Ethix is a publication of the Center for Integrity in Business in the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University. Ethix provides illustrations of business ethics challenges through positive examples of best practices and exemplary leadership.
For too many business and academic institutions, business ethics is only designed to keep a business out of trouble or to avoid further regulation. Much of this is in response to problems in America since the mid-1990s — the dot-com fraud, a wave of corporate crime (Enron, etc.), and the recent subprime lending scandals.
The rest of the world is not exempt from these challenges. In some parts of the world, corruption, bribery, and the lack of rule of law make it almost impossible to do business at all. The situation has been made more complicated by the transformation of business through technology and increased globalization.
Ethics: Damage Control or Mission Control?
We believe ethics is about more than not doing wrong or protection from mistakes; ethics is about doing right. Sound ethics must build into the mission of the business a commitment to do the right thing, not just to avoid the wrong thing.
Ethix features in-depth Conversations with notable leaders. Past Conversations have included CEOs of Fortune 50 multinational corporations, CEOs of smaller companies worldwide, academic presidents, technology leaders, and a few critics. Our goal for these Conversations is to capture good approaches to tough issues, in addition to gaining insight into the character of leadership.
No leader has all the answers, and we are not endorsing all practices these leaders present. But we believe exposure to their practices will provide good examples for other business leaders and academics.
Other standard features of Ethix include:
- Technology Watch: insight into technology trends relevant to business
- InReview: comments on relevant books and films
- Ethics@Work: advice for handling particular business ethics dilemmas
- News Notables: excerpts about ethical issues in the news with editorial comments
- Best Practices: highlighting a model business practice
- Update: new developments on featured companies or individuals
- Forum: readers’ response to Ethix questions
- Letters: response from our readers
- Guest essays
We invite reader participation through suggestions, comments, ethical dilemmas, reviews, forum participation, and essays.
Background on Ethix
Ethix was first published in September/October 1998 under the name “The Bulletin of the Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics (IBTE).” IBTE is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit established in April 1998 by long-time friends David W. Gill and Albert M. Erisman, primarily as a vehicle for this publication.
The publication was renamed Ethix in the May/June 1999 issue at the suggestion of a colleague Mark Neuenschwander (The Neuenschwander Company). David and Al were co-directors of IBTE. Al wrote the Technology Watch articles and David authored Benchmark Ethics, a regular article in the first 32 issues of Ethix.
In September 2003, David decided he was tired of the travel and wanted to do something on his own in his home area of Berkeley, California. After eight years of writing, speaking, teaching, and consulting in the Bay Area, he joined the faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Center (South Hampton, Mass.). He became director of the Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace in 2010.
Ethix has continued under Al’s leadership since that time. In September/October 2006, when Al was named the director of the Center for Integrity in Business at the School of Business and Economics, Seattle Pacific University, the publication of Ethix was moved into the center. IBTE continues in the background as the nonprofit home for the tools and earlier content of Ethix.
Albert M. (Al) Erisman is executive-in-residence at the School of Business and Economics, Seattle Pacific University, where he teaches business ethics and edits Ethix magazine. In this capacity he has interviewed business leaders from around the world on issues of ethics, values, and purpose. He is a speaker on business ethics for business and trade organizations throughout the U.S. and in many countries including most recently Ukraine, Central African Republic, Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and China. In April 2001, Al completed a 32-year career at The Boeing Company, where for the last 10 years he was director of R&D for computing and mathematics. He was selected as one of 11 inaugural senior technical fellows of The Boeing Company in 1990. He has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Iowa State University and has published widely.
Roger Eigsti is the former chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of SAFECO Corporation. He led the growth of SAFECO into a national player in the insurance and financial services marketplace. During his 28-year tenure with Safeco, Roger held numerous executive leadership roles and was responsible for the $2.8 billion acquisition of American States Financial Corporation in 1997, and the naming of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. Early in his career, he held several positions at Touche Ross & Co. (now Deloitte and Touche). Roger has served on over 25 for-profit, industry, and nonprofit boards including Washington Mutual, Security Pacific Bank of Washington, and United Way of King County. He is currently board vice chairman of the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight and Hearing, and president of the board for the Institute for Business, Technology and Ethics. Roger was the recipient of the Puget Sound Business Journal Executive of the Year in 1998. He received a B.S. degree from Linfield College and was previously a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Gerard Beenen completed a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and theory at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. After a year of post-doctoral studies at CME, he accepted a position as assistant professor at California State University, Fullerton. His research focuses on understanding the causes and effects of learning in group and organizational settings, especially during role transitions and short-term work assignments. In 2007, he was awarded a dissertation fellowship by the Graduate Management Admissions Council for groundbreaking research on MBA internships. He has led, consulted for, and worked in big and small organizations spanning consumer goods, financial services, health care, technology, manufacturing, government, and not-for-profit. He previously was a consultant with Bain & Company, co-founder of a technology start-up, and CEO of a health care organization. He also has an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and an M.A. from Fuller Theological Seminary.
John Terrill is the first full-time director for the Center for Integrity in Business at the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University. The Center for Integrity in Business is committed to integrity in the broadest sense: moral character, justice, and personal and institutional wholeness.
Prior to joining SBE, John served as the national director for Professional Schools Ministries with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA (Madison, Wisconsin), as well as campus chaplain at Harvard Business School. In addition to overseeing the development of all professional schools ministries in the United States — which includes business, law, healthcare, religious and theological studies, government, education, social work, journalism, and the arts. John co-directed the Open for Business (business-as-mission) Conference at the Urbana 06 Missions Convention, as well as served as the associate director for InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries Following Christ 2008 Conference. Before joining InterVarsity, he consulted with the Hay Group, an international human resources consulting firm, as well as serving with NationsBank (now Bank of America) as a real estate lender. John holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University) and MATH and MAR degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, Massachusetts).
The Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics (IBTE) is an independent, nonprofit corporation governed by a board of directors.
Peter Dill, Secretary, Attorney at Law, Seattle, Wash.
Roger Eigsti (chairman), Treasurer, Retired Chairman & CEO, SAFECO, Seattle, Wash.
Albert Erisman, President, IBTE executive director
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119
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