Ethics & Sustainability Leadership The Nature of Ethical

Ethics & Sustainability Leadership The Nature of Ethical Judgement Marc Le Menestrel [email protected] Menu of the session 1. How to think about ethics? 2. How to act in front of ethical issues? 3.

How to communicate about ethical issues? Introductory discussion Why do we talk about ethics nowadays? Why in this program? Why would you like to talk about ethics? Questions close to you Are you ethical? Is business ethical? Select the white spheres Some are still darker than others

Thinking Ethics as a Grey Zone Looking at the bad side Looking at the good side You are honest It feels bad Purely Purely

unethical ethical You may not be credible And you may be blind to risks But you are more aware and anticipate You feel good,

full of energy Our ethical judgments are bounded and biased by our emotions, our mental habits and self-image, our cultural context, our work environment, our self-interest and our power to act This phenomenon is not necessarily intentional, but it can have significant consequences. We can develop, refine and structure our ethical consciousness. It requires to open our mind and to be able to think beyond the justification of your ethical opinion. It necessitates training and effort, outside our zone of comfort Marc Le Menestrel, UPF & INSEAD, for

A Classification of Values Instrumental values (egoism): Pursuing your self-interest. Causing good consequences to oneself: e.g. your salary (individual level); profit (corporate level) Instrumental values (altruism): Pursuing others interest. Causing good consequences to others: e.g. your family, your boss (individual level; your employees, your customers, the society (corporate level)

Deontological values (idealism): Respecting rules and principles: e.g. your education; a code of conduct (individual level); the law, professional standards (corporate level) Emotional values (virtue): Generating good feelings: e.g. sense of integrity, pride (individual level); positive ethical climate (corporate level) Dual & Systematic Ethical Analysis To which extent is this unethical? To which extent is this ethical? Can it harm? Which stakeholders? How much? When?

Can it benefit? Which stakeholders How much? When? Can this be wrong? or unfair? According to laws & regulations? To some ethical principle? If everyone does the same? All the time? Can this be right? and fair? Is this legal? Is this respecting ethical principles, code of values? Can this be universalized? Does it feel bad? A sense of discomfort? An early warning signal inside?

Does it feel good? What virtue do I incarnate? Is this respecting my integrity? Would this be better kept secret? Is this taboo? Could it be publicly known? What would I like to be known? What is transparent? Marc Le Menestrel, UPF & INSEAD, for Would you lie for a monetary gain? $ 1 000 Lying

$1 Telling the truth According to economic rationality, you should lie whenever you have an interest to do so. According to idealism, you should never lie. Should you pollute less? ? Continue Polluting Maintain profits Increase costs Pollute less

According to economic rationality, you should not care about pollution beyond its expected negative impact on profits What do you think our children think about this logic? Should a company respect the law? ? Violate the law $ - 100 000 (including the fine $ - 150 000 Respect the law

What is the value of the law beyond the cost of the punishment? Economic rationality answer is: zero! What about the value of the spirit of the law? Should our supply-chain respect Human Rights? Violate Human Rights Economic Value Respect Human Rights Of course, companies do respect human rights even if it is costly. Dont they?

Should we say everything? Hide the danger of a product or of an activity Reveal risks associated with a product or an activity Avoid regulation, Maintain a market growth Favor regulation Threaten a market

growth We often have an interest in hiding potential risks Indeed, sincerity in communication can be very costly Where is the limit between confidentiality and transparency? Will you avoid corruption? Paying a bribe Winning a contract Losing a contract Paying no bribe Is corruption a necessary evil of economic competition?

What about conflicts of interest ? (1) Against the interest of the company In the interest of the company In your own interest Against your own interest Why would you act in the interest of the company? What about conflicts of

interest ? (2) Against your own interest In the interest of the company Against the interest In your own interest of the company Reciprocally, could a company be motivated to act in the interest of its employees even when this is against its self-interest?

Ethical Dilemmas: tough choices Less ethical More ethical Best interest of the actor Worse interest of the actor An Ethical Dilemma arises when the action that best favors the interest of the actor conflicts with the action that is the most ethical

Priority to Interest: A Reactive Attitude Less Sustainable Economic objectives ??? More Sustainable We act unethically because we think it is in our interest. We resist admitting the ethical issue (denial) We insist on our good faith (justification)

We discard the alternative and tend to blame others (externalization) We face ethical risks. In the worst case, we lose on both ethics and interest Marc Le Menestrel, UPF & INSEAD, for Priority to Ethics: A proactive Attitude Less Sustainable ??? Economic objectives More Sustainable

??? We resist acting unethically because we want to respect our values We acknowledge the ethical dimension (Awareness) We anticipate the ethical risks (Prudence) We imagine an opportunity (Vision) We face economic risks. In the best case, we win on both ethics and interest

Ethics is an art of surprise! How to Communicate (un)ethically? Ethical questions are value-loaded, emotional and can be biased towards the unethical side. Ethical denials and justifications may nurture negative emotions in others.

Ethical answers which strongly ascertain the ethical side are not necessarily perceived credible. Ethical answers which demonstrate awareness and consciousness of the unethical side, as well as pro-activeness towards the ethical side may enhance sincerity and trust. Marc Le Menestrel, UPF & INSEAD, for Practical Implications Know who you are and what are the values for which you want to stand up

Work on your ethical blind spot and learn to face your dark side so that you can transcend yourself Do not relegate ethics as a peripheral issue outside your work but integrate it within your thinking model Make sure the organization knows its ethical risks by identifying the main dilemmas and their temptations Allocate time and effort in the development of alternatives that are nonthreatening but can generate future opportunities

Create communicational spaces where honest discussions about values can be held, and appropriate circles where the line can be drawn between business interest and ethical values. 27 Joan Miro, 1968 First Discourse: Economic Rationality Ethical Values Better

More Ethical Rational Worse Self-Interest Less ethical Irrational Some insist that self-interest should be the sole and unique criterion of rational choice Second Discourse: Idealism Ethical Values

More Ethical Irrational Rational Worse Self-Interest Better Less ethical Some insist that ethical values should be the sole and unique criterion of choice

Third Discourse: Corporate Social Responsibility Ethical Values Better More Ethical Rational Irr a Worse Self-Interest Less ethical

tio na l Some insist that interest and ethics always combine More Ethical Priority to interest Ideal Worse

? Such strategy raise ETHICAL RISKS Less ethical Irrational ? often consists in: 1.Deny 2.Justify 3.Externalize

Better Opening to Ethical From here, a Rationality Ethical Values reactive strategy Priority to ethics From here, a proactive strategy often consists in: 1.Acknowledge ethics 2.Anticipate risk 3.Imagine opportunities

Such strategy is open to IDEAL outcome! Rational choices between interest and ethics are often kept hidden. They are the most difficult. Acting in front of these ethical dilemmas is an art of surprise! Marc Le Menestrel, UPF & INSEAD, for

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