Managing Organizational Integrity

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Morality Pages: 3 (893 words) Published: November 9, 2005
Managing for Organizational Integrity: By Lynn Sharp Paine

Lynn Paine, a Harvard Business School professor, explains how having an effective ethical managing system can improve competitiveness, create positive workforce moral, and help build strong relationships with all of the company's stakeholders. She believes that implementing an "integrity-based approach to ethics management" that "creates a climate that encourages exemplary conduct" is the best way "to discourage damaging misconduct." Paine's article tells the reader how most managers believe that it is not the organizations or managements responsibility when one "rogue employee" engages in actions that are unethical. She says feels that it is their business because "managers who fail to provide proper leadership and institute systems that facilitate ethical conduct share responsibility with those who conceive, execute, and knowingly benefit from corporate misdeeds." Paine first describes how organizations shape an employee's individual behavior. She then illustrates how most organizations just do what law requires, in regards to legal compliance, so that they won't get into trouble for unethical behavior. Just being legally compliant has its pitfalls so Paine explains how "integrity as a governing ethic" can help strengthen companies. She shows different ways of approaching this by using examples from three companies: Martin Marietta, NovaCare, and Wetherill Associates. A company can shape an individuals behavior and veer it towards acts that are unethical. As seen with Sears in the 90's when they were experiencing a decline in revenues in their automotive service department. Incentive systems and organizational pressures showed that it can lead employees to exaggerate needed repairs and sometimes mislead customers, even if that was not what was intended. The error on management to not set up a system, which emphasized ethical practices, cost the company lots of money and gave them a bad reputation as...
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