Trust Digest 49 (May 14, 2014)


Does the Compliance Officer Own Corporate Character?
Trust in business has plummeted to a historic low, according to a recent study by Ethisphere Institute, and the composite score of trust across many industries is a cause for concern. The 2014 Ethics Communications Best Practices Report provides a snapshot into some of the key trends in business ethics and features insights and perspectives from industry leaders, academics, and corporate governance and legal professionals.
Key Words: Compliance, Ethics, Leadership
Trust Issues: Communication, Integrity


A Theory of Boardroom Justice
There is a real danger that corporate leaders, making decisions that seem correct behind closed doors, end up being tone-deaf in a soundproof room. When the doors open and the decisions are announced, it is clear that board members are often deeply disconnected from the world’s economic and social realities.
Key Words: Boards, Executive Pay
Trust Issues: Benevolent Concern, Communication, Stakeholders


How IBM Made it Harder to Sue Big Blue
Tech giant IBM Corp. [IBM -0.29%] has changed its personnel policies in ways that will make it harder for older workers to pursue age-discrimination claims if they’re laid off. And employment attorneys and human-resources experts are watching IBM’s move to see whether other big companies will follow its lead, according to a new report by Alex Barinka of Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Key Words: IBM, Discrimination Law
Trust Issues: Transparency, Accountability


Africa's Poorest Nations Lose Billions to Complex Tax Evasion Schemes
African countries are losing up to 12.7% of their national GDP due to shady practices in international trade. Global Financial Integrity, a Washington DC-based think-tank, reports that $542bn (£321bn) worth of capital was lost from Africa in illicit capital flows and estimates that almost 80% of this coming through "trade misinvoicing".
Key Words: Africa, Tax Avoidance
Trust Issues: Competence, Accountability, Transparency


Selling Energy as a Service Meets the Poor's Needs and Generates Profits
A good starting point for a business is usually to target customers with money, and in places that are easy to reach. So it might not seem an obvious business opportunity to provide electricity to the 1.3 billion people in the world who currently lack access to grid electricity. Many of these people are very poor, living in remote areas with few roads or other infrastructure to connect them to the rest of the world.But for-profit businesses are starting to do just this, and in increasingly creative ways, offering new hope of ending energy poverty, which stymies both human and economic development.
Key Words: Energy, East Africa
Trust Issues: Sustainability, Benevolence


Yes, Corruption Is Bad for Development. No, Corruption Is Not a Western Obsession
Recently there has been a spate of commentary in the blogosphere that revives a set of tired old canards about corruption and development — the related claims (1) that the focus on corruption and governance in the development discourse is misplaced, because there isn’t a lot of evidence that corruption matters much for development, poverty reduction, etc.; and (2) that anticorruption is a fixation of wealthy, mostly Western countries, because it enables people in those countries congratulate themselves about their moral virtue and to look down on habits and practices in the poor, benighted South. But the overwhelming weight of the evidence supports the claim that corruption is a big problem with significant adverse consequences for a range of development outcomes.
Key Words: Corruption, Ethics
Trust Issues: Responsibility, Integrity


Google Told it Must Remove Links by EU Court
Individuals can ask Google Inc. to remove links to news articles, court judgments and other documents in search results for their name, the European Union’s highest court said Tuesday. It was a surprise decision regarding a landmark case in Spain that centered on the so-called right to be forgotten, which a plaintiff argued should allow a person to request that information about them be removed from search engines. The decision, depending on how it is interpreted and enforced, could prove highly disruptive to Google [GOOG +0.67%] and other search-engine operators.
Key Words: Privacy, Technology, Security, EU
Trust Issues: Transparency, Responsibility, Integrity


Expert Views: Sustainability and Business Education
The prevailing view of the role business in society is changing, and not all MBA programmes fully reflect those changing views. We're seeing more students, alumni, and corporate partners who believe that business can and should be a force for good. The next generation of leaders genuinely wants to change the world and many see business as the best path to do so. Therefore, it's essential that business schools build an educational experience that incorporates positive business, focusing on developing leaders who can create economic value, build great places to work, and contribute to their local and global communities.
Key Words: Business Education, Sustainability
Trust Issues: Sustainability, Stewardship


Supreme Court Ruling Raises Questions Over Lawyer-Whistleblowers
The 6-3 majority opinion in Lawson, et al. v. FMR LLC, et al., authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, emphasized that SOX’s whistleblower protections against retaliation (reinstatement, back pay, etc.) extend not only to the employees of public companies, but also a public company’s private contractors and subcontractors. Lawyers specifically were called out throughout the opinion as the type of outside professionals who are most likely to have knowledge of fraud and, therefore, most worthy of protections against retaliation if they report it.
Key Words: Supreme Court, Whistleblowers, Sarbanes-Oxley
Trust Issues: Accountability, Responsibility, Stakeholders


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