Ethix is a publication of the Center for Faithful Business in the School of Business, Government, and Economics at Seattle Pacific University, and the Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics. 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.), the subprime lending scandals, and the impacts of a world-wide Pandemic.
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.
Technology was the force that drove many changes is the way business is conducted. Its presence continues to be felt as social media, artificial intelligence, and mobile connectivity combine for a dramatically different structure of business where there are few rules and less wisdom.
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 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
- Guest essays
We invite reader participation through suggestions, comments, ethical dilemmas, reviews, forum participation, and essays.
In addition, we have provided tools for leaders and organizational cultures that can help provide wisdom in navigating some of these challenges.
Key business leaders across industry segments (technology, aerospace, automotive, banking, healthcare, retail, services, media) have contributed thoughtful approaches to strong mission focus in this era of business. Their insights can be helpful for the business leader and the academic alike.
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. He has now returned to the Bay area, and continues to provide wisdom and occasional writing for Ethix.
Ethix has continued under Al’s leadership since 2003. In September/October 2006, when Al was named the director of the Center for Integrity in Business at the School of Business, Government, and Economics, Seattle Pacific University, the publication of Ethix was moved into the Center.
The Center has been rebranded as The Center for Faithful Business under the direction of JoAnn Flett. Ethix, under a less ambitious publication schedule, continues to be a voice for promoting “Good business through appropriate technology and sound ethics” under the joint leadership of IBTE and SPU.
Albert M. (Al) Erisman is executive-in-residence at the School of Business, Government 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, Mongolia, 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.
Al is the author The Accidental Executive: Lessons on Business, Faith, and Calling from the Life of Joseph, and The ServiceMaster Story: Navigating Tension between People and Profit. He is co-editor of The Purpose of Business: Contemporary Perspectives from Different Walks of Life, and co-author of Direct Methods for Sparse Matrices.
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
Seattle Pacific University is a nationally ranked private Christian liberal arts university located in Seattle, Wash. Ethix is managed through the Center for Faithful Business under the leadership of JoAnn Flett, which is a part of the School of Business, Government, and Economics managed by its Dean, Ross Stewart.
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119
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