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Management News is South-Western's service to provide summaries of the latest management news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Title  Brief Summary 
Kudos to Wal-Mart?!
Full Summary
The CEO of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, is now talking about how the company can be more ethically and environmentally friendly. This approach represents a dramatic shift in the company’s philosophy.
(Updated May 2008)
Strong Relationship Between Work-Life Balance and Ethical Behavior
Full Summary
A new survey on ethics in the workplace shows that factors critical to ethical behavior at work include work-life balance and the behavior of management. Interestingly, the study found that factors like enforcing criminal penalties and ethics training may do little to deter unethical behaviors at work.
(Updated July 2007)
Gifts from Drug Firms Banned at Henry Ford
Full Summary
The Henry Ford Health System has set strict limits for pharmaceutical representatives, and will no longer allow doctors in its system to accept free lunches, gifts, or other perks. They believe these new rules will ensure that prescription drugs are safer and cheaper for patients.
(Updated March 2007)
Philanthropy Google’s Way: Not the Usual
Full Summary
The founders of Google have set up a philanthropy and given it $1 billion in seed money with the objective of tackling poverty, disease, and global warming. They have approached this new venture in a different way than most corporations approach philanthropic giving.
(Updated November 2006)
Secret H-P Probe Casts a Wider Net
Full Summary
New details have emerged in the Hewlett-Packard investigation that suggest that the company was involved in more elaborate spying on board members and journalists than was originally thought.
(Updated November 2006)
Study Says Bioscience Firms Formalize Ethical Decision-Making
Full Summary
Bioscience firms face unique and pressing ethical concerns in their day-to-day business operations. As a result, a recent study show that most bioscience firms have developed a formalized approach to ethical decision making that incorporates some or all of five interrelated techniques. Any firm looking to improve their ethical decision-making could benefit from reviewing the progress bioscience firms have made in this area.
(Updated October 2006)
Reporting for SOX Duty
Full Summary
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is known to many as the law that details financial and operational disclosure requirements for big corporations. However, the SOX rules also document codes of ethics for companies that apply to conflicts of interest, company property, and discrimination and harassment.
(Updated September 2006)
Can You Teach a Person Ethics
Full Summary
Ethics scandals seem to be everywhere we turn today. If right and wrong seem to be such elusive concepts, can ethics be taught? Some instructors think students and employees can be given the tools to help them examine their beliefs and to make better decisions.
(Updated August 2006)
Fraud Probe Hits Texas Nonprofit
Full Summary
A Texas non-profit organization, the National Center for Employment of the Disabled is being investigated for the possibility of fraud. The company was awarded government contracts on the false understanding that they were employing a certain percentage of severely disabled employees.
(Updated July 2006)
U.S. Wants to Google…Google
Full Summary
The Justice Department has subpoenaed Google’s records to obtain information about Internet searches and the websites these searches turn up. The government plans to use the information to help pass a Child Online Protection Act. However, Google has refused to turn over the information, citing Internet privacy rights.
(Updated February 2006)
Authorities Probe Improper Backdating of Options
Full Summary
The Securities Exchange Commission is investigating companies whose executives may have benefited from improper backdating of stock options. By backdating stock option grants, executives were able to purchase shares at a reduced price.
(Updated December 2005)
IBM to Put Genetic Data of Workers Off Limits
Full Summary
A growing trend in medicine is to focus on genetic markers that can predict propensity for certain diseases and to plan treatments accordingly. The technology is helping to make great strides in medicine and disease treatment, but questions about personal privacy have been raised. If an employer knew about certain genetic markers for disease, would they be less likely to hire or more likely to fire someone as a result of these findings? As Congress debates legislation on genetic privacy, I.B.M. is pledging to its 300,000 employees that it will not use genetic information to make decisions about employment or healthcare coverage.
(Updated November 2005)
Google Outlines Philanthropic Plan
Full Summary
Google's financial success in the last few years has been astronomical. Now, its co-founders are determined to see that their company shares the wealth with those who are in need. They have created a new charitable foundation called Google.org and pledged 1% of their stock and profits to philanthropic efforts.
(Updated November 2005)
Navigating Privacy Concerns to Equip Workers with GPS...
Full Summary
Service companies are utilizing cell phone GPS technology to track the locations of field technicians to increase productivity. However, employers must set clear policies and candidly address privacy issues to alleviate concerns.
(Updated September 2005)
Sodexho Set for Overhaul After Lawsuit
Full Summary
Plaintiffs in a racial discrimination lawsuit against food company Sodexho maintained that the company prevented meaningful advancement for African American employees over the course of several years. The plaintiffs won a settlement, and Sodexho has implemented comprehensive changes in application processing, worker advancement and communication.
(Updated July 2005)
McDonalds Gets Healthier but Burgers Still Rule
Full Summary
McDonalds Corporation, finding itself frequently blamed for its contribution to the global obesity epidemic, plans to introduce more healthy foods, but burgers and fries will continue to be the core of the menu.
(Updated May 2005)
The Ethical Company
Full Summary
Building a company that consistently does the right thing may not be easy, but the research shows that firms that are able to create an ethical foundation can avert crises, and capture employee loyalty and bottom line returns.
(Updated April 2005)
Asked to be Charitable, More CEOs Seek to Aid Their Business As Well
Full Summary
With a seemingly endless array of charities and causes to assist, CEOs are focusing on programs that directly relate to and benefit their business. They are exercising corporate social responsibility while simultaneously benefiting their company's image and profits.
(Updated April 2005)
Tiny Outfits, Big Hearts
Full Summary
Small businesses can't match the charitable budgets of large companies, but methods like combining their efforts and giving back to the communities they are a part of can have vital impact.
(Updated March 2005)
The Delicate Task of Showing Corporate Concern for Tsunami Victims
Full Summary
Advertisers, agencies, and media companies are seeking ways to show that companies care about the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia while trying to avoid looking like they are capitalizing on the loss for their own gain.
(Updated February 2005)
Study Aims to Reach Top Executives Who Are out of Touch on Business Ethics
Full Summary
The Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis has developed an integrity study to help senior executives assess the ethical environment within their organizations. The tool is helpful for leaders who are often blind to how their organization's ethical climate is perceived by their employees.
(Updated January 2005)
Business Responsibility for HIV/AIDS
Full Summary
The World Economic Forum and the United Nations have published reports that business is not yet playing a significant role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Many firms reported being concerned about current or future impact of AIDS on their businesses, but very few have formal, written HIV/AIDS policies.
(Updated 08/01/04)
Business Management Column
Full Summary
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has had an indirect impact on the way companies conduct business today. Ethics has come to the forefront of corporate governance, as companies try to avoid shareholder backlash.
(Updated 07/01/04)
Directors in the Crosshairs
Full Summary
Labor and other activists are putting individual board directors on notice by taking advantage of their shareholder voting power. Their goal is to break up the cozy club atmosphere that has resulted in abuses of power.
(Updated 05/11/04)
Above and Beyond
Full Summary
The government is cracking down on regulation of companies' environmental practices, but self-regulation is having even more of an impact. It has become increasingly common for consumer-oriented companies to set their standards higher than the law requires.
(Updated 03/07/04)
Leadership Trickles Down: Ethical Behavior in America
Full Summary
A corporate code of ethics that is enforced will turn all employees into vital players in everyday operations. Ethics comes from the top of the organization, and CEOs must set the standard.
(Updated 02/01/04)
A Good Corporate Citizen? This Scanner Can Tell
Full Summary
Soon you may be able to use your palmtop to scan a bar code and find out if the company has any ethics violations on record. Will consumers go for it?
(Updated 11/01/03)
The Court of Foreign Affairs
Full Summary
U.S. corporations are facing a slew of lawsuits alleging human rights abuses. The Bush administration is getting involved, asking the courts to dismiss such cases and stay out of foreign policy. Supporters of the lawsuits say that U.S. companies should be held responsible for human rights abuses that occur during their projects.
(Updated 09/03/03)
Brewing Social Change
Full Summary
Peace Coffee aims to stop the exploitation of poor farmers by purchasing their coffee at a fair price, and marketing it to consumers who care. The farmers, in return, agree to grow the coffee under strict standards of organic farming.
(Updated 07/30/03)
Verizon Volunteers Program Encourages Support for Nonprofit Agencies
Full Summary
Employees who volunteer time or make donations to nonprofit agencies in their communities can get matching donations from Verizon's Volunteers program.
(Updated 07/30/03)
Home Depot Reviews Timber Policy
Full Summary
Companies are constantly faced with decisions about whether to choose the socially responsible act over the (sometimes) more profitable one. Home Depot is the nation's largest wood retailer. This article rates its policies for making environmentally-sensitive product purchase decisions.
(Updated 02/01/03)
Bush Seeks New Business Ethic
Full Summary
George Bush's speech on corporate wrongdoing proposed a number of solutions, from increased jail time to better reporting. Will these things have an impact on ethical business practices, or is it all just politics?
(Updated 12/31/02)
Capitalism and a Moral Education
Full Summary
In this article, William Bennett discusses the increase in unethical behavior in the corporate world, and examines capitalism's role in this.
(Updated 10/23/02)
WorldCom Official Tried to Quash Employee's Accounting Concerns
Full Summary
The former controller for WorldCom Inc. tried to prevent a subordinate from raising accounting concerns with the firm's auditors. His efforts to quiet the employee have been documented in a series of emails he sent. He has been arrested and charged with a number of crimes, but his behavior also raises questions about ethics in corporations vs. the financial "good" of the organization.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Corporate Human Rights
Full Summary
A small group of lawyers and labor advocates have been trying to hold transnational companies responsible for their actions related to human rights abuses by suing them in U.S. courts. They have had some success, and Wall Street is beginning to take notice.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Corporate Ethics: Right Makes Might
Full Summary
Avoiding scandal isn't the only reason to observe a stringent code of conduct. Doing the right thing also generates more tangible dividends. Executives who set an ethical example are likely to have an impact on their employee's ethical behavior.
(Updated 8/01/02)
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