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Corporate ethics trickle down from the top

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Providing clear guidelines - and living out those values from the top - can help minimize the conflicts of interests and ethical challenges your employees face, says Harvard Business Review.

"You can't anticipate every conflict of interest employees might encounter. But, you can increase the likeliness that employees act in the company's best interest if you provide clear guidelines.

Try using the following tools:

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The Mission

A well-crafted mission statement serves as a 'true north' for all employees to follow. Make sure all employees understand it.

The Values

What values should guide your employee's behavior toward customers, suppliers, fellow employees, communities and shareholders? Being clear about this can help employees avoid putting the company's reputation at risk.


A strong corporate culture clarifies what is not allowed. Emphasize the codes of conduct relating to conflicts of interest, confidential information, bribery, discrimination, and harassment."

Today's management tip was adapted from Managing Risks: A New Framework,  by Robert S. Kaplan and Anette Mikes.

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