Companies that raise prices might expect some unhappiness from customers, especially if the price increase is seen as deliberate profit-taking. The reaction to Marks & Spencer doubling the price of hand sanitizer during Covid is one example of a price hike consumers found particularly objectionable. The backlash from customers was compounded by the fact that […]
Making Amends: The Two Levels of Moral Repair
When a company has committed a transgression against one or more of its stakeholders, and wishes to rebuild the stakeholders’ trust and confidence, it engages in ‘moral repair’. For example, a mining company in South Africa wanted to make amends to the families of striking mine workers killed by police during the strike. The company […]
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Hidden Bias Can Hamper Diversity Efforts
In 2008, a study led by Prof. Ashleigh Shelby Rosette of Duke showed that for Americans, Whiteness was one of the prototypical attributes of leaders. As a result, Whites, seen as more leaderly, were more likely to be promoted or recruited for leadership positions. In 2022, researchers replicated the 2008 research and found that attitudes […]
Why Companies Reduce Environmental Management Practices after Environmental Accidents
The economic, social, and environmental impacts of a spill and pollution (SP) accident can last for years. At the company level, SP accidents will generate negative publicity, damage share price and market values, and hurt the company’s reputation—in addition to potentially costing a company millions of dollars in clean-up costs and other expenses. Between 2015 […]
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How to Keep Your AI Ethical
While the technological capabilities and impact of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought significant change to multiple facets of business and even society, the core of AI is still machines, not humans. And while these machines can learn, they cannot discern right from wrong—unless we deliberately step in to add an ethical dimension to AI. Where […]
When Should Companies Change their Ethical Norms?
Building on his own research, and other studies and theories developed by researchers in the field of ethics and morality, RSM professor Muel Kaptein offers a framework that answers the question: when should companies change their ethical norms. Ethical norms are the rules, policies and procedures of a company put in place to ensure the […]
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How to Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Work
Unlike other careers, retirement from a military career typically occurs when people are still of working age. As a result, many veterans transition to a civilian workplace. In an average year, for example, the UK workforce will include between 13,000 to 23,000 veterans. Most companies are keen to hire veterans, who bring both experience and […]
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Respond to Employee Activists With Clarity and Consistency
More than ever before, employees are asking the companies they work for to take a stand and become actively involved in supporting environmental and social causes. The increasingly visible activism and social engagement of employees is in large part due to changes in technology and culture. On the technology front, internal messaging boards and personal […]
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Stakeholder Value: Best for Everyone or Just Poor Performers?
In 2019, 181 CEOs signed a Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. The statement reflected a growing sentiment in corporate governance attitudes that the purpose of a corporation extends beyond maximizing shareholder value to maximizing the value for the benefit of all stakeholders—which according to the Statement include “customers, employees, suppliers, communities […]
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How to Turn Purpose Into Profits
Milton Friedman notwithstanding, maximizing profit (and thus shareholder value) is no longer considered the one and only purpose of a corporation or business. The truly successful business is driven by a greater purpose that benefits society and our world and inspires a firm’s leaders and employees by giving their work meaning. The inspiration and commitment […]