[Authored by Dr. J. Patrick Raines] The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system. – Milton Friedman
Russ Kidder contends in his new book, The Ethics Recession, that there is a growing sentiment that our current economic crisis is not simply unethical but profoundly immoral. He states “There’s a sense that core decencies have been demolished, integrity dissolved, and common values trampled….” Kidder’s recommendation is to look beyond personalities and individuals to create cultures of integrity.
On Thursday April 2, 2009 The Center for Business Ethics at Belmont University hosted an ethics workshop entitled “How Business Ethics Practitioners and Academics Can Work Together More Effectively.” Participants in the dialogue included: Alan Yuspech (Sr. VP and Chief Ethics Compliance Officer at HCA), Megan Barry (VP Premier, Inc.), Dr. Harry Hollis (Medlin Chair of Business Ethics, Belmont Univ.), Dr. Wade Chumney (Ethics Faculty, Belmont Univ.), Mr. Harold Fogelberg (Ethics Faculty, Belmont Univ.), Dr. Keith Darcy (Executive Director, Ethics and Compliance Officer Association), Dr. John C. Knapp (Mann Family Professor of Ethics and Leadership, Samford Univ.), Dr. Wayne Norman (Mike and Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University), Dr. Pat Raines (Dean and Professor of Economics, Belmont Univ.) and Dr. Beck Taylor (Dean, Brock School of Business, Samford Univ.).
The dialogue focused on the relationship between the academic practice of teaching business ethics and the reality of working in the profession of building ethical cultures and fostering corporate social responsibility. A consensus emerged from the discussion that business students, scholars in the field and ethics and compliance officers could benefit from greater interaction. Recommendations included the creation of graduate degrees and certificate programs in ethics and compliance management and encouraging the elevation of ethics within organizations to the strategic level.
Future collaboration is planned between the Center for Business Ethics at Belmont University, the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association.