Ethics and Accountability
Gray has written an important series of articles addressing leadership
issues regarding Ethics and Accountability.
Benson, George. Business
Ethics in America, Lexington Mass: Lexington Books, 1982.
Business ethics are principles that guide
individuals as they interact with their customers, workers, or others. Benson
talks about the overall obligations of a business organization, including
respect for any individual with whom the organization comes in contact. Benson
addresses stealing, specifically. An organization should be honest and not
deceive the customer in any way. Practicing good ethics is not only good for the
customer but it is good for the business also because people will trust the
business. These same principles hold for nonprofit organizations.
Garrett, Thomas. Business Ethics, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall,
This book introduces the basic idea of ethics and conjectures that ethics is
not limited to the study of morals. Ethics can have a variety of meanings. One
of the meanings is a set of principles that governs an individual, group or an
organization. Also, ethics can refer to rules by which people function. Business
ethics apply moral standards to policies and everyday business decisions. The
article also mentions that law is generally concerned only with the minimum
regulation necessary for public order, while ethics examines both the individual
and the social good in all dimensions. Ethics takes into account the acts of the
individual, the organization, and the society as a whole.
Grover, Mary. "Checklist:
(For serving on nonprofit boards and commissions)". Public Management (US),
Volume 76, Issue 9, p5, International City, September 94.
Before you decide to serve on a nonprofit board, make sure all the facts are
out on the table. Try to make sure that you do not have anything that could
possibly appear as a conflict. For example if you are on a board for the city,
such as the city council, you might not be able to serve on a fire
department's board because of the appearance of a conflict of interest. If
your position raises a question, you should bring it to the attention of other
board members before accepting any other position. It is also important to keep
in mind that if you are a political official, there are other things to consider
such as fundraising issues. If you solicit funds for an organization, can it
be misinterpreted that you are trying to gain votes or that you might leave
yourself open to be influenced by people who donate generously? All factors
should be considered including how the public would respond to avoid unintended
Jurkiewicz, Carole. "Power tempered by ethics for
good CEOs." The Business Journal Serving, Charlotte and the Metropolitan Area
Charlotte: August 16,1999.
This article is about the possible corruption of leadership and the
prediction of what type of leaders are effective. Jurkiewicz starts the article
by stating that the odds are overwhelming that a leader will be anything more
than moderately effective. She goes on to explain that the most common
assumption is that power corrupts. Many people have the potential to be
effective leaders but once given a taste of power they become more effective at
achieving personal gain than organizational success. Jurkiewicz collected data
from two groups of leaders to measure their level of ethical reasoning. Her goal
was to determine whether power is absolutely corruptive. The outcome was that
effective leaders scored higher on desire for power and they also demonstrated
higher levels of ethical reasoning. By looking at the scores, she could predict
who was an effective leader and who was not. The outcome of the survey shows
that the desire for power is not in and of itself corruptive. The potential for
corruption depends on the reward structure of the organization. If a leader is
rewarded for acting in an unethical manner then there is no non-ethical reason
for someone in power not to act that way. It is the organization's
responsibility to promote good ethics and reward the ethical use of power in
order to get positive results.
Lamm, Richard. "Nonprofits: (Five
additions to the ten commandments)." Vital Speeches of the Day,
Volume 57, Issue 21, p647, City News Publishing Company, August, 1991.
Lamm discusses how nonprofit organizations have to hold to a higher degree of
morals and ethics than for-profit organizations. The reason is that the
nonprofit sector is highly scrutinized, especially since many have a tax-exempt
status. He explains that when promoting employees for example, managers need to
make certain that the people they promote represent the organization's ethical
standards to the fullest extent. Leaders, especially, need to act at or above
the level expected from the organization so that other employees can see and
understand what is expected of them.
Rafferty, Renata. "Nonprofits are Held to High
Ethical Standards", The Desert Sun Palm Springs, September 29, 1999.
This article questions if engaging in "good work" is a sufficient
standard for determining whether a nonprofit is operating in an ethical manner.
It follows with an explanation of the components that make up good ethics,
including honesty, integrity, promise keeping, fidelity, fairness, caring and
respect. It then goes on to explain different principles of ethics such as
citizenship, excellence, accountability and protection of public trust.
Revkin, Andrew. "Nonprofits facing ethical challenges
over sales of land". New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, September 17, 2000.
This article is about the ethical issues that deal with nonprofit groups
making land deals that some think does harm to the environment and contradicts
the institutions' mission. The article talks about nonprofits selling donated
land at a high cost to for-profit businesses that build up the land and take
away from green space. Many of these deals have led to controversy in
communities trying to fight sprawl and preserve open space. The article goes on
to give different views of both sides. An example is a quote by Murray Gell-Mann,
which asks the question "Do you make a financial sacrifice for local
environmental reasons and then make it less easy to make grants for worthy
causes, including important environmental causes elsewhere?"
Velasquez, Manuel. Business Ethics, Englewood Cliffs:
This text introduces the reader to the ethical concepts that are relevant to
resolving moral issues in organizations. Also addressed is the need to impart
the reasoning and analytical skills needed to apply ethical concepts to
decisions. It also covers how to identify the moral issues involved in the
management of specific problem areas in business. The book provides an
understanding of the social and natural environments within which moral issues
in business arise.
Wilson, Janet. "Response: Avoid close relations."
Nieman Reports, Volume 52, Issue 1, p63, Neiman Reports, Spring, 1998.
Wilson shows how journalists need to be careful when writing articles or
nonprofits may suffer great losses. Both journalists and nonprofits are in the
same game, they are here to "save the world." If a journalist writes a
story about a nonprofit organization, for instance, within which there has been
some embezzlement of funds, there is a strong possibility that many people will
stop donating even though the need that the nonprofit is addressing continues.
There needs to be some balance, for instance, if they write about that type of
organization. Journalists need to make the point that other organizations are
doing it correctly. There is no reason to cast suspicion on organizations that
need contributions to continue to flow so they can continue to put their funds
to good use. Reporters should try to educate people at the same time as getting
their story out. Nonprofits and the press need to work together for the
betterment of society.