EPAC / APEC – July 2008
As many of our readers already know, APEC and the Center for Values and Ethics at the University Carleton welcomed Donna Boehme as a keynote speaker at the AGM of APEC 2008. APEC has also had the opportunity to speak with Donna Boehme and probe her thoughts and experience on enhancing awareness, action, and ethical effectiveness in organizations. Here we present the first of three parts of an interview with Mrs. Boehme.
APEC : Values, ethics, and compliance are areas of practice that sometimes throw formidable challenges. The public often hears of ” misconduct ” and “gaps” by large corporations. Can you share with us a story or positive personal reflections with respect to an organization with which you have worked?
DB : I must first clarify that I am not a supporter of the concept of ” business ethics” . Ethics is ethics. It is mentioned in the business world or the grocery store, ethics is concerned with decisions taken by the people and the culture and values that lead to decisions. Our job is to help people make good judgments and to integrate quality into the genetic code of the company. Having established two programs and provided advice to numerous companies, I am actually able to talk about positive results , situations where employees and managers have made good decisions in difficult circumstances. One example comes to mind: an employee is on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean and learns a little illegal dumping. Everyone ignores the situation because the incident occurred at night, in the middle of the sea, but the employee has received training that encourages to report the situation. . .
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