Kidder: What Defines Organizations With Moral Integrity?

In Chapter Ten, Kidder lists ten characteristics that define organizations with moral integrity. Pick one and discuss it. Perhaps one fits an experience of yours in an organization that displayed that characteristic, or did not display it! Note: You don’t have to name the organization! _______________________________ 1. Embed core values into every action, strategy, and policy. They walk the talk, aligning stated cultures with practiced cultures. They spread that alignment from the custodian right up to the board chair. 2. Define ethics not simply as right vs. wrong but as right vs. right. They move past obvious misconduct, I’m-right-you’re-wrong oversimplifications, and black-and-white rigidities.They learn how to make nuanced ethical choices when both sides have powerful moral arguments. 3. Engage moral reasoning to shape future decisions. They use core values to explain not just past or current actions but to determine their moral future. They develop early warning systems to address over-the-horizon ethical dilemmas before they arise. 4. Focus on intrinsic rather than instrumental values. They ground themselves in the really big, intrinsic values, including truth, respect, fairness, responsibility, and compassion. While they respect instrumental values (diligence, competitiveness, and so forth), they realize that these are as important to the Mafia as to themselves. 5. Emphasize moral principle over legal compliance. They recognize that the phrase “If it ain’t illegal, it must be ethical” is a dangerous mantra. They see that while legal principle means playing by enforceable rules, moral principle requires obedience to the unenforceable. 6. Expand their moral perimeter. They don’t settle for practicing their core values only within their own firm, family, or tribe. Instead, they constantly expand their ethical concern to include the global. 7. Concentrate on relationship building, not just deal-making. They realize that truly important relations are not transactional but values-based. They use multiple bottom lines to measure not just financial but social, environmental, and ethical success. 8. Cherish and repeat fireside stories. They point with pride to their own history and moral traditions. They retell company narratives about taking courageous stands, making tough decisions, and putting principles above personalities. 9. Maintain deep reserves of moral courage. They realize that in weak ethical cultures, good people need huge courage just to get through the workday. Yet they develop a readiness to take stands for conscience, even though their own employees rarely need to expend those reserves internally. 10. Keep the ethics flame alive collectively. They make ethics the responsibility of the entire community.