03.06.2011

Tackling ethics in business

Tackling ethics in business Ethics is one of the biggest issues being tackled across the entire business world right now, as well as in the financial industries.

Arup is a leading international consulting firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, which employs around 10,000 people in 90 countries.


But although not a financial services organisation, when Arup needed some training developed to explain the company’s updated ethic policy to its staff and embed the principles in company culture, an introduction from a senior figure within Arup led the company to Unicorn.

Now, 12 months on, many Arup employees worldwide have taken advantage of this one-hour bespoke eLearning course, which really makes staff think carefully about how ethical dilemmas arise, and how potentially risky situations can be avoided, by placing them in contextually familiar situations and posing some vexing questions.

The course starts by introducing why ethics are important, identifying some of the potentially negative outcomes, such as reputational damage, prevention from bidding for certain clients etc, plus outlining the Arup ethics policy.

It then launches into how ethical dilemmas arise, starting with the decision-making process. Here employees are challenged to identify what is an ethical concern, and feel how they and those affected by their decisions and actions - family, colleagues or the public - would feel if they made the wrong choice. The employee then has to apply the decision-making process in a contextual mini-case study example.

The course then covers off the areas of corruption, gifts and entertainment, working with third parties and conflicts of interest, all observing what the key considerations are and Arup policy on each, plus reporting procedures.

To complete the course, employees must undertake an extended case study bringing together all of the featured themes to reinforce key messages while allowing them to test what they have learned, and how it applies to their everyday work situation, in a safe, risk-free environment where making a mistake won’t damage their company or career.

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