Seeking a Sr Research Associate, Internal Reporting & an Interview with Culture Architect Caterina Bulgarella: The Ethical Systems January Newsletter

Seeking a Sr Research Associate, Internal Reporting & an Interview with Culture Architect Caterina Bulgarella: The Ethical Systems January Newsletter

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An Interview with Ethics Expert and Culture Architect Caterina Bulgarella


Talk about the current status of culture assessment. How can companies measure and understand their organizational culture?

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to culture measurement. Instruments abound, but not all assessments are created equal. Another complicating factor is that the commodification that has taken place in the survey industry over the past 15 years has reduced competency thresholds and quality standards. But while little expertise is required to conduct certain types of surveys, this is not true for culture assessments given their inherent complexity. Another challenge is that the differences between culture measurement and employee engagement measurement are not fully clear. Finally, there is the meme that culture cannot be measured. But that is also false. Not only can culture be measured, but organizations should make a commitment to assessing their own culture on a regular basis using a robust culture measurement tool.

As for guidelines on what assessment to use, the choice should fall on an instrument born out of solid, scientific research and based on a valid culture model. Why is culture measurement not a perk but a necessity? Because that’s the only way to gain the insights to design meaningful, impactful culture work. Let’s assume that senior leadership represented the weakest link in organization X’s culture. A culture assessment can help see these types of gaps, setting the agenda and providing clarity on what should be done next. Conversely, an approach to culture based on ‘best practices,’ a generic model or ‘a little of everything’ is likely to be ineffectual if not altogether detrimental.

Learn more from Caterina on leadership development, providing better feedback, trends in organizational behavior and more  >>

Ethical Systems is Hiring: Senior Research Associate

 
We are hiring a part-time Sr. Research Associate to work with us to advance our goal to create the best organization and resources that will help build bridges between academia and practitioners on business ethics. 

The ideal candidate will share our commitment to business ethics, have a background in social psychology, organizational behavior, or behavioral science, and bring fresh ideas for how social science research can be applied to improve organizational ethics outcomes. 

See the full job description and learn how to apply. Share this with your network to help us find the best candidate. >>

A WSJ Interview with Wendy Addison on Developing a Speak Up Culture

Addison promotes a speak up culture as the method by which companies develop an environment where problems are acknowledged and solved transparently. That way, she insists, they avoid the fines, reputation loss, and other negatives associated with more public scandal. Further, the person or group reporting the issue does not face internal retribution- because speaking up is encouraged at all levels of the organization.

See selected quotes from the article and a link to read the full piece online >>

Ask an Ethics Expert: Jim Lager


Question for Jim Lager, our featured expert. See more questions and answers online!
 
Q) I have recently seen several instances where people are punished professionally when they post their opinions on social media. Some of them have been about political issues, but not all.  Shouldn't we as employees be able to preserve in the workplace our right to free expression? It seems to me unfair to fire someone for talking politics.
 
A) There have been some prominent recent examples of employees being fired as a result of their social media postings, or even from others’ postings about the employee’s off-the-job speech or conduct.  For example, a Virginia company recently fired a woman after a picture of her making an obscene gesture at the President’s motorcade went viral. 

Many companies have social media policies that regulate an employee’s on and off-the-job conduct. The New York Times, for example, to preserve its journalistic reputation, prohibits journalists from expressing political views online.  Other company’s policies are less focused on principles of neutrality or independence, and are designed simply to prevent behavior embarrassing or commercially harmful to them.  Businesses, after all, want to avoid potential loss of business by employing or retaining staff that might offend current or potential customers. These days, it is often easy to find out where most people work.


Read the rest of this answer and other insights >>

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