How much is a human being worth?

Over recent months the government has declared that employees (including bosses) should be neither over-paid nor under-paid. That’s fine – but how do you judge what is too much or too little?

It turns out that at the top, the level of pay for CEOs currently bears no relationship to performance, as measured by return . . . → Read More: How much is a human being worth?

Do men behaving badly damage business?

American Apparel has been rebuked in the UK for the sixth time in two and a half years over its advertising. Each time for being offensive to women. It seems the corporate culture behind the ads has affected its share price – which has continued to fall over the past five years, while the markets . . . → Read More: Do men behaving badly damage business?

Moralising at companies: what's the point?

The government and politicians have been lecturing companies on how to behave a lot recently – there’s tax, training and ISPs for a start. But does it work?

The issue of taxes not being paid has received the most attention. That led to Starbucks volunteering an extra £20m over two years. But that may be . . . → Read More: Moralising at companies: what's the point?

Barclays: banking on PR?

If I were an employee of Barclays, I would be very concerned right now. What if I don’t feel like abandoning my own ethics and adopting someone else’s? Apparently Barclays’ CEO has said that all employees must adopt a new code of ethics or go.

But suppose that I don’t mind changing my core values . . . → Read More: Barclays: banking on PR?

Stonewall: when the going gets tough, the tough…just leave

Barclays and Coutts both used to sponsor Stonewall, the organisation campaigning for equality for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people. But because Stonewall has used negative campaigning techniques, highlighting bigots as well as champions, they say they will withdraw their financial support.

Others have pointed out that they should have known, since 2012 is the . . . → Read More: Stonewall: when the going gets tough, the tough…just leave

Will Wikileaks spin free?

Should we judge the man or the issue?

The issues raised by Wikileaks are many and tangled. There is one set which is about transparency, whistleblowing and access to information. Those against transparency, often in the security services, cite arguments about the potential damage that knowing the truth could entail. Could it? Unfortunately we will . . . → Read More: Will Wikileaks spin free?

Would changing the rules make business more ethical?

Corruption. Poverty wages. Labour relations and strikes. Regulation for the public interest. Lobbying. Vanishingly low effective rates of corporate tax. Fat cat pay. Issues like these seem suddenly to have thrust themselves onto the corporate agenda. So what does this mean for “sustainable business”? (And whatever happened to CSR?)

Time for a reality check – . . . → Read More: Would changing the rules make business more ethical?

Anti-suicide pledges are not the way forward

Foxconn seems to have a problem with its workforce. The whole working environment – including pay and the treatment of its workforce are too much for its workers: they are taking their own lives.

This is a global problem. Foxconn makes parts for Apple and Sony. There are other Chinese companies with similar problems. And . . . → Read More: Anti-suicide pledges are not the way forward

An Ethical Gap

The Gap chain has been found to be producing garments using child labour.

While there is no press release on this subject, it has been reported that Gap will not sell, and may destroy, the clothes. Is this ethical? While it may assuage feelings of guilt, it is also exceptionally wasteful and perhaps further degrades . . . → Read More: An Ethical Gap

How much diversity is enough?

The CRE is trying to tread the line between social fragmentation and uniformity. Meanwhile the Catholic Church wants exemption from the Equality Act because it would require Catholic child adoption agencies, contrary to their wishes, to deal with gay parents. The same drama is being played out at more local levels: should a university-funded student . . . → Read More: How much diversity is enough?