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November 16th, 2010
Conflict of Interest at the Business/Politics Interface


People tend not to trust big business. And they tend not to trust the world of politics. But when those two worlds intersect, people really get nervous. Witness, for example, this story by Eric Lipton, for yesterday’s New York Times: A Journey From Lawmaker to Lobbyist and Back Again The story is about Dan Coats, [...]

November 5th, 2010
Management Ethics & Oaths Without Professionalization


Here’s a piece I wrote as part of a debate on the MBA Oath, in a recent Canadian Business magazine: The MBA oath helps remind graduates of their ethical obligations. In the article, I express the view that the MBA Oath, in its current incarnation, is “not a revolutionary thing, not a perfect thing, [but] [...]

October 20th, 2010
Corporate Governance and Ethics


“Corporate governance” is the term used to refer to the policies and processes by which a corporation (or other large, complex institution) is controlled and directed. It refers especially to the way power and accountability flow between shareholders, boards of directors, CEOs, and senior managers. For most corporations, the basic governance structure is this: shareholders [...]

September 26th, 2010
Symantec Directors: $250,000/Year Not Enough to Log in to Annual Meeting


The shareholders of a public company are sometimes said to own the company. That’s not literally true, for lots of reasons. (See: Do Toyota’s Shareholders Own the Company?) What shareholders really own is the right to part of a company’s profits (if any) after all of its other expenses are paid. At any rate, the [...]

September 20th, 2010
Tools for Corporate Funding of Elections


What sorts of things are corporations — and charities and associations and churches and unions and so on? Should we think of such organizations as things that are themselves capable of taking action, or should we think of them as tools that people use when they want to take action? Case in point: the controversial [...]

September 14th, 2010
Competence, Ethics & HP’s Board


A corporation’s Board of Directors has a fiduciary duty to represent the interests of the company’s shareholders. In particular, the Board does that by selecting a CEO (and sometimes by participating in selection of other members of the management team) and by helping set the company’s strategic course. The work they do is of crucial [...]

September 6th, 2010
The Oil Sands, and the Battle of the Boycotts


The Athabasca oil sands (in Alberta, Canada) are not pretty. But they are vast, constituting one of the largest deposits of oil in the world — something in the range of 150 billion barrels, enough to help make Canada a net exporter of oil. The oil sands (also known, colloquially and sometimes pejoratively, as the [...]

August 30th, 2010
Business Ethics in China


There are significant problems with business ethics in the world’s second biggest economy, China. Witness the recent scandals involving tainted milk powder. Before that, lead paint used in toys was the big issue. Last year, there was a scandal involving injecting water into meat to increase its weight. And it’s not just a matter of [...]

January 22nd, 2010
Major Responsible Competitiveness Oportunities await Jordan, Report Finds



Amman, Jordan – Today His Excellency Samir Rifai, the Prime Minister of Jordan, hosted a launch event for a new report analysing Jordan’s potential to enhance responsible competitiveness strategies in three key sectors. ‘Responsible Competitiveness in Jordan: Strategies for the banking, insurance and















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