搜档网

搜档网

当前位置:搜档网 > The Ethical Leader's Decision Tree-道德领导者的决策树

The Ethical Leader's Decision Tree-道德领导者的决策树

HBR Guide to Office Politics THE MAGEZINE

January 2003.

The

Ethical Leader’s Decision Tree

By Constance E. Bagley

The new focus on ethics in corporate America is laudable, but it’s long on words and short on tools. Last spring, when the Business Roundtable exhorted directors and managers to “operate the corporation in an…ethical manner,” it offered little practical guidance about how to do this. At the heart of the problem is the tension between directors’ responsibility to maximize shareholder value and their responsibility to behave ethically. Sometimes these goals naturally align, as when a company like Merck generates goodwill and customer loyalty by providing drugs to poorer countries at a fraction of the retail price. But often they conflict, at least in the short term. And when they do, what is the right course?

To help business leaders navigate ethics questions, I propose the following decision tree. The questions and answers posed by the tree can be applied to any action a company contemplates, whether it’s expanding operations in a developing country or reducing a workforce at home. But companies must both understand the law and have in place, at minimum, a statement of corporate values. Ideally, they will have a bona fide ethics policy.

Take a look at the decision tree in the exhibit, “What’s the Right Thing to Do?” For any proposed action, leaders must first ask, “Is it legal?” This may seem obvious. But recent corporate shenanigans suggest that some managers need to be reminded: If the a ction isn’t legal, don’t do it.

The Ethical Leader's Decision Tree-道德领导者的决策树

ExhibitIndicatorStart

1