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Workshop 10 (half day)

Leading an Ethical Culture in Organizations: How I-O Psychologists Can Help

Presenters:       Charles E. Ruthford, The Boeing Company
                          Michael E. Brown, Penn State-Erie
Coordinator:      Liberty J. Munson, Microsoft Corporation

Ethical culture and ethical leadership have been receiving increased attention from practitioners and academic researchers.  As many recent high-profile personal and organizational ethical lapses demonstrate, ethics is not only a moral concern.  Weak ethical leadership and culture can damage reputations, ruin careers, and hurt performance.   This workshop brings together the academic and practitioner perspectives to shed light on what we know about developing strong ethical leaders and organizational cultures.  In this workshop, Charles and Mike will (a) discuss the importance of ethical culture and ethics programs in the business context; (b) summarize what researchers have discovered about the antecedents, components, and consequences of ethical leadership as well as the factors that promote ethical culture; (c) demonstrate how ethical case studies and dilemmas (using actual Boeing case studies) can be used to promote a positive ethical culture; (d) facilitate a conversation with the audience that explores theses issues in greater detail; (e) tackle the question, what can I-O psychologists’ do to help foster ethical leadership and culture in their organizations?  This workshop should be of interest to practitioners who are involved with ethics management, leadership training and development, assessment, or selection systems.

This workshop is designed to help participants:

  • Identify the antecedents, components, and outcomes of ethical leadership
  • Discuss the business case for ethical culture and ethics management in business organizations
  • Create and use ethical case studies and scenarios to promote ethical culture and leadership
  • Assess ethical leadership and ethical culture within their organizations

Charles E. Ruthford is responsible for ethics program development for The Boeing Company.  He leads the development of ethics program focus and direction, ethics education, program effectiveness assessments, best practices sharing and research.  Charles has been with Boeing for 34 years, holding positions in engineering, manufacturing, computing operations, information technology, sales and marketing, ethics, software development, factory automation, systems management, and management development.  His assignments have taken him to Seattle, Washington, Washington DC, Palo Alto, California, and Huntsville, AL.  He received a BA in mathematics from the University of Washington and a MS in management from Stanford University.

Michael E. Brown is an assistant professor of management in the Sam and Irene Black School of Business at Penn State-Erie.  He is an active researcher who has authored/coauthored more than 25 journal articles, book chapters, and conference presentations.  He has published articles in such journals as the Journal of Applied Psychology, The Leadership Quarterly, Organizational Dynamics, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Making Processes. His primary research interests are in the areas of ethical leadership and other positive forms of leadership.  He teaches popular courses on leadership, ethics, and negotiations in Penn State-Erie’s MBA program.  He has provided ethics and management training to companies in a variety of industries.  He received his PhD in management from The Pennsylvania State University (University Park). 

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