Ethics

Simi Kedia and Xing Zhou quoted in Forbes regarding Moody’s ratings bias toward its two largest shareholders

Date: 
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Location: 
New York, NY

A new study concludes that Moody’s gave significantly higher ratings on bonds and derivatives issued by companies in the investment portfolios of its two largest shareholders, including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and took longer to downgrade them than its rival Standard & Poor’s.

The study joins a large body of literature probing the effects of ownership on supposedly objective business decisions, including how managers cater to activist investors who buy large stakes in their companies.

In the study to be presented at the American Accounting Association meeting next week in Atlanta, Shivaram Rajgopal of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and coauthors Simi Kedia and Xing Zhou of Rutgers Business School examined Moody’s ratings over the 10 years after it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2000. 

Rajgopal said: “there’s a lot of statistical smoke.”

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TAGS: Economics Ethics Finance Simi Kedia Xing Zhou

Ann Buchholtz quoted in Wall Street Journal regarding five-star Amazon review by investor of his investment without disclosure

Date: 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Location: 
New York, NY

Is it ethical for a venture capital investor to praise a product put out by a company he’s invested in without disclosing his financial interest?

James D. Robinson IV, a founder of RRE Ventures in New York City,  which is currently investing from a $280 million fund raised this year, did just that. RRE  is an investor in Quirky Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc. and OnDeck Capital Inc.

Ann Buchholtz, research director for the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers University says that, “as a private citizen, he certainly has a right to express his opinion. But,” she added, “he also has a responsibility to let people know any fact that would be appropriate for them to consider.”

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TAGS: Ann Buchholtz Ethics Management and Global Business The Institute for Ethical Leadership

James Abruzzo interviewed in New Hope Free Press about council president and appearance of conflict of interest

Date: 
Monday, June 16, 2014
Location: 
New Hope, PA

New Hope Borough Council President Claire Shaw would be well-advised to create some distance between herself and the borough’s review of the proposed four-story boutique conference center that investors want to build next to her property to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, say ethical experts.

Several colleges and universities with faculty specializing in political, philosophical, and organizational ethics were contacted to find out if they thought it’s a good idea for a public official to recuse themselves from consideration of project next door to their property to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

James Abruzzo, co-director, Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School, said, “Public officials have a responsibility to every citizen to act in a disinterested manner. Inevitably, a governing body must decide on a situation that could benefit one of its members.  In that case, there could be the appearance of a conflict of interest. I am not qualified to decide if something is illegal, but it could be construed as unethical.  The best solution is for the person involved to declare his conflict; to provide input into the situation if asked; but to then remove himself from the voting process. This not only removes the conflict, it removes the perception of a conflict.”

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TAGS: Ethics James Abruzzo The Institute for Ethical Leadership

Professor Michael Santoro is quoted in CNBC profile of Blackstone Group executive and visionary businessman

Date: 
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Location: 
Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Bruce Wrobel's body was found by a friend on Dec. 10, 2013, at about 1 a.m. in a Mercedes-Benz CLK550. Police called to the West 20th Street scene—a quiet, tree-lined stretch of townhouses in Manhattan's affluent Chelsea neighborhood—discovered suicide notes to family and friends. The New York City medical examiner concluded the 56-year-old poisoned himself inside the parked car with carbon monoxide by mixing sulfuric acid and other toxic chemicals.

Colleagues and friends were shocked and heartbroken. Why would Wrobel, a visionary businessman who succeeded through a forceful blend of hard work and passion, kill himself at the peak of his career?

And although Wrobel's accomplishments highlight the potential of enlightened capitalism to forge growth and better the lives of others, the issues that apparently contributed to his death show just how difficult it can be for even well-meaning people to navigate complex economic, social and political issues.

"What makes the whole thing sad is that in some ways he's emblematic of an emerging type of business person who understands that with power and wealth comes responsibility," said Michael Santoro, an expert on business ethics at Rutgers Business School. "He was a model of what we want business people to be like. But make no mistake about it—the kind of criticism [he was facing] is inevitable when we live in a world where we're expecting business to solve the problems that governments are supposed to."

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TAGS: Ethics Management and Global Business Michael Santoro

Faculty Insight: James Abruzzo's opinion piece argues that Congress is behind the times on business policy

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Institute for Ethical Leadership Co-founder James Abruzzo is an internationally recognized nonprofit and management consultant as well as a researcher and educator. Formerly a managing director of the nonprofit practice at AT Kearney, he currently serves as executive vice president and managing director of the nonprofit practice at DHR International.

TAGS: Ethics Faculty Insights James Abruzzo Management and Global Business The Institute for Ethical Leadership Thought Leadership

Op-Ed by James Abruzzo: successful businesses recognize their corporate social responsibility

Date: 
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Location: 
Somerville, NJ

Last month, Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked legislation that would have used building codes to increase energy efficiency.

This theory ignores the reality of business in the post-Friedman era. On sustainability, in all its forms, the most successful businesses recognized their responsibility as corporate citizens and began acting on them decades ago.

Companies share a responsibility to all citizens, not just their employees and shareholders. The citizens and local governments allow the corporation to exist and thrive. They run the fire departments, teach the children of workers, and dry-clean clothing. The government provides all basic services necessary for the company to exist, including maintaining the roads between the private airport and the local headquarters.

“Ethical” corporations realize this and act accordingly.

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TAGS: Ethics Faculty Insights James Abruzzo The Institute for Ethical Leadership Thought Leadership

Large US companies scrutinized over living wages remain neutral

Date: 
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Location: 
Sunnyvale, CA

The national debate over whether to raise minimum wages has stirred interest in where American companies stand on the issue. That curiosity perhaps is most intensely targeted at feel-good companies, which pride themselves on progressive practices. Do those companies match their upbeat branding with living wages?

"Companies that wish to project a progressive image for their brands for being environmentally friendly or supporting organic farming represent an equally important social barometer for pay equity," says Michael Santoro, professor of business ethics at Rutgers Business School.

"Can brands that cater to conscious consumerism extend their value proposition to help workers earn a living wage?" asks Santoro, who wrote about the widening disconnect between Main Street and Wall Street in his book, "Wall Street Values." He added, "The days of grooving to your iPhone and not caring that a worker manufactured that phone in a substandard factory are over."

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TAGS: Ethics Management and Global Business Michael Santoro

May the (Insidious) Force Be With You: Urbanophile blog entry

Date: 
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Too many people think today’s “de facto” segregation in metro areas is the result of personal preferences expressed by individuals, when the fact is that public policy has created the conditions we live with today.  In fact, I see the demise of Jim Crow through the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act corresponding with the immediate rise of an insidious, “non-racist” racism that shapes our metros today.  Our metro areas have never dealt with this.

In the aftermath of the Donald Sterling controversy, the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates posted an on-spot critique of how racism is viewed and how racism is really working in today’s society.  Coates describes how “elegant racism”, that insidious force, shapes where we live, what jobs are available to us, how we’re educated, and who is incarcerated and who isn’t.

This position is further buffeted by research done by Nancy DiTomaso, a business professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  In her book, The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism, she says this:

“Because whites disproportionately hold jobs with more authority, higher pay, more opportunities for skill development and training, and more links to other jobs, they can benefit from racial inequality without being racists and without discriminating against blacks and other nonwhites. In fact, I argue that the ultimate white privilege is the privilege not to be racist and still benefit from racial inequality.”

There are other strong claims made by DiTomaso in that interview; it (and the book, which I loved) is worth your attention.

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TAGS: Ethics Management and Global Business Nancy DiTomaso Thought Leadership

Faculty Insight: Institute for Ethical Leadership Co-Director James Abruzzo makes a case on BigThink.com that art world needs its own code of ethics

Friday, May 9, 2014

BigThink.com, an online Think Tank, recently posted an interview with James Abruzzo, co-director of the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School, arguing in favor of a code of ethics for the art world. Below is the piece that appeared as part of Big Think's Perspectives with a link to Abruzzo's interview.

TAGS: Ethics Faculty Insights James Abruzzo The Institute for Ethical Leadership Thought Leadership

Struggling with a dilemma? Institute for Ethical Leadership launches helpful resource: "Ask the Rutgers Ethicist"

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"We don’t live, work, or learn in a vacuum, therefore; we shouldn’t have to make ethical decisions in a vacuum or without trusted advisers,” Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership Executive Director Judy Young said.  "Every individual must make her or his own decisions, but Ask the Rutgers Ethicist will provide a safe, confidential

TAGS: Alex Plinio Ann Buchholtz Ethics James Abruzzo The Institute for Ethical Leadership

Terri Kurtzberg and researchers found that people are more apt to lie in an e-mail than if they write a note on real paper

Date: 
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Location: 
McLean, VA

Interestingly, recent studies have found that people are more apt to lie in an e-mail than if they write a note on real paper. Research by a trio of management professors (Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University, Terri Kurtzberg of Rutgers and Charles Naquin of DePaul University) has found that writers who use pen and paper generally convey more honesty than those who send e-mail.

“People feel more justified in acting in self-serving ways when typing as opposed to writing on paper,” Kurtzberg told Fortune. That’s probably because the act of writing on paper seems more permanent even though e-mails “are actually harder to erase or contain,” she adds.

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TAGS: Ethics Management and Global Business Terri Kurtzberg

Faculty Insight: Nancy DiTomaso Op-Ed in The National Law Journal. Who Really Gains from Preferential Treatment?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Who Really Gains from Preferential Treatment?
Misguided Supreme Court ruling ignores underlying problem: over representation of whites.
Nancy DiTomaso, vice dean of faculty and research, and professor, Department of Management and Global Business

TAGS: Affirmative Action Ethics Faculty Insights Management and Global Business Nancy DiTomaso Thought Leadership

Hui Xiong: create algorithms that identify patterns, whilst protecting individual identities

Date: 
Friday, April 25, 2014
Location: 
Sydney, Australia

As marketers continue to collect huge amounts of personal data to investigate further into consumer habits and behaviour, concerns over privacy has soared.

Hui Xiong, an associate professor of management science and information systems at Rutgers Business School, New Jersey, claims that the collection of data is just technology. It's how companies choose to analyse the data is when ethics are questioned. His views were highlighted in an article titled, "The Ethics of Big Data", which was published by Forbes journalist Ellen Rooney Martin on 27th March 2014. Hui Xiong's solution for collecting and analysing data ethically, is for businesses to create algorithms that identify patterns, whilst protecting individual identities. He says, "If data shows 50 people following a specific pattern, stop there and act on that data rather mining further and potentially exposing individual behaviour." Outsource Sydney, agree that this will be an effective method that consumers will feel comfortable with.

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TAGS: Big Data Ethics Hui Xiong Management Science and Information Systems

Plagiarism to using crib notes during exams is in a bull market

Date: 
Monday, April 21, 2014
Location: 
Toronto, ON

When it comes to business students and cheating, it appears that everything from plagiarism to using crib notes during exams is in a bull market, says an expert in academic integrity.

Donald McCabe, a management and global business professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., is leading a follow-up study of cheating by university business students that he expects will show even more academic dishonesty than was revealed in the first survey.

The first study (Academic Dishonesty in Graduate Business Programs), surveyed more than 5,000 business students at 32 U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities between 2002 and 2004. It found that 56 per cent of the graduate business students admitted to some form of cheating, compared with 47 per cent of non-business students.

“Some say cheating has gone down slightly. Don’t believe it. Students are doing it more but they don’t consider it cheating. You don’t have to look that hard to find cheating,” Dr. McCabe says.

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TAGS: Academic Integrity Donald McCabe Ethics Management and Global Business

Average NJ CEO makes 121 times more money than you

Date: 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Location: 
Asbury Park, NJ

The average New Jersey worker needs to work 121 years to match the compensation that the average New Jersey CEO makes in one.
That’s according to an AFL-CIO report released Tuesday, showing the Garden State’s top executives make on average $5.7 million. By comparison, the rank and file make on average $46,825.

“What these figures show is a recovery that is only rewarding the very rich at the expense of everyone else,” said Charles Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “The middle class is disappearing, and it’s because corporate profits are going into the hands of a very limited few.”

Michael Santoro, a professor of business ethics at Rutgers Business School in Newark and New Brunswick, said inequality is unavoidable and executives should be rewarded for building wealth and creating jobs.

But the social contract has gotten messy. CEOs have been rewarded with big pay days when their companies have created jobs only modestly, and, in some cases, performed poorly.

“I prefer to think of the problem of executive pay from an ethical point of view. (It) is less what they are being paid than what they are being paid for,” Santoro said.

Full Article

TAGS: Ethics Management and Global Business Michael Santoro

Ethical Environment of Business Sustainability conference to discuss critical values to core missions

Date: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Location: 
New York, NY

The Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL) at Rutgers Business School will bring together more than 200 business, academic and government leaders to discuss the need for sustainable business leadership and how ethical, environmental, and social objectives can be built into businesses' core missions and operations.

Register today: The Ethical Environment of Business Sustainability

"A business has a responsibility to reward shareholders while ensuring that the communities in which it operates have the human and natural resources necessary to thrive in the future," said IEL Co-founder James Abruzzo.

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TAGS: Ethics James Abruzzo Leadership Thought Leadership

The Institute for Ethical Leadership offers customized training programs to the business sector

Date: 
Monday, March 10, 2014
Location: 
Newark, NJ

The Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL), located at Rutgers Business School, is offering its Customized Ethical Leadership Training Programs to the business sector.

The programs, presented on site and customized in advance, give participants an opportunity to learn and apply ethical leadership principles through case studies related to their industry and business unit.  The IEL staff and consultants work closely with division managers and executives to customize half-day and day-long programs that focus on risk assessment and real-life ethical challenges facing their employees.

According to IEL Co-Director James Abruzzo, "With our team of industry consultants and our internal intellectual capital, we are uniquely positioned to meet New Jersey's corporations' growing needs for ongoing ethics training. We combine the best learning from academia and the experience of practitioners to present valuable training at a reasonable price."

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TAGS: Ethics Leadership Management and Global Business The Institute for Ethical Leadership

Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership expands customized ethics training to New Jersey corporations

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL), located at Rutgers Business School, is offering its Customized Ethical Leadership Training Programs to the business sector. After 15 months of testing programs with some of the major corporations in New Jersey, the IEL is rolling out the programs statewide.

TAGS: Ethics Expertise James Abruzzo Leadership The Institute for Ethical Leadership Training

Faculty Insight: Professor Michael Santoro raises questions about Merck's continued marketing of NuvaRing

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rutgers Business School Professor Michael Santoro has co-taught a course on the ethical, legal and regulatory aspects of the pharmaceutical industry for more than a decade. He is part of the Department of Management and Global Business at Rutgers and also teaches about ethical leadership and business ethics.

TAGS: Ethics Faculty Insights MBA Merck Michael Santoro

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