If the 16th century statesman and philosopher Sir
Francis Bacon could have foreseen
A corporation is made up of many parts. Some of them are charades. One of them is the corporate ethics program. This article is about it. Others will eventually follow on the other parts. The next essay will be about corporate social responsibility programs.
As long as the general public is duped and stays duped corporations and their government stooges will continue pretending they are putting people, peace and the environment over profit and power. When you think about it, the entire corporation is a charade, not just particular parts of it. The U.S. Supreme Court farcically ruled in 2010 that corporations are persons. People who really believe that carry on conversations with stuffies. If only corporations were as benign as stuffies!
Part 1. Corporate Ethics Programs
Corporations have become masterful at talking but not walking ethics. I will share with you a true story of a corporation where ethics was reserved for showcasing in the window. It is a story with thousands of small variations throughout Corporate America.
A True Story
After allegedly repeated and egregious wrongdoing, the defense contractor General Dynamics finally got a directive from the government in 1985 barring the company from further business orders until it established a compliance program.  The company quickly responded by retaining an ethics consulting firm to draft an ethics code, creating an ethics committee of outsiders to serve on the board of directors, hiring an outsider to be the corporate ethics program director, holding ethics workshops for employees, and opening a hotline for whistleblowers.
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