Expert answer:Saint Marys University MOD11 Trends in Corporate S

  

Solved by verified expert:The materials is already upload, the blog don’t need too long. I think like 300 words is fine.The blog topic isAt the end of this course have you experienced a shift in how you think or feel about spirituality and work? If so, how would you describe it? If so, how will you manifest this shift in your life?If not, what challenged your understanding in this course?Please note that you still need to integrate the Module Notes and readings in your responses.You have to read the materials then finish this work.And need some specific reference, including page numbers, for each source in the Modules.I will also post 2 more others blog, you need to read them and write some reply. The reply need 100 words each.If you not sure now to write this blog, you can check how the others write.
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Personal Ethics in the Corporate World
by Elizabeth Doty
11/19/2007
a strategy+business exclusive
© 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. All rights reserved.
strategy+business
leadingIDEAS
Personal Ethics
in the Corporate World
How to confront the moral tensions inherent in corporate life
and come out with your ethics intact.
1
by Elizabeth Doty
I
n today’s high-pressure work environment, it is not
unusual for conflicts to arise between our values as
individuals and the compromises that we must
make for our organizations. After interviewing people
who had struggled to remain true to their personal values, I explored this dilemma in “Winning the Devil’s
Bargain,” published in the Spring 2007 issue of strategy+business, and then discussed it in an s+b online seminar. The response to the seminar was so enthusiastic
that there wasn’t enough time to address all of the
audience questions. Here, I take on some of the unanswered queries.
I am an instructor in a business school; my area of
focus is sustainability and corporate social responsibility [CSR]. What do you think is important to convey
to young people or students about developing the
“bigger game”? How can they maintain a sense of
realistic idealism?
The moment when we leave business school and enter
the workforce is a crucial one. It’s a time when we tend to
squelch our own aspirations based on assumptions about
making a living or on a difficult experience. Addressing
this pattern is especially important as more companies
embrace sustainability and CSR, so the inevitable challenges of institutions don’t discourage us. That said, here
are a few points to help those about to embark.
• Figure out what your bigger game is. It is probably a combination of what you believe needs to be done
in the world and your particular strengths and preferences. In fact, I would almost say that wherever you see
barriers, those are potential bigger games. Another
ingredient of an effective bigger game is that you are
likely to be able to meet your basic needs while pursuing it. This is about the long haul; it requires us to sustain ourselves, but not to sacrifice ourselves.
• Don’t expect a predefined path. Too often people
assume that the only valid paths are those that are well
publicized. Once you find your bigger game, you will
probably have to seek out the unique settings where you
can pursue it. As one young person I interviewed said,
“I’d really prefer to work on something that is of service.
But they weren’t recruiting for that.”
• Challenge the simplistic dichotomy of “good
guys/bad guys.” Study what limits and enables organi-
zations to live up to their aspirations, and learn about
the crucial role of followers — so you don’t become disillusioned when even the most inspired organization
struggles to stay true.
• Adopt an ongoing practice for broadening your
thinking. This was the source of continued growth and
realignment for many of those I interviewed. Some
examples of such practices could include reading books
outside your area of expertise, giving yourself a “pulse
strategy+business
leadingIDEAS
Elizabeth Doty
(edoty@worklore.com) is an organizational
consultant, a 12-year veteran of the hotel
industry, a Harvard MBA, and a “recovering
reengineer.” Her firm, WorkLore, applies
systems thinking, simulation, and storytelling for clients in manufacturing, high
tech, financial services, educational testing, and real estate operations. Her Weblog
is http://devilsbargain.wordpress.com/.
2
check” every five years, or sustaining friendships with
those in other spheres.
Would starting my own business help me avoid compromising my values?
Starting a business can be a promising solution for
some of us, but we need to recognize the additional
strains it creates. It does free us to be the architect of
our own commitments and choices and theoretically
to be truer to what we value. It allows us to craft innovative offerings, and can offer us the flexibility to pursue more than just money — especially if the
company is private.
But starting a business also puts us in direct contact with the forces that probably led our prior organizations to their compromises. We must still engage
with the larger business context as we obtain financing,
hire employees, and market our products. Is our new
cause so valuable that we feel justified in promising the
investors whatever it takes to get the funding? Will our
employees now withhold some of the truth out of deference to our authority? One dedicated leader who left
the corporate world to run a small business described
to me how challenging it is to remember our deeper
beliefs in the midst of keeping a business alive.
I think the key is to remember that we are not
inherently the good guys just because we start out with
good intent. It takes a lot to evade the self-justifying tendencies that all of us confront. Knowing that, we may
be just the ones who can meet the challenge of running
a business while remaining true.
How can we as consultants help our clients make ethical decisions and not cross over to the “dark side”?
There is an important opportunity here that is not
often named. As David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz
described in “The Neuroscience of Leadership,” [s+b,
Summer 2006], the amount of attention we devote to
something affects how strongly it plays out in our
decision making. As consultants, we can envision ourselves serving as an active representation of our clients’
larger perspectives and purposes — perhaps as a counterbalance to the threats and siege mentality that can
accompany crises and obscure win-win solutions or
hidden degrees of freedom. This can be as simple as
asking questions from the perspective of a client’s larger intent.
I also think consultants can serve as part of the support system that helps leaders keep their own score and
draw meaning from efforts that perhaps no one else sees
or that won’t pay off for years to come. A colleague just
told me a story about an executive who was struggling
because his leadership efforts were not acknowledged
(although they were received and acted upon). When
my friend, who was this man’s coach, asked him why he
had gotten into the field in the first place, the executive
described an inspiring mentor named George who had
revealed his own bigger game. As they continued to
speak about his need for acknowledgment, the coach
said to him, “I imagine George would be tremendously
proud of you right now.” As simple as this confirmation
was, the leader was visibly moved by it. Perhaps we all
need a witness to sustain our efforts, and consultants
may be able to help provide that.
About a year ago, I left the nonprofit world of
social/human services for the for-profit world of corporate business. I still have difficulty in the shift. Will
strategy+business
leadingIDEAS
3
this uncomfortable feeling ease or does this internal
struggle continue?
I understand that must be challenging. I remember
spending time with a nonprofit and finding it shockingly satisfying just to be able to name what I cared
about without coming across as naive, foolish, or weak.
I’d suggest you consider several questions to clarify
your intent and enable you to “write your own contract.” What did it serve for you to enter the corporate
world? What can you accomplish there that is worth
your energy? What do you need to sustain yourself (all
of yourself, not just materially), what is nonnegotiable,
and how will you keep score on what matters to you?
You should also ask yourself whether the different
perspective that you bring has the potential to make a
contribution to that organization. What values do you
share and respect, and where does the tension lie? People
at the company may not see either. It’ll take some skill,
but you may be able to represent the differences in a
constructive, nonjudgmental way that broadens others’
sense of possibilities.
I suspect it may continue to be difficult, but if you
are truly there to serve something you value, you can
improve your situation by recognizing the challenge as
worthwhile and being generous about lining up support
for yourself.
What have we learned from WorldCom, Tyco, and
Enron?
These most recent crises, coupled with observations
from my interviews, suggest three patterns we might
learn from.
First, although we can argue about what causes certain leaders to cross the line, followers clearly play a role
in sustaining that direction. And I think our choice as
followers is primarily this: Do we want to know? Yet as
we become more and more dependent on an organization — financially and for our sense of achievement —
it becomes increasingly difficult to let ourselves see. This
is why I think it’s so important to actively maintain our
base of independence so we can be courageous when the
time comes.
Second, I hope we loosen our assumption that the
bad guys are somehow a completely different breed. In
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify
Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, Carol
Tavris and Elliot Aronson show how, through the natural process of self-justification, we all have the potential
to delude ourselves about the ways we may be causing
harm. “Whistle-blower” Sherron Watkins has said that
“there’s a little Enron in all of us.” It’s only when we recognize this that we’ll create ways to talk to one another
and sort out what we might be missing without rushing
to judge and accuse.
Finally, I want to point out that although the resulting regulations, penalties, and controls have been cumbersome, I have heard several stories in which they gave
people the support they needed to say “no.” For example, a controller who was asked to sign a forecast she did
not feel was accurate said, “No, I don’t think so. I’m not
going to go to jail for you guys.” +
Resources
Ira Chaleff, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders
(Berrett-Koehler, 2003): Concrete advice for calling (and re-calling) leaders to their highest purposes. www.amazon.com/dp/157675247X/
Elizabeth Doty, “Personal Ethics in the Corporate World,” s+b Webinar,
10/25/07: The online seminar that generated these questions, and many
others; a recording of the event and a PDF of the presentation are available. www.strategy-business.com/webinar/webinar-ethics_in_corp_world
Elizabeth Doty, “Winning the Devil’s Bargain,” s+b, Spring 2007: When
the business world compromises an individual’s values, courage and climate
can make all the difference. www.strategy-business.com/article/07101
Debra E. Meyerson, Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders Inspire
Change at Work (Harvard Business School Press, 2003): A practical
description of how individuals influence a company’s culture and practices. www.amazon.com/dp/1591393256/
David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz, “The Neuroscience of Leadership,”
s+b, Summer 2006: Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to
make organizational transformation succeed. www.strategy-business.com/
article/06207
Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me):
Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts (Harcourt,
2007): A study of the pervasiveness of self-justification, denial, and rationalization in a variety of settings. www.amazon.com/dp/0151010986/
Winning the Devil’s Bargain Weblog: Elizabeth Doty’s recently launched
blog inviting discussion on these topics. http://devilsbargain.wordpress.com/
WorkLore Web site: Elizabeth Doty’s company, with additional resources
available. www.worklore.com/
strategy+business magazine
is published by Booz Allen Hamilton.
To subscribe, visit www.strategy-business.com
or call 1-877-829-9108
strategy+business
Winning the Devil’s Bargain
by Elizabeth Doty
from strategy+business issue 46, Spring 2007
© 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. All rights reserved.
reprint number 07101
Reprint
When the business world compromises an
individual’s values, courage and climate can
make all the difference.
I
had my first moment of
truth with an organization
back in 1985, when I realized
I would have to either leave
my job or compromise my
own integrity. It happened at
the end of the annual meeting I’d helped organize for
the 55 directors of the luxury hotel
chain where I worked as a sales
manager. I’d spent that week temporarily relieved of my regular
duties to oversee “special arrangements,” and I’d come very close
to quitting.
It had happened because, in
front of the executive committee, my
boss’s boss had assigned me to select
attractive female managers to host a
theme breakfast for our (all male)
hotel directors, and to choose lowcut costumes for them. The demand
had shocked me, but I could not
refuse without appearing insubordinate or prudish. I said nothing at
the time; later, I spoke to him in private. He retracted the request, but
the experience left me with lingering
concerns about this company’s willingness to compromise its managers’ professionalism.
I wasn’t naive. I told myself that
ethical bumps in the road were part
of the game of business. Our hotel
managers sometimes secretly canceled guests’ discount-rate reservations on oversold nights. I myself
had concocted the “right” numbers
on sales forecasts, and then convinced my boss in his staff meeting
that I really believed them. For four
years I’d been able to persuade
myself that one had to expect such
practices even in first-class operations. And it almost worked this
time, too; by the final night of the
annual meeting, I’d nearly stopped
fuming over the costume incident. I
even allowed myself to feel some
pride in how well the event had
come off.
But then came the featured
highlight: the annual raffle for
frontline employees. The lights were
bright on the stage. Clusters of faces
in relative darkness — the hotel’s
400 housekeepers, bellhops, engineers, servers, and desk clerks —
waited as the raffle drum spun in
silence. The public relations director
reached in and drew the grand prize
ticket; and then she looked straight
up at me and called out in a bright
voice, “It’s Elizabeth Doty!”
My heart sank. They must have
rigged the prize to ensure that I
Illustration by Lars Leetaru
by Elizabeth Doty
strategy + business issue 46
First Person
comment first person
1
Winning the Devil’s
Bargain
alizing world where executive decisions are made from afar, makes it
difficult to justify that belief.
In 2005, I began a more
focused interviewing project to see
whether others experienced tension
between their work personas and
their core values. How did they reconcile the challenge? Did they find
ways to “make a difference without
getting killed,” as one person put it?
I conducted extensive interviews
with 38 businesspeople from a
range of industries, organizations,
backgrounds, beliefs, and career
stages. I spoke to directors; executives (vice presidents and above);
I wasn’t naive. I told myself that
ethical bumps in the road were
part of the game of business,
even in first-class operations.
that annual meeting forced me to
confront the fact that, over the
years, my seemingly minor compromises had accumulated into a violation of my core identity and beliefs.
And I now know, after 17 years of
privately interviewing businesspeople about their own tensions at
work, that my experience isn’t
unique. As companies demand
greater levels of productivity and
commitment in an environment
characterized by fierce corporate
politics and the relentless pursuit of
shareholder value, many managers
and employees routinely grapple
with predicaments that go straight
to the question of personal integrity.
On the one hand, it’s essential to
believe in the organization to succeed in any leadership job; on the
other hand, the reality of many
organizations, particularly in a glob-
frontline managers; and new professionals at large public and private
companies, startups, and professional-services firms. I particularly
sought out those who had a significant impact on their organization’s
policies, products, and programs,
but who were not often in the limelight. I invited them all to tell, as
candidly as they could, the story of
their work lives and the criteria that
guided their important choices.
I expected to hear cynicism
mixed with arguments for separating work from “what really matters.” Although I did hear some of
that, I also heard people express a
deep commitment to high ideals
and a strong desire to believe in
their organizations, even in the face
of moral ambiguity. Some of those
whom I talked to had confronted
gross ethical violations, to be sure;
Elizabeth Doty
(EDoty@worklore.com) is an organizational consultant, a 12-year veteran of the
hotel industry, a Harvard MBA, and a
“recovering reengineer.” Her firm,
WorkLore, applies systems thinking,
simulation, and storytelling for clients
in manufacturing, high tech, financial
services, educational testing, and real
estate operations.
comment first person
would win, hoping to rekindle my
loyalty after that hellish week. I
knew, and felt that everyone else
knew, that the moment was utterly
false. Still, I stood and smiled as I
accepted my award. I was determined to appear loyal and committed. But I wasn’t. I left for business
school six months later.
There is always some tension
between our values as individuals
and the compromises that we must
make for our organizations. Being
“professional” requires that we learn
to reconcile these tensions. But
when does the willingness to go
along go too far? My experience at
2
The Wounds of Commitment
3
Not surprisingly, those who dared to
care deeply about their work had
the worst stories to tell about being
burned. An intensive-care nurse
described having daily panic attacks
on her way to work, terrified that
someone would die on her shift
because managed-care policies had
tripled her patient load. A commercial banker talked of being told that
either he or his peer would be fired
— and then of being presented with
a portfolio of real estate loans to
approve that involved “looking the
other way” on zoning violations.
And then there was Greg. He
had been a corporate officer for a
financial-services firm until the senior officers of his firm (including his
boss) were indicted and sent to
prison for embezzlement. Greg was
no naif; he’d spent years in investment banking. As he put it, “You
just rosy up the numbers a little. It’s
all part of the dance.” He had come
to this last firm specifically because
he thought it was an unusually ethical place, where he could escape
those pressures. That only made the
shock of the alleged wrongdoings
more painful. Three years later,
when I met him one evening over
dinner, he had not gone back to
work. He articulated the bewilderment he still felt: “I believed in these
people. I respected them; I even
loved them in some way. Was I an
idiot to be part of this? I can’t reconcile it in my mind.” He felt adrift;
distrustful and unsure of his own
instincts. “I guess I’m suffering from
the wounds of commitment,” he
confessed.
More than half the people I
spoke with described a state of
creeping uneasiness and loss of faith
as their roles forced them into
untenable situations. As I listened, I
was reminded of Chris Argyris’s
description (in his famous article
“Skilled Incompetence,” Harvard
Business Review, September 1, 1986)
of a double bind: a mixed message
experience late in her career. “I
had become an extremely competitive person.… I felt I had to be,
given the people I worked with.
Then one day I looked at myself
in the mirror. I saw my tight face,
my stiff jaw. It just wasn’t me anymore. I had to ask myself, ‘Who
have I become?’”
As any successful leader will tell
you, a business runs on the network
of alliances, loyalties, and understandings among its pe …
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