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Bentley on Bloomberg: Why Ethics Matter for Companies And College Students


Bentley on Bloomberg: Why Ethics Matter for Companies And College Students

When it comes to business ethics, a lot has changed and a lot has remained the same since the fall of Wall Street and subsequent global recession in 2008. According to a June 2015 Gallup poll, a mere 9% of the American public says they trust big business “a great deal,” up from 6% in June 2009. The only institution Gallup found to be polling lower than big business is Congress, which a historically low 4% of Americans trust a “great deal.”

Have companies learned from their mistakes? How can we train the future workforce to be ethical, responsible leaders?

Students must role-play dilemmas in class to prepare for ethical dialogue at work- @Cynthia_E_Clark


Bentley President Gloria Larson joined Bloomberg Radio’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, along with guest experts, to discuss how companies are enforcing and promoting ethical behavior and what universities are doing to teach ethics in the classroom. (Interviews are linked to guests' names below.)

  1. Create a culture of ethical conduct in the workplace

Make it a priority to train and educate employees on what constitutes ethical, responsible behavior through corporate programming, communications and storytelling - and continually reinforce it. Encourage a “speak-up” culture and be sure to set an ethical tone at the top that is infused throughout company levels.

-Tim Schultz, vice president of ethics and business conduct, Raytheon

  1. Watch out for misconduct in a good economy

According to a longitudinal study done by the Ethics and Compliance Initiative every two years since 1994, when times are tight, companies tend to strongly enforce corporate integrity whereas when times are lucrative, companies tend to take more risks, making them more likely to push the limits and loosen their ethical standards in favor of increased performance.

-Patricia Harned, CEO, Ethics and Compliance Initiative

  1. Give students case-based ethics scenarios and infuse ethics across the curriculum

Present students with real-world dilemmas in the classroom so that when they graduate into the workforce, they are confident engaging in an ethical dialogue. Do this by role-playing and asking pressing questions that require them to think about why they made certain decisions and what will be the consequences of their choices.

-Cynthia Clark, management professor and director of the Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, Bentley University

Learn more about Bentley on Bloomberg Radio.

Bentley’s PreparedU Project examines challenges facing college graduates, the companies that employ them, and the colleges and universities that prepare them.


by Kristen Walsh March 25, 2019

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