for the marketing function of any company.
It offers practical guidance to help marketers understand and steer
clear of crossing professional, corporate and societal ethical lines.
Click here for more information >>
IBE Student Essay Awards in Business Ethics
01 September 2009
IBE/CIMA Survey shows ethics high on the business agenda, but there is a lack of practical impact
Eighty-four per cent of
finance professionals believe that business has a moral obligation to
help address global issues, according to a global survey released by the
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the IBE. The full
report can be downloaded here http://www.cimaglobal.com/ethics
IBE becomes a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code
The IBE is please to become
an approved signatory to the Prompt Payment Code. The Code has been
divised by the government in conjunction with The Institute of Credit
Management (ICM) and aims to tackle the crucial issue of late payment to
suppliers. Click here for more information >>