The Week In Ethics Blog

Goldman Sachs, Not Criminal, Just "Deceptive and Immoral"

The Week in Ethics

Goldman Sachs, Not Criminal, Just "Deceptive and Immoral"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Update: October 21, 2012, Former Goldman VP Greg Smith was interviewed on 60 Minutes about why he left Goldman seven months ago. For more than two years, Goldman Sachs’ reputation has been under fire for its alleged role in the financial crisis. August 9, 2012, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced it won’t prosecute Goldman […]

read more »

NCAA, Culture, and Leader as Bystander at Penn State

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 23, 2012, Penn State University accepted the far-reaching sanctions in the Consent Decree imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA indicated it relied on the investigation and findings of the Freeh Report issued July 12, 2012. The report addressed Penn State’s role in not protecting the young boys sexually abused by […]

read more »

How to Start a Culture Shift at Penn State

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 12, 2012 Penn State University trustees, administrators, faculty, students, staff, and alumni began to digest the 267 page report by former FBI director Louis Freeh. Freeh was  hired by trustees as special investigative counsel  to look at Penn State’s role in a former assistant coach’s child sex abuse scandal. The report offers more than […]

read more »

Leadership Lessons from UVA’s Governance Crisis

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Update: August 14, 2012  University President Teresa Sullivan is interviewed by The Washington Post on lessons learned from her ouster and reinstatement. Update: On June 29, 2012 Gov. Bob McDonnell made an announcement regarding his appointments to the Board of Visitors, including the reappointment of Helen Dragas. The June 2012 turmoil at the University of […]

read more »

IBM Global CEO Study, Values Empower Employees

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Interviewing 1709 CEOs from 64 countries and 18 industries, (from September 2011 to January 2012) IBM identified that the top organizational attribute to draw out the best from their workforces was ethics and values (65%),  followed by collaborative environment (63%), and purpose and mission (58%); these findings are part of IBM’s 2012 study Leading Through […]

read more »

How will Yahoo’s Levinsohn Impact Culture?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update: July 16, 2012 Marissa Mayer, a Google vice president, was selected CEO of Yahoo over interim CEO Ross Levensohn, who took over in May 2012 after Scott Thompson was fired. Yahoo has been an ongoing stage for drama: CEO firings, fluctuating stock prices, selling rumors, restructuring/lay offs and cost cutting,  activist shareholder proxy fights, and […]

read more »

Yahoo’s Challenge to Rebuild Trust

Friday, May 11, 2012

Update: A May 18, 2012 New York Times article provides background on Yahoo board members’ deliberations and Thompson’s  ongoing failure to take responsibility for the resume lie. Update: May 13, 2012: Yahoo announced today effective immediately CEO Scott Thompson is replaced by interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.  Yahoo also said it had reached an agreement with […]

read more »

What Murdoch, Corzine, and Strauss-Kahn Have in Common

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Several years ago I heard the expression “self-cleaning oven.” It was applied to situations where someone was causing harm or making a mistake, and the situation was likely to take care of itself, the way a self-cleaning oven intensely burns off the spills inside. While there are limits to that metaphor —  it has some […]

read more »

UC Davis Leaders Fail to Give Voice to Values

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update: August 9, 2016, Chancellor Katehi resigns today after the release of the investigation report. The report findings included issues with her judgment, candor with university leaders and violations of university policies. Update: April 28, 2016, Chancellor Katehi suspended for 90 days pending an investigation into whether she used public money to fund a social media […]

read more »

Goldman Sachs’ Investment Facilitated Sex Trafficking: The Ethics of Owning What You Buy

Monday, April 2, 2012

Goldman Sachs finds itself in the very uncomfortable place of having exposed its investment in, one of a myriad of its investments. Backspage is a website accepting prostitution ads that included using under-age teenagers as forced sex slaves. Goldman’s latest negative headlines raise larger issues that apply to any company investing in other businesses. […]

read more »

Posts by Category


Most Recent

Making Ethics Real Makes Leadership Real

What is the key to effective leadership? The answer is ethics. However, if this doesn’t seem an easy sell…stay with it. Making ethics real makes leadership real. We’ll look at four ways to bring this home. First, some context. Ethical Failures When ethics isn’t a key driver in an organization, the fallout from ethical lapses […]

read on »
Gillette’s Leadership, the Backlash and Possibility

Gillette released this week a short film “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” Some criticize it as an attack on men; others disagree and see it as inspiring and hopeful. My take is the under two-minute video illustrates another Fortune 500 company’s courage and leadership to try and use the power of its brand […]

read on »
2018 Leadership Lessons

It isn’t just leaders’ abilities and experience that give them confidence. Authentic confidence means leaders realize that as smart as they are, their view or approach might be wrong. And what they do about that either fuels ethical leadership or spawns disaster. A significant cause of leadership failure in 2018, as in the past, was […]

read on »

Gael has proven to be a source of thoughtful and actionable advice on issues related to corporate culture and ethics. Her academic knowledge is a useful supplement to her practical experience and tailored advice.

Fred Kipperman J.D.
Vice President, Global Client Development
Praedicat Inc., RAND’s First Commercial Spin-Off