Ethics and Accountability
Sandra Trice 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, 1986.
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 consequences.
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: Prentice-Hall, 1982.
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.