The Business Ethics Exchange
November 2012
Bi-monthly news from the Center for Ethical Business Cultures
Let’s Not Repeat History!
Leadership Insights

By Ron James

Joe Nocera
Andrew Duff
Peter Young

It’s been four years since a series of events triggered the collapses in the financial services industry and the Great Recession. What lessons did we learn and how does this knowledge inform how we think about the future?

Joe Nocera, New York Times columnist and author of the best seller All the Devils Are Here, offered answers to these questions in his address at a CEBC public forum, From Fool’s Gold to Financial Integrity. Responses from Andrew Duff, chairman and CEO of Piper Jaffray, and Peter Young, Ph.D., holder of the 3M Chair in International Business and an expert in risk management at the University of St. Thomas, provided additional insights.

Several of the keys include creating a culture that brings into alignment innovation, risk taking and integrity; getting the proper incentive structures in place at the regulatory, market and organizational levels; and reestablishing capital partnerships.

A full video of the event is available to watch on the University of St. Thomas YouTube channel.

CEO’s Report: Thanks to You

Ron James

As we enter the season of giving thanks, we would like to express our gratitude to those who support our work.

Thanks to the 46 donors that contributed $4.3 million to the CEBC endowment component of the recently concluded Opening Doors Capital Campaign at the University of St. Thomas. You have invested in building a legacy for future generations.

Thanks to Halloran Philanthropies, we have successfully launched our landmark book, Corporate Responsibility: An American Experience, providing important insights into the evolution of the purpose of business over the last several hundred years. 

Thanks to our members, corporate and individual, we continue to do the kind of programming highlighted in our e-newsletters, conduct cutting edge research and provide leadership development and training services that assist today’s and tomorrow’s leaders in building and sustaining ethical cultures.

By investing in the work of the center, you are making a difference!

Upcoming Events

CEBC Members Roundtable
Wednesday, December 12
CEBC Members roundtable discussion on “Assessing Your Organization’s Progress” on ISO 26000, featuring T. Dean Maines, president of the Veritas Institute, and Arnie Weimerskirch, former vice president of Quality at Honeywell.

CEBC Membership

To learn more about becoming a member, please visit the Center's website at

Managing an Ethics Crisis

Kathy Tunheim
Jim Lukaszewski

It isn’t whether, but when, an organization will experience a crisis. Anticipate and prepare in advance, advised veteran PR and crisis management experts Kathy Tunheim, president and CEO of Tunheim Partners, and Jim Lukaszewski of the Lukaszewski Group, meeting with CEBC members at the center’s September 19 roundtable.

What constitutes a crisis? Lukaszweski argued that a crisis calls into question the very trustworthiness of the organization and its leadership – nearly always triggering highly emotional responses. Tunheim described the moment when leaders suddenly realize this situation is radically different from ordinary bad days at the office and make a conscious decision to go into crisis mode. Both agreed that an effective response hinges on leaders who set the moral tone for the response.

CEBC Hosts International Delegation

Annually, the U.S. State Department sponsors business, government, non-government and academic leaders visiting the U.S. to explore issues of commerce and corporate responsibility. David Rodbourne, CEBC’s vice president, joined the Minnesota International Center (MIC) in hosting a group of visitors this fall from five countries: a manager with an Urban Discovery Project of World Vision in Cambodia, an artist and Kast Foundation leader from Botswana, a leader of Microfund for Women in Jordan, a business consultant from Bangladesh, and the president of Institute Alternative, a Montenegrin civic initiative.

The group was keenly interested in the role of business in society, the work of the center, our approach to ethical culture with business leaders and students, and the findings of the center’s just-released book on Corporate Responsibility: The American Experience.

Nominate an Organization for the Minnesota Business Ethics Award

Has an organization – your own, a competitor’s, a supplier’s – impressed you with its commitment to the highest standards of ethical business conduct?

Over the past 13 years, the Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA) has recognized 38 Minnesota-based businesses, ranging in size from less than 10 employees to more than 150,000, that have exemplified and promoted ethical conduct for the benefit of the workplace, the marketplace, the environment and the community.

Last year’s recipients included Murphy Automotive, Western National Insurance Group and The Schwan Food Company. A list of all past recipients can be viewed online.

Submit your nomination today for the 2013 Minnesota Business Ethics Award. The deadline for nominating a business is January 25, 2013. Award recipients will be recognized at an awards luncheon banquet on May 15, 2013.

Research Spotlight

 CEBC Writes Ethics Chapter in Human Resource Development Textbook

Doug Jondle, Ph.D., and Alexandre Ardichvili, Ph.D., contributed a book chapter, “HRD and Business Ethics,” in the third edition of International Human Resource Development. This edition continues in the tradition of building bridges between the theory and practice in the growing and influential field of human resource development.

The chapter explains the concepts of business ethics and ethical business cultures; explains why promoting business ethics should be one of the central concerns for HRD; describes major systems and processes that contribute to the creation of an ethical business culture in an organization; and explains the role of HRD in institutionalizing ethics in a business organization, describing specific activities that HRD professionals can engage in to promote organizational ethics.

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