Ethical Climate: social unrest, anti-war sentiment, employees have an adversarial relationship with management, values shift away from loyalty to an employer to loyalty to ideals, old values are cast aside.
Major Ethical Dilemmas: civil rights issues, work ethic changes, drug use escalation, honesty.
Business Ethics Developments: companies begin establishing codes of conduct and values statements, birth of social responsibility movement, legal & personnel departments established to deal with issues
Ethical Climate: defense contractors and other major industries riddled by scandal, economy suffers through recession, unemployment escalates, heightened environmental concerns, public pushes to make businesses accountable for ethical shortcomings.
Major Ethical Dilemmas: employee versus management mentality, human rights issues surface (sub-standard wages, unsafe practices).
Business Ethics Development: ERC founded (1977), compliance with law stressed, Federal Corrupt Practices Act passed (1977), values movement begins to move ethics from compliance orientation to being “values centered”.
Ethical Climate: the social contract between employers and employees is redefined, defense contractors are required to conform to stringent rules, corporations downsize and employees' attitudes about loyalty to the employer are eroded, health care ethics emphasized.
Major Ethical Dilemmas: bribes and illegal contracting practices, influence peddling, deceptive advertising, financial fraud (savings & loan scandal),
Business Ethics Development: ERC develops the U.S. Code of Ethics for Government Service (1980), ERC forms first business ethics office at General Dynamics (1985), Defense Industry Initiative established (1986), some companies establish ombudsman positions and/or ethics officer roles, False Claims Act (government contracting)
Ethical Climate: global expansion brings new ethical challenges, major concerns about child labor, facilitation payments (bribes), and environmental issues, emergence of the Internet challenges cultural borders, what was forbidden becomes common.
Major Ethical Dilemmas: unsafe work practices in third world countries, increased corporate liability for personal damage (cigarette companies, Dow Chemical, etc.), financial mismanagement and fraud.
Business Ethics Development: Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (1991), Class Action Lawsuits, ERC establishes international business ethics centers, Royal Dutch Shell International begins issuing annual reports on their ethical performance.
Ethical Climate: unprecedented economic growth is followed by financial failures, ethics issues destroy some high profile firms, personal data is collected and sold openly, hackers and data thieves plague businesses and government agencies, acts of terror and aggression occur internationally.
Major Ethical Dilemmas: cyber crime, privacy issues (data mining), financial mismanagement, international corruption, loss of privacy (employee vs. employer), intellectual property theft.
Business Ethics Developments: federal regulations mandate stronger ethical safeguards (Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations; Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), anticorruption efforts grow, stronger emphasis on corporate social responsibility and integrity management, UN Convention Against Corruption (2003), revised Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (2004), increased emphasis on evaluating ethics program effectiveness.
(retrieved/adapted from May 29, 2009 ERC's website: http://www.ethics.org)