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The Business Ethics Twin-Track: Combining Controls and Culture to Minimise Reputational Risk by Steve Giles

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Chapter TwoThe business ethics framework

THE ETHICS PROJECT: FIRST WORKSHOP

Opening

Introductions

It is 8.30 am on a Tuesday morning in March 2013 and I am sitting in the boardroom in the head office of the Stronach Group just off Berkeley Square in central London. This is the first meeting of the ethics project team. In the room with me are Rachel Gordon, the Chairman; John Holt, the CEO; Malcolm Mainwaring, Group Finance Director; and David Hurley, HR Manager. So, it is clear that Rachel has been successful in assembling all the individuals for the project that we discussed the last time we met.

Before formally introducing me to her colleagues, Rachel breaks the ice with an observation – a joke almost. She asks whether anybody else has noticed the digital sign outside the boardroom door (this sign is updated daily and is used to inform managers and staff about whether the boardroom has been booked and is in use). Today it is signifying, correctly, that the room has been booked for three hours by Rachel Gordon but the purpose of the booking is described on the sign as ‘Essex Project’ – rather than, of course ‘Ethics Project’ as it should be. Rachel laughs and says: ‘So much for my famous communication skills!’ Everyone is smiling now, it is an amusing mistake and Rachel's self-deprecating humour helps to relieve a certain tension in the room.

Rachel now makes the formal introductions. As we each say ‘hello’ and give a few brief remarks about ourselves, I have the following ...

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