Monday, April 2, 2012

Trust and Distrust in Organizations

Sent: 4/1/2012 9:58:05 A.M. Central Daylight Time

Subj: TRUST AND DISTRUST IN ORGANIZATIONS: Emerging Perspectives, Enduring Questions

Dear Professor Kramer,

I have looked at your above article by reason of its recent citation by Mr. Dean Krehmeyer here: [Comment from the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics, which is second comment at this link]. ("Well intended actions can have unintended consequences, as illustrated by one academic study showing that employees who are subjected to additional, compulsory oversight measures often 'become less committed to internal standards of honesty and integrity in the workplace,' which are precisely the standards that promote sustainable, long-term value.")

My interest includes that I am embarked on a project to investigate the views and information that multiple interested parties have concerning the subject of entity level liability versus officer and employee individual liability as a means to deter corporate wrongdoing. See this Statement of project. Right now I am trying to make a case study of the recent $25 billion robo-signing settlement (see this link).

Society, through the criminal and civil law, subjects employees (and corporations), in Mr. Krehmeyer words "to additional, compulsory oversight measures" and the result, in your words quoted by Mr. Krehmeyer, is that they "become less committed to internal standards of honesty and integrity in the workplace."

My project and case study are centrally about the "additional, compulsory oversight measures" of the criminal and civil law. Further, "interested parties" include lawmakers, regulators, judges, prosecutors, state attorneys general, plaintiffs' lawyers, corporate management, and ethics officers ("non-academics"). I am particularly interested in what the academic parties have to say to the non-academic parties.

Mr. Krehmeyer has given very significant weight to your article and supporting research. He does not indicate much about countervailing academic viewpoints.

For several years I have been endeavoring to explore the other side of the coin, first with Does the Civil Liability System Undermine Business Ethics? , and then with "Whither the Quest of Business Ethicists?" .

Dr. Painter-Morland, the editor of the Business and Professional Ethics Journal, has encouraged me regarding the latter article, but has said it is on the short side for academic journals and that it could "benefit from more engagement with the extant literature on the topic." I said I would try some more.

If some "extant literature on [my] topic" comes quickly to your mind, I would very much appreciate it if you would mention the same to me.

Thank you.

Rob Shattuck

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