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Ethics Awareness Managing for an Ethical Workplace


Guideline for Ethical Decision Making 5. Am I avoiding the appearance of impropriety? 6. Am I defining the problem correctly? 7. Am I rationalizing? 8. Finally, when ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ethics Awareness Managing for an Ethical Workplace

Ethics AwarenessManaging for an Ethical Workplace
  • OGE Energy
  • Fall 2009

Andrew L. Urich Puterbaugh Professor of Ethics
Legal Studies Spears School of Business Oklahoma
State University www.andrewuric
Ethics Awareness
  • I am NOT here to moralize.
  • Awareness changes human behavior.

Who Am I to Discuss Ethics?
  • I am a hypocrite.
  • I play favorites.
  • I interpret rules to my benefit.
  • I have been known to ignore rules that get in my
  • I hate to admit I am wrong even in those rare
    situations when it looks like I might be.
  • I am much more likely to believe things that
    benefit me.
  • I like my ideas better just because theyre mine.

Who Am I to Discuss Ethics?
  • Sometimes I think its fun to say no just
    because I have the power to do so.
  • Here is how I make decisions I decide what I
    want the answer to be and then make up the
    logical reasons to support my decision.
  • I tend to judge myself by my intentions rather
    than my actions.
  • I tend to judge others by their actions rather
    than their intentions.

Key Points to Remember
  • Human nature is not naturally ethical.
  • Ethics is gray not black and white.
  • (In other words, you cant just say youre an
    ethical personand thats all there is to it)
  • It is difficult to be ethical all of the time.

Ethical Lapses in the News
  • Enron inflated earnings by 586 millioninvestors
    lost 60 billion.
  • Adelphia founder used corporate assets as
    collateral for 3.1 billion in personal
    loanscompany went bankrupt.
  • WorldCom overstated profits by 7.1
    billion17,000 workers laid off.
  • Barings Banks Nick Leeson caused his employer's
    collapse in 1995 after losing US1.3 billion in
    unauthorized derivatives trading.

Management cares!!
Why are we here today?
Because our reputation is worth it! Please
rememberEnrons real problem!
Why are we here today?
Why are we here today?
  • Times are changing in society and at OGE!
  • Do ethics change with the times???
  • Ethics, as a part of OGEs Corporate Culture,
    gives you a talking point and an out.

Case Problem 1
  • The Thrifty V.P.

Case Problem 1
  • The Thrifty V.P.
  • Just following orders
  • Ethics and young people
  • Entrapment

Discussion Question
  • What do you use as an ethical guideline? In
    other words, how do you decide whats ethical?
  • Should ethical decisions be based on gut
    instinct or conscience?

Examining Unethical BehaviorOverview of Topics
  1. Its easier not to be ethical.
  2. Beliefs about the ethics of others
  3. Attitudes toward the company
  4. Self-delusion (Rationalization)

1. Its Easier Not To Be Ethical
  • Easier to do whats convenient
  • Easier to conform with the norms
  • Easier to do whats profitable
  • Easier to win if you cheat
  • It is very difficult to overcome the challenges
    of human nature.

Its Easier Not To Be EthicalBut Its Worth the
  • Ethics is the key to leadership and influence.
  • A lie can travel halfway around the world while
    the truth is putting on its shoes.
  • Mark Twain

Case Problem 2
  • Just Trying to Help

Beliefs About the Ethics of Others
  • Everyone thinks like me.
  • People follow the leader.
  • Different ethics for different situations?
  • Do you use the same standard of ethics in all
    aspects of your life? For example, is your
    standard the same with your family, at church, at
    work, with personal business, etc.?

3. Attitudes Toward the Company
  • Do managers practice what they preach?(Its the
    perception that counts)
  • The fish rots from the head down.
  • Sir Andrew Louis
  • Employees want to even things out.
  • Authority is OUTInfluence is IN.

4. Self-delusion
  • Rationalization Polite term for self-delusion
  • The greatest of all faults, I should say, is to
    be conscious of none.
  • Thomas Carlyle (1795 1881) Scottish
  • A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Secret to Happiness
  • Self-delusion
  • Hypocrisy
  • Ignorance

The Secret to Happiness
  • Ignorance is Bliss
  • People who do things badly are supremely
    confident in their abilitiesmore confident, in
    fact, than people who do things well. Not only
    do they reach erroneous conclusions and make
    unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs
    them of the ability to realize it.
  • Dunning, David Journal of Personality and Social
    Psychology December 1999.

Case Problem 3Bedlam Football
Guideline for Ethical Decision Making
  • 1. Is there an applicable law or OGE policy?
  • 2. Should I ask about this before acting?
  • 3. Have I taken time to think carefully before
  • acting?
  • 4. Would I disclose my decision to my
    supervisor, CEO, mother, etc.?(What if everyone
    found out?)

Guideline for Ethical Decision Making
  • 5. Am I avoiding the appearance of
  • impropriety?
  • 6. Am I defining the problem correctly?
  • 7. Am I rationalizing?
  • 8. Finally, when in doubt, do I know who to

Training Opportunities at OGEAndrew Urich
  • Influence Skills Authority is Out Influence is
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Professional Image

Thank You
  • I appreciate your time and attention.
  • Questions?