Thanks to everyone who participated in Ethics Education Committee PDWs, Caucus, Consortia, and meetings in Atlanta! We’re in the process of assembling notes, slides, and resources to share. We are already thinking ahead to Chicago, so feel free to share your ideas!
When we interface as individuals, as citizens, or as representatives of institutions or organizations, we often encounter ethical dilemmas. As the description of this year’s conference theme suggests, we might need to navigate uncertain boundaries between insider and outsider status, and determine whose power is legitimate, whose voices are heard. We confront these questions whether we are teaching a class of culturally, racially (and politically!) diverse students, collaborating on research projects or articles, consulting with clients, or making decisions about an AOM activity. What is the right way, the ethical way, to handle our differences, so we can learn, study, or work together?
When we join AOM we commit to uphold the Code of Ethics, which offers some guidance about the necessity of standing for fair, respectful, inclusive practices when we find ourselves at the interface:
AOM members respect the dignity and worth of all people and the rights of individuals…AOM members are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status, and they consider these factors when working with all people. AOM members try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on these factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.
This year the Ethics Education Committee invites you to discuss common dilemmas and to consider ways to address them. Please join us, all are welcome! After the conference in Atlanta we plan to share what we learn in a series of posts on The Ethicist Blog.
Building a Culture Of Respect: Teaching and Conducting Research in a Complex World
Session Type: PDW Workshop
Program Session: 70 | Submission: 15995 | Sponsor(s): (D&ITC, GDO)
Scheduled: Friday, Aug 4 2017 10:00AM – 12:00PM at Hilton Atlanta in Galleria 1
Organizer: Janet E. Salmons, Walden U.
Organizer: David B. Zoogah, Xavier U.
Organizer: Louise Kelly, U. of La Verne
Organizer: Deborah Michelle Mullen, HealthPartners Inst./ U. of St. Francis
Teaching Ethics & Social Responsibility in a Conflicted World
Program Session: 178 | Submission: 16055 | Sponsor(s): (SIM)
Scheduled: Friday, Aug 4 2017 5:00PM – 6:30PM at Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Marquis M304
Organizer: Janet E. Salmons, Walden U. and Vision2Lead
Organizer: Lynn Wilson, Walden U. and SeaTrust Institute
Ethics Education Committee Open Forum on Ethical Scholarship
Session Type: Meeting
Program Session: 433 | Submission: 18158 | Sponsor(s): (AAA)
Scheduled: Saturday, Aug 5 2017 4:00PM – 5:30PM at Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Lobby L404
Ethics Education Committee Open Forum on Global Ethics for Business
Session Type: Meeting
Program Session: 469 | Submission: 18159 | Sponsor(s): (AAA)
Scheduled: Saturday, Aug 5 2017 5:45PM – 7:15PM at Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Lobby L404
UN Sustainable Development Goals: What Can We Do?
Session Type: Caucus
Program Session: 1823 | Submission: 15758 | Sponsor(s): (CAU)
Scheduled: Tuesday, Aug 8 2017 11:30AM – 1:00PM at Hilton Atlanta in Room 203
Organizer: Janet E. Salmons, Walden U.
Organizer: Mark Edward Meaney, U. of Colorado, Boulder
Presenter: Lynn Wilson, Walden U.
Growing Pains: Globalization and the Threats to Research Integrity
Threats to Research Integrity
Session Type: Caucus
Program Session: 2059 | Submission: 16581 | Sponsor(s): (CAU)
Scheduled: Tuesday, Aug 8 2017 3:00PM – 4:30PM at Hilton Atlanta in Room 203
Organizer: Joseph Lampel, The U. of Manchester
Organizer: Benson Honig, McMaster U.
MED members: Please join us for a very special evening at the Center for Civil and Human Rights on Saturday, August 5 from 7-10 p.m. as MED, in conjunction with OBTS, NDSC, and Pearson Education, host an AOM experience to remember. The Center, located in the heart of this year’s conference area, celebrates providing a space for visitors to “explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities.” We are excited to hold our reception in a place that respects and honors MED members from all backgrounds, and look forward to enjoying an evening of desserts and conversation with you all!
In this tumultuous political climate, many professional associations and research institutes are finding themselves in a challenging situation. The AOM is not immune. Indeed, the global nature of the Academy means we have a number of complex dilemmas to consider, as well as practical problems associated with travel to the annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia next summer.
The Academy’s Executive Committee advanced a proposal to amend the policy on political stands:
“On February 5th, the Executive Committee unanimously approved an amendment to allow stands on an exceptional basis. This amendment was approved on February 10th in an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Governors. The AOM will take a stand when our purpose, existence, or function as an organization is threatened. The policy will be embargoed for 90 days while a task force explores how the policy will be elaborated and implemented (please see below for additional information on both the policy and the task force).”
In the meantime, it is important that leaders and members know what can and can’t be said and done in the name of the Academy of Management. Please take a moment to review updated answers to frequently asked questions.
The mission of the AOM is to “To build a vibrant and supportive community of scholars by markedly expanding opportunities to connect and explore ideas.” Our Code of Ethics reminds us of of our commitment to “respect the dignity and worth of all people” and points out that “Academy members have a duty to consider their responsibilities to the world community.” Standing for our values and principles is easy when they aren’t tested!
We are also exploring a range of member suggestions, such as increased reliance on web-based technologies and video-conferencing. If you are directly affected by the ban, or you have suggestions for other ways in which we can support and enable scholarly participation by affected scholars, contact Taryn Fiore at email@example.com.
What does it mean to act ethically?
Is it basically to “do the right thing”? We only have to peer out of our office windows to see that what one thinks is the right thing, the appropriate attitude, justifiable behavior, is utterly, perhaps terrifyingly wrong to someone else. What is the right thing, and who is the arbiter?
As academics, scholar practitioners, or students, much of our work is done privately. No one can see what we’re doing when we’re crafting a paper, analyzing data, or conducting a peer review on someone else’s work. If we cut corners or cheat the risk may not be obvious, or it may take time before those closed-door deeds become public. Other activities are public, and may have an immediate impact on other’s well-being, or careers. Even so, the right action, the ethical behavior, may not be entirely clear.
Members of the Academy need to be on the same page about what is right, and we can readily find that page– it’s called our Code of Ethics. The code spells out expectations for all of us in General and Professional Principles. Ethical Standards spell out “enforceable rules” for activities within the context of the AOM.
All members are expected to uphold the Code, but it is clear that many have not reviewed it to see what they have endorsed by joining the AOM, or perhaps wait until a problem arises before consulting it.
Like any document of this kind, it is useless unless we bring it to life in the ways that we think and act. The Ethics Education Committee (EEC) is responsible for bringing the Code of Ethics to the attention of our members– and the Ombuds Committee is responsible for providing guidance when dilemmas arise. EEC members are available to assist your Division Consortia, or other sessions you offer at the annual conference. We offer a flexible menu of options, and encourage you to contact us to discuss the best way we can work together in Atlanta.
We can offer the following types of sessions for your meeting, Division Consortium or Committee:
- Presentation and Discussion: A 60-minute interactive session to provide a broad overview of business and professional ethics, values and the AOM Code of Ethics.
- Focused Session and Discussion: A 30 to 60-minute session on a specific topic such as academic honesty, ethical dilemmas in collaborative research and writing, or an area you identify.
- Q & A Forum: Collect the questions your doctoral students or early career faculty have about ethics and the AOM in advance, and will come prepared to answer, and discuss them.
- Code and Procedures FAQ: A 30-minute introduction to the AOM Code of Ethics, who does what at the Academy in the ethics area, including the role of the Ombuds and ways to get help.
- Discussant: An EEC member can attend an ethics session you are offering in a consortium, PDW, or symposium, and answer questions as needed about the AOM Code, Ombuds roles etc.
Please contact EEC Chair Janet Salmons (jsalmons[at]vision2lead.com or with the contact form below) to discuss ways the EEC can help ensure that new and returning members your area of the Academy are familiar with the principles and standards they agreed to uphold.
From Kathryn Goldman Schuyler
One of the large ethical questions we face in teaching about organization change and development relates to who is included and who excluded in societal ‘progress’ stimulated by business. These two sessions build upon a new book about creating a healthy world, with noted thought leaders like Otto Scharmer, Bob, Quinn, and Riane Eisler—each of whom has addressed questions of power, dominance, includion and exclusion, and purpose in their writings for years. what an opportunity to interact with them directly!
MONDAY 11:30 am, Marriott, Grand Ballroom Salon E, with Otto Scharmer, Robert Quinn, Riane Eisler, Samuel Wilson, and Kathryn Goldman Schuyler.
The AOM annual meeting is just around the corner. If you are like me, you are sifting through the ginormous digital program to constructyou a personal schedule– and hoping it will require you to run around too much in order to attend the sessions that interest you.
If ethics is a topic of interest, perhaps this compilation of sessions will help you find the ones you want to attend:
Sessions about Ethics
AOM 2016 Annual Meeting Custom Program for Ethics
Of course, I hope you’ll join us in the Ethics Education Committee Open Forum sessions on Saturday! All are welcome: students, practitioners, new and experienced academics from any Division.
These Open Fora give us a chance to discuss issues and concerns related to our membership in the Academy of Management as well as in our academic and professional lives. The Ethics Education Committee truly listens to the dilemmas and great examples shared in the sessions and we use the notes to guide our activities in the coming year.
Open Forum on Ethical Scholarship
Program Session: 423 | Submission: 18385 | Sponsor(s): (AAA)
Scheduled: Saturday, Aug 6 2016 4:00PM – 5:30PM at Anaheim Marriott in Elite Ballroom 1
Facilitators Janet Salmons, Deborah Mullen, and Charles Fenner will catalyze discussion about ethical dilemmas in research, instruction, and publication arenas.
The 2nd forum will focus on global issues in Academy membership and our field. Luckily, no running is involved between our sessions!
Open Forum on Global Ethics for Business & Academia
Program Session: 454 | Submission: 18386 | Sponsor(s): (AAA)
Scheduled: Saturday, Aug 6 2016 5:45PM – 7:15PM at Anaheim Marriott in Elite Ballroom 1
Special guests: Jonas Haertle, Head, Principles for Responsible Management Education Sec & Academic Affairs, UN Global Compact Office, United Nations
Mark Meaney, Chairperson, North America Chapter
Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)
SIM and the Ethics Education Committee collaborated on a caucus held in Vancouver. In small groups, participants examined themes and potential revisions to the AOM Code of Ethics. We are now using the notes from that caucus as we work to propose changes to the content and format of the Code. In Anaheim, SIM will offer an excellent opportunity to continue the conversation, and consider ethical codes in the context of this year’s theme of “Meaningful Organizations.” I invited Scott Taylor and Laura Spence to share information about this important PDW, and I hope to see you there! –Janet Salmons, Chair, EEC
Making Ethical Codes Meaningful – Change, Community and Voice
Scott Taylor and Laura Spence
#161 MAKING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION MEANINGFUL: MOVING FROM DE JURE CODES TO DE FACTO PRACTICE
Friday August 5, 4.15-6.15pm
Sheraton Palm Hotel, Palm East. All welcome!
If we know anything with certainty in the field of business ethics, it’s that ethical codes don’t guarantee ethical actions. Many colleagues use the Enron code of ethics in teaching to demonstrate this – a spectacularly detailed, glossy, hortatory 65 page document, that was systematically ignored and derided by most working in that unhappy organization. An extreme example of code-practice disconnect, for sure, but one that we should always have in mind when we develop and promote ethical codes, such as the one to which all AOM members are automatic signatories. Need a reminder of what it you have agreed to? Take a look here.
It is no surprise that we don’t all have the content of the AOM code memorised, and that needn’t mean that we are acting in contradiction to it. Or indeed our practise might naturally exceed the expectations set out in the AOM code. However, there are times when observable practice contravenes the code. Whatever your position on the value of codes of conduct – and they are subject to critique themselves of course – if you are member of AOM, you have committed to following this one.
To think through and act on the potential for code-practice disconnect, we decided to put together a PDW in Anaheim this year on the topic of bringing codes into practice with a view to identifying practical steps through an interactive workshop. We asked people from Africa, Europe, North America and South America to come together and make provocative presentations about putting formal professional ethics into meaningful practice. Presenters and discussants will talk about their experiences of working with police forces, social movements, and academic colleagues, in practising and analysing how ethics happen in complex organizations.
One of the intellectual reasons for putting this workshop together was the realisation that management researchers and educators have been writing and talking about the gap between codes and practice for as long as management and organization studies has been taught and written. This observation was the central pillar of, for example, Melville Dalton’s classic book Men Who Manage (first edition 1959!): official behaviours, represented in codes and guidelines, and unofficial actions, observed in everyday organizational life, were universally characterised by being markedly different. Why have codes if we don’t intend to act on them? And as the entries on this blog to date show, the key first step is to think, talk, and write about the gaps. That’s the first purpose of this workshop.
Like Dalton, though, we also want to take a second step, towards taking action. To that end, we’re creating a space where people can listen to and talk about very concrete possibilities: social activism, implementing quotas, protecting the conditions for voices to be heard, and occupying formal offices (in AOM and in our own employing institutions). None of these things are easy to do, especially when the everyday demands of academic work is so high, and when so many positions are precarious, framed by short-term contracts, pressures to publish, managerialism, and student assessments of our teaching.
However, if we don’t take up the challenge to bring what we know about ethics to our own profession as well as to the organizations that our students work in, then what, really is the point? First, we leave ourselves open to accusations of hypocrisy – if our own house isn’t clean, then we have no right to tell others how to maintain theirs. Second, we’re likely to experience significant cognitive dissonance – and again, we know from the research we do as a community, that’s not great to live with. Finally, it’s simply the right thing to do – as a profession, despite steadily degrading working conditions, many of us still have the privilege of being (mostly) in control of our own workplaces, institutions, and practices. In that sense, we have the freedom to think about and take pro-social, progressive action in our own working lives, as well as promoting this to others.
Do join us, and come armed with your challenges and solutions relating to the practice of ethics in the Academy of Management. We are keen to have a diverse and engaged workshop, so bring some innovation and energy too!
#161 MAKING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION MEANINGFUL: MOVING FROM DE JURE CODES TO DE FACTO PRACTICE
Chair: Laura Spence, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.
- Rafael Alcadipani, Sao Paulo School of Economics/FGV-EAESP, Brazil. Practising diversity in extreme organizations.
- Yvonne Benschop, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, Netherlands. Formal and informal networking to promote diversity and inclusion.
- Lauren McCarthy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Social movement and action, technology and feminism for inclusion.
- Patrizia Zanoni, Hasselt University, Belgium. The challenges of engaged scholarship on diversity and inclusion.
- Alex Faria, Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration /FGV-EBAPE, Brazil. Practising diversity and inclusion through post- and decolonial thinking.
- Sarah Gilmore, University of Portsmouth, UK. Bureaucracy and holding office in service of inclusion.
- Scott Taylor, University of Birmingham, UK. Building inclusive communities.
- Eileen Kwesiga, Bryant University. HRM and diversity.
- Nceku Nyathi, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Values based leadership.
Sponsored by the Diversity & Inclusion Theme Committee, Critical Management Studies, Gender & Diversity in Organizations, Social Issues in Management.
by Mary Sue Love, Ph.D.
AOM Ombuds Committee
In a recent blog post from AOM Ombuds Greg Stephens, he introduced the Ombuds service and promised to speak to each of the International Ombudsman Association principles. As another AOM Ombuds, today, I want to talk about being neutral and impartial, particularly our “responsibility to consider the legitimate concerns and interests of all individuals affected by the matter” and our commitment to help “develop a range of responsible options to resolve problems” (See: https://www.ombudsassociation.org/IOA_Main/media/SiteFiles/IOA_Standards_of_Practice_Oct09.pdf).
Last month, my son’s roommate dropped by, and as she was venting about his lack of communication, I heard myself say, ‘you won’t be roommates for very long if you approach the situation like that.’ Needless to say, that was not neutral or impartial…and it ended up causing even more stress for my son as she went home angry, not just at him, but now at me too!
Last week, she dropped by again with a new list of complaints. This time, I didn’t scold her or tell her how to manage my son. I asked questions about her perspective, and then about his. Two marvelous things happened; first she didn’t get angry and storm out (good for my son). But more importantly, after her feelings and concerns were acknowledged, she was able to be a bit more reflective about his perspective, what he might be thinking and feeling in the situation. That’s exactly why Ombuds need to be neutral and impartial.
It’s our job to help you understand:
- the situation,
- your reaction,
- the other party’s stance,
- and find a well-rounded perspective with possibilities for resolving your dispute.
My son and his roommate are still struggling to find a resolution to their very different living styles. But, this time, I behaved differently. I put on my Ombuds hat, I didn’t judge, I didn’t lead. Will it resolve their dispute? No, of course not. But, her new perspective just might give them a chance!
Stone, Patton, and Heen call this the ‘third story,’ in their book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, or a perspective that both sides can agree on. While it’s work, it’s work worth doing. Here’s a bit more on the concept: http://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/conflict-resolution/telling-the-third-story/.
As a matter of fact, we’ll use this and many other concepts in our PDW “Why Can’t We All Just Get along? Practical Conflict-Management Techniques and the Role of the Ombudspersons” in Anaheim on August 6th at 3:15 PM (Hilton Anaheim, Catalina 4) http://my.aom.org/program2016/SessionDetails.aspx?sid=11002. We’ll share and practice helpful conflict management techniques and offer a Q & A on the role of the ombuds.
And, if you need help with your roommate, or if you just like the artwork above (which is theirs), here’s one group of students’ work on roommate/relationship conflict http://stopthefight.org/?page_id=64.