Friday, September 19, 2008

Profs. Agle, Hart and Thompson re ethics "surveys, ratings and metrics"

Email earlier today to each of the three professors:

From: RDShatt
Sent: 9/19/2008 ____-P.M. Central Daylight Time

Subj: Profs. Agle, Hart and Thompson re ethics "surveys, ratings and metrics"

Dear Professors Agle, Hart, and Thompson,

The below is from an updated agenda release of the ECOA I saw related to its Annual Conference:

Surveys, Ratings, and Metrics: Ethical Issues in Data Collection and Analysis
featuring Brad Agle, Associate Professor of Business Administration, University
of Pittsburgh; and, from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young
University, Associate Professor of Ethics and Public Management David W. Hart
and Assistant Professor of Public Management Jeffrey A. Thompson. The professors
address the numerous traps and failings that can undermine efforts to build
accurate ethics and compliance metrics. They will help attendees learn how to
see behind published surveys and ratings to see if the underlying methodology
makes them invalid or, even worse, misleading.

I am not sure exactly what the parameters are of "surveys, ratings, and metrics," but I have a question I am interested in that I think falls within the scope of the same.

For the past year I have been an Ancient Mariner asking of ethics academics, officers and consultants, "Do you think the law undermines business ethics?" My rhymes may be found here.

In my rhymes, I supplicate ethics academics, officers and consultants as follows:

[You ethics officers] have front line involvement and first hand experience that
specially enable [you] to discern circumstances and factors that abet or that
impede the inculcation and institutionalized practice of business ethics
in [your] corporation. [You] are in the best position to evaluate my
descriptions of how the law affects the psychology and thinking of employees
when it comes to deciding to engage in an unethical activity or not. To the
extent [you] ethics officers are uncertain about what I describe, [you] can
conduct interviews and surveys of employees to find out about employee thinking
and psychology. [You] consultants and academics working in the business ethics
field also have a close in view of things.

I ask you, Professors Agle, Hart and Thompson, in your consideration and evaluation of "surveys, ratings and metrics" related to ethics, have you delved into, or are you aware of others delving into, surveying of employees and their thinking and psychology, as referred to above, that may reveal something that has an effect of making their conduct less ethical?

Just asking.

Robert Shattuck

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