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The IBE Blog

Views my own - ethics and social media

Culture Club: Katherine Bradshaw, Head of Communications


In the same way as I was told as a child that watching too much television would give me square eyes, the prevalence of social media has led it to be demonised in the press as an example of all that is wrong with society.  

Hiding behind a screen has seen an alarming exposure of the nastier side of the internet, as keyboard warriors and trolls seem to scream all the louder in social media’s echo chamber. Yet despite new stories of sinister algorithms and our data being used for nefarious or political ends, we seem as addicted as ever to using technology to share and connect with one another. 

Business ethics starts where the law ends, and no more so than when it comes to social media. As a relatively new technology, there is little case law, and so we must rely on our ethical values to guide us.


Ethics and values are at the heart of a sustainable culture

Professor David Grayson CBE


I am delighted to take on the chairmanship of IBE. Ethics and values are at the heart of creating a sustainable culture.


I have been involved in debates about, and the practice of, business and society, and the responsibilities of business, for almost all my adult life. I have never seen this as just about mitigating risks by minimising negative Social, Environmental and Economic (SEE) impacts; but also about creating opportunities through optimising positive SEE impacts. 

This is both doing the right thing, and also about creating the best possibilities for continuing into the indefinite future: true Corporate Sustainability.

Bringing your ethics training to life

Culture Club:  Roz Spinks, Head of Advisory Services


One element of advisory work IBE is often asked for support with is the development of engaging training materials to help embed messages about values and encourage conversations about ethical issues for specific subjects and audiences.


It has long been established that the best way to communicate and explore messages about values and behaviour is with the use of stories. Stories define who we are, what we do, and why and how we do it and that’s what makes up our culture – whether that’s in our work place, our family, or our group of friends.  

Using scenarios to develop ethical sensitivity gives employees an opportunity to practice understanding other perspectives, analysing a situation and seeing a way forward in line with ethical values in the safety of a hypothetical situation. 

So what makes a good scenario? 

Changing attitudes to business - why millennials matter

Research Hub Blog:  Linn Byberg, Researcher


Millennials have been a recurring theme in recent surveys on business ethics issues and they continue to have an impact on the business ethics agenda.


Millennials show the most positive change in opinion about business behaviour, with nearly 7 in 10 millennials now considering British business to be behaving ethically. This is a dramatic change from last year, when over-55s were more likely to feel this way and only half of millennials agreed. 

What were the 'hot' ethical issues of 2018?

Research Hub Blog: Simon Webley, Research Director


Now here is a surprise! The UK public’s trust in business has jumped and is at its highest level since 2003.


2003 was the first year the IBE Research Hub published the UK survey of public opinion of business behaviour. In 2018, 62% of the UK public said they think business behaves ethically. It was 52% in 2017.

Stop Press - trust in business on the rise

Directors' Blog: Philippa Foster Back CBE


Although this is the season to be merry, opening a newspaper or your newsfeed, you would be forgiven for feeling pretty gloomy – constitutional crisis in the UK, riots in Paris and Sir David Attenborough’s warning that time is running out unless we do something about climate change, to name a few.


But at the Institute of Business Ethics, we have some cautious good news. Public trust in British business is at its highest level in 15 years.

Making the Financial Reporting Council fit for purpose

Directors' Blog: Peter Montagnon


Sir John Kingman will by now be putting the final touches to his report on the future of the Financial Reporting Council. 


Whatever he decides, some change seems inevitable for an organisation whose role encompasses both standard setting and enforcement. Insofar as these roles are combined, he might do well to consider whether the governance approach that seems best for one is also best for the other. The answer could point to the extent to which there is a real need for change.

Trust is the currency of ethics

Emmanuel Lulin, Senior Vice-President and Chief Ethics Officer, L’ORÉAL

 
Ahead of the launch of IBE’s Ethics at Work: 2018 survey of Employees: France, Katherine Bradshaw caught up with Emmanuel Lulin, Senior Vice-President and Chief Ethics Officer at L’ORÉAL, silver supporters of the Ethics at Work survey.

Every day is Ethics Day

Directors' Blog: Philippa Foster Back


This week sees the celebration of both World Values Day and Global Ethics Day.


But to us here at the IBE, every day is ethics day.

Of course, we support awareness raising days in principle. It is great to see organisations focusing on ethical values and talking about what’s important to them and the way they do business. You can see how some of IBE’s supporters interpret what ethical business means to them on our website.

How do you interview for ethics?

Research Hub Blog: Linn Byberg

 

An organisation's hiring process is a potential employee's first encounter with its ethical values, so it makes sense that the conduct of employees during the interview phase should be awarded due care.

 
An interview is a two-way process, as much about the candidate seeing if the organisation is right for them, as for the interviewer to assess the potential employee.

Making Section 172 come alive

Directors' Blog: Peter Montagnon


Section 172 of the UK Companies Act 2006 has become a kind of code-word for corporate culture.


Mention it in a discussion on corporate governance and learned heads will nod wisely as if all we have to do is get Section 172 right and everything will then be fine.

In a few brief sentences, this piece of legislation manages to capture just about every relationship a company needs to interact smoothly with the society on which it depends for its social licence to operate. Yet this also depends on getting the balance right, and here the authorities seem to be missing a trick.

Values are like fingerprints

Tim Langton: Centrica


"Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do.”


"This Elvis quote exemplifies why the Ethics at Work survey is so interesting for us at Centrica from a corporate perspective,” says Tim Langton Group Ethics & Compliance Officer at Centrica, IBE subscribers and silver supporters of the survey. "So it really struck a chord when Jo Morgan, who heads Ethics and Compliance at Rolls Royce, used it at the launch of IBE’s Ethics at Work survey.

"Elvis was right – everyone looks at ethics differently and ethics at work doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to everybody. That’s why we’re looking at the results of the survey to create a dialogue about what ethics at work means for us as employees and as an organisation.”

Research Hub Blog - How are Aviva encouraging an open culture?

A key finding in this year’s Ethics at Work survey is that, of the third of European employees who have been aware of misconduct at work during the past year, just over half of them (54%) spoke up.


So how do you encourage an open culture? One where employees can have the confidence to speak up about issues, and trust that they will be listened to and their concerns acted upon without fear of repercussions?

IBE subscribers, Aviva, silver supporters of the Ethics at Work survey, are examining ways to encourage greater trust in their Speak Up and investigations process.

Ethics Lens on ... Behaviour

Forget the idea that human beings are perfectly rational if you want to make your ethics programme effective.

IBE Blogs


Ethics and values are at the heart of a sustainable culture

Professor David Grayson, IBE's new chair, shares his thoughts on ethics and sustainability

Culture Club: Bringing your ethics training to life

Rozlyn Spinks shares some tips on what makes an effective scenario 

Research Hub: Changing attitudes to business

Linn Byberg looks at how millennials are changing business ethics

Research Hub: What were the hot ethical issues of 2018?

Simon Webley looks back on the the business ethics news stories of last year

Directors' blog: Trust in business is on the rise

Philippa Foster Back examines the results of IBE's public attitudes to business survey

Directors' blog: Making the FRC fit for purpose

Peter Montagnon asks some pertinent questions ahead of the Kingman review

Trust is the currency of ethics

Emmanuel Lulin, Chief Ethics Officer at L'Oreal takes a personal look at IBE's Ethics at Work survey


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