articles 11 to 25 of 63
Recent high-profile scandals at Penn State, MF Global Holdings, Olympus and elsewhere raise questions about why organizations often fail to address significant internal problems that at best impede performance, and at worst could have devastating effects. In hindsight, especially to observers, it is clear what should have been done. But for employees, exposing such problems is more complicated than telling right from wrong, say experts at Wharton and elsewhere.
From: December 20, 2011
Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of New York-based News Corp., has built a fortune on the scandals of others. Now, at age 80, Murdoch finds himself at the center of his own ever-widening scandal, one that threatens his hold on a $40 billion global media empire. According to Wharton faculty and other experts, News Corp. needs to address its ethical issues at all levels of the organization -- not just the top rungs. Others note that no matter what happens to Murdoch or his business, the scandal itself will cause a thorough reassessment of the boundaries of a free and fair press.
From: July 20, 2011
Anyone who has been up watching late-night television has seen them: the get-rich-quick evangelists, usually promoting a system involving real estate. We may scoff at them, but they exert an undeniable pull. Erik German's very short but moving and perceptive memoir, My Father's Dream
, is the story of how his own father became lured by the get-rich schemes of Amway and nearly lost everything.
From: May 05, 2011
On October 16, federal prosecutors charged Raj Rajaratnam and his hedge fund, Galleon Group, with insider trading. On November 5, 14 additional people were charged with the same crime, and prosecutors predict even more arrests in coming weeks. The Galleon case raises questions about what exactly constitutes insider trading at a time when so many market participants, such as hedge funds and other opaque investment pools, live or die on their ability to gather information competitors don't have. Wharton faculty offer their opinions.
From: November 11, 2009
James Riady is the CEO of Lippo Group, one of Indonesia's largest conglomerates with annual revenues of some $3 billion. The Group, among the most active property developers in Southeast Asia, has expanded into China and Hong Kong and plans to invest $10 billion over the next five years in the Asia Pacific region. It also has interests in media, telecommunications, retail and health care. Fifteen years ago, Riady was responsible for the establishment of Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia, and he has a strong interest in the social impact of business. During an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Riady explained the lessons he has learned over the years from successes and failures in business and politics.
From: October 28, 2009
Successful marketplaces -- indeed, all social systems -- require a level of ethical behavior among their participants. In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, professors Maurice E. Schweitzer and G. Richard Shell, who have conducted extensive research on the role of trust in markets, explain why even the most sophisticated investors put their faith in Bernard Madoff, the New York City financier recently accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. That breach of trust has damaged the broader markets, Schweitzer and Shell say.
From: January 07, 2009
Hedge fund managers oversee $1.9 trillion in assets, but no one knows what they invest in or even what those assets are actually worth. That's because hedge funds are not regulated and consequently aren't required to make the same detailed financial disclosures that are required of publicly traded companies. The combination of potentially huge financial rewards and lack of transparency may foster ethical lapses, Wharton professor Thomas Donaldson noted during a recent talk on hedge fund ethics. His solution? An approach he calls a "microsocial contract."
From: November 12, 2008
Is selling police equipment to a notoriously brutal government tantamount to assisting in torture? William Schulz believes that it can be, and that these types of sales are one of the principal ways in which businesses find themselves tangled up with torturers. During a presentation sponsored by Wharton's Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, Schulz, former executive director of Amnesty International and now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, spoke about the challenges that companies face doing business with repressive governments.
From: April 30, 2008
Tune into "The Apprentice," and you get an all-too-common view of business. Every week, the contestants try to impress Donald Trump by preening, cajoling and conniving. In this world, toughness is the measure of every CEO, and the boss glories in firing people and squeezing every penny out of suppliers. Yet according to John Zhang and Jagmohan Raju, both Wharton marketing professors, and Tony Haitao Cui from the University of Minnesota, many people aren't purely mercenary in their business dealings. They care about fairness -- and they should, the researchers say, because doing so can maximize their profits.
From: March 13, 2008
No one makes it to the top ranks of corporate management without a healthy amount of self-assurance. Confidence underlies decisive, strong leadership, but does overconfidence lead managers to cross the line and commit fraud? New research by Wharton accounting professor Catherine M. Schrand and doctoral student Sarah L. C. Zechman examines patterns in frauds to determine if some frauds evolve, not out of pure self-interest, but because executives are overly optimistic that they can turn their firms around before fraudulent behavior catches up with them. Their paper is titled, "Executive Overconfidence and the Slippery Slope to Fraud."
From: March 05, 2008
When former Senator George Mitchell finally released his report on performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball last December, many of its conclusions came as no surprise to baseball fans, most of whom had heard the allegations of steroid use for years. With fans aware of such egregious behavior, why has attendance at games continued to climb? Are baseball's "consumers" impervious to ethical lapses? No, say Wharton professors, but the case demonstrates how bias, competition and a lack of oversight can work together to create an ethically toxic atmosphere -- in any field.
From: February 20, 2008
The crisis at Hewlett-Packard over allegations that its chairwoman, Patricia Dunn, authorized illegal surveillance of HP board members in order to find out who leaked sensitive company information to the press, is dragging on, perhaps longer than most people first expected. And it has raised a number of important issues about corporate governance, privacy protection and surveillance of employees. Tom Donaldson, professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, joins Knowledge@Wharton to talk about HP's woes as they relate to business practices both in the U.S. and abroad. Donaldson's research areas include business ethics, leadership, risk management and corporate compliance. He has consulted with companies ranging from Goldman Sachs and Wachovia to Exelon and KPMG, and is currently working on articles about corporate risk management programs and cash management practices at non-profit organizations.
From: October 18, 2006
Body parts are big business in the United States. Tissue, organs, tendons, bones, joints, limbs, hands, feet, torsos, and heads culled from the dead are the cornerstones of the lucrative and important business of advancing scientific knowledge and improving medical technique. Few people, however, think to ask where the material that sustains this enormous industry comes from. Journalist Annie Cheney is a timely exception. In Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains
(Broadway), Cheney chronicles her quest to find out how human remains are procured, processed, marketed, and used. It's a complicated, detailed and disturbing tale.
From: August 09, 2006
On May 25, a federal jury convicted former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay and former Enron president Jeffrey Skilling on conspiracy and fraud charges, with sentencing to be decided on September 11. As has been repeatedly noted in press coverage of this trial, Enron is the incredible story of a once powerful company done in by a group of top executives whose greed and fraud was breathtaking even by post dot-com standards. But it is by no means the only high-profile criminal trial in recent days, nor is it likely to be the last case brought by the government against CEOs who abuse their positions, their stockholders, their employees and the public trust. Thomas Dunfee, chairman of Wharton's legal studies and business ethics department, and an expert on social contracts and the social responsibility of business, talked to Knowledge@Wharton's Mukul Pandya and Robbie Shell about the Enron verdict.
From: May 31, 2006
In Moral Intelligence: Enhancing Business Performance & Leadership Success
, Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel
look at the connection between strong moral principles and business success. Using original research, the authors show how the best performing companies have leaders who are able to promote moral intelligence throughout their organizations, despite the fact that the business world all too often rewards bad behavior, at least in the short run. Included in their book is what the authors call their Moral Competency Inventory, a metric that can help leaders assess where they and their organization currently stand.
From: November 21, 2005
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