Benchmark Ethics

Benchmark Ethics: Compassion and Generosity in Business?

In the last Benchmark Ethics installment I raised the question: “Does anybody care about justice and fairness in today’s competitive business climate?” Why do I ask? Because at virtually all places and times in human history, justice and fairness have been at or near the top of everybody’s “short list” of ethical values. Politics, economics, …

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Benchmark Ethics: Privacy and Association Are Not Optional Values

Two benchmark ethical values that deserve our careful attention today are privacy and association. These two are conceptually related: privacy is about being left alone — association is about being allowed together. These are critically important benchmark values — not eccentric options or luxuries — because they have to do with the very core of …

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Benchmark Ethics: Responsibility

Irresponsibility is an epidemic in our era. Too many individuals and organizations deny, ignore, or evade responsibility for their actions. In all sectors, irresponsibility is rising — blaming others, excusing oneself, and telling everyone else to buzz off. The high profile cases are troubling, of course (Presidents Nixon and Clinton, the Challenger space disaster, the …

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Benchmark Ethics: Aligning Character, Rules, and Corporate Mission

By David W. Gill Many of our contemporaries think that ethics is only about rules, especially ones telling us what not to do. The pejorative terms “legalistic” and “moralistic” capture the worst of this impression. What good are rules? Their main virtues are clarity and specificity. An ethics statement might be precise: “Do not refer …

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