Belmont students are invited to enter the Harry Hollis Student of Integrity Essay Contest for a chance to win $500 by submitting an essay response to the following question: What can universities do to strengthen ethical responsibility in athletic programs and how can universities work with students-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans to encourage ethical behavior and minimize unethical behavior?
Suggested length is 6-8 pages double-spaced in 12 pt. font (approx 2200 words). Essays should be titled pages numbered and footnotes and supporting information noted in an appendix. Contestants can direct questions about the essay process to Mr. Harold Fogelberg and Dr. Barry Padgett.
Completed papers are due by Monday March 25 to Harold Fogelberg, Director of the Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics (Massey #432).
Belmont University’s College of Business Administration (COBA) celebrated today a generous endowment received from civic leader and Belmont Trustee Helen Kennedy by naming its Center for Business Ethics in honor of her late husband, Edward Creasman Kennedy, a local businessman who exemplified the values the Center promotes. A graduate of Hume Fogg High School and lifetime deacon of Judson Baptist Church, Mr. Kennedy co-founded Ed’s Supply Company and was actively involved in many organizations related to the heating, cooling and refrigeration industry. Mr. Kennedy also served 12 years as a Belmont University Trustee.
Richard K. Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of U.S. Bank shared his views on the importance of regulating ethical business behavior with Belmont students, faculty and Nashville business leaders on Monday, March 26.
Davis began his campus visit with a convocation lecture titled “Business Ethics & Responsible Banking Today” presented to students in Beaman A&B.
“Ethics can be learned now. What I can’t drill into your head is when a lot of people are doing little things wrong, you will want to draw the line on when it will end. You can draw the line in the sand now that you will adhere to as you begin practicing business,” he said.
Davis emphasized the need to create a business culture with consistent values and regular audits as the cornerstone to long-term success. He encouraged government regulation on ethical business practices, such as shareholder access and whistleblower incentives to promote honesty, integrity and transparency. He also summarized the evolution of corporate responsibility from 1919 to the present.
“Making money is not a bad thing, because capitalism is what got America where it is today, as long as you do it the right way with honesty,” Davis said.
Scarlett Leadership Institute founder Joe Scarlett reminds us in yesterday's The Tennessean editorial to "Remember the Good Guys" who have built our U.S. industrial powerhouse. As Joe points out, in light of today's well-publicized incidents of corporate greed and abuse of power (still, a very small proportion of U.S. businesses), it's easy to forget about the thousands and thousands of business leaders who have been ethical and successful and continue to do so as we still enjoy the world's most successful economic system. Joe's entire article can be found by clicking on the following: 'Good Guys' Built U.S. Powerhouse.
Our good friend and Massey Board Member Joe Scarlett, in his Open Letter to business leaders, provides a wonderful reminder to all of us on the importance of "personal integrity" as we go about making life's daily decisions. I encourage you to check it out as you begin this new week.
[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.
We are excited to have Cynthia Cooper, WorldCom whistleblower and Time Magazine 2002 Person of the Year, on our campus to provide an insider's look at the rise and fall of WorldCom and share the lessons she learned through that experience.
Today’s presentation, Ethical Dilemmas: Power and Money, is open to the public and will take place at 5pm in the Maddox Grand Atrium of the Curb Event Center and a student convocation, WorldCom: What Went Wrong & What Lessons Can We Learn?, will be held tomorrow at 10am in the same location.
Her visit is sponsored by the College of Business Administration’s Center for Business Ethics.
[Contributed by Joe Scarlett, retired Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tractor Supply Company and founder, Scarlett Leadership Institute at Belmont University] The recent tainted meat scandal in California further demonstrates why uncompromising ethics in business is the only path to long term business success. One-hundred forty-three million pounds of meat were recalled all because of a lapse of ethics. Who wins in this mess? Absolutely no one. Was it avoidable? Certainly.
Since so many of the senior executives of Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, Tyco, etc. were exposed and subsequently jailed, you would think that every businessperson in America would have learned the importance of maintaining a high level of integrity in business practices. It is a real shame that some still have not seen the light and grasped the obvious. High standards, honesty, and ethical leadership all pay off in the long run, and the opposite is simply a path to ultimate failure. Wake up business leaders!
In February Westland/Hallmark Meat of Chino California issued a recall for 143 million pounds of beef – six times larger than any previous recall. The company slaughtered cattle that could not walk and failed to notify an inspector, which is a clear violation. Cattle that cannot walk have a higher risk of mad cow disease and bacterial contamination. What were they thinking? Where is the leadership?
Federal inspectors did not identify the problem nor did the company report the problem from its own control processes. A video provided by the Humane Society showed employees attempting to get sick cattle to stand up using forklifts, electric cattle prods and high pressure water hoses. And now speculation suggests that the plant will close. Owners will lose their investment, executives will lose their salaries and perks and the workers will all be unemployed. The only good news in the story, if there is any good news, is that there have been no reports of illness or meat contamination.
Employees clearly violated the rules, so you have to ask a few questions. Were the rules posted, communicated and discussed? Was there a clear path to discuss and report dilemmas and violations? Did the employees believe that the company strived to operate with a high degree of integrity in all aspects of its operations? The obvious conclusion is that the answers to some or all of these questions is no.
The ethical and moral direction in any organization must be set by the CEO and the senior executive leadership. When that direction is set according to high standards and then communicated effectively and repetitively, the organization invariably lives by those standards. We follow our leaders; when they set the right direction, we follow; when they set the wrong direction, or more commonly no direction, we wander into “no man's land.”
Leadership in business is everything. We follow with pride and confidence when our leaders set a clear path that embraces high ethical standards. Workers at every level deserve the right to work for leaders who demonstrate business and personal integrity. -Joe Scarlett, March 2008
Whether you're an individual looking to improve your own ethical decision-making skills or a manager seeking to bring the latest in ethics training techniques back to your organization, here's a great opportunity. Dr. O.C. Ferrell, Professor of Marketing and Enterprise Scholar, at the University of New Mexico's Anderson School of Management has designed an on-line course in business ethics essentials and best practices. The course is offered twice a year, is described as highly interactive, and runs 10 weeks.
Over the years, I've had numerous opportunities to work with O.C. and his wife Linda (Associate Professor of Marketing), and both are outstanding classroom instructors, as well as two of the leading business ethics scholars in the U.S. As fate might have it back in May 2005, O.C. and Linda ended up being seated next to Kenneth Lay on a flight from Houston just two days after the former Enron CEO's conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges.