The Trouble With Business Ethics

Companies are increasingly emphasizing ethics, but a recent case at Wal-Mart shows how problematic such policies can be for employees

In the post-Enron, post-WorldCom, post-Tyco era, ethics has become one of the hottest topics in the business world. Business schools have entire courses dedicated to the topic. Companies have instituted more rigorous ethics policies and set up global ethics offices. One of the fastest-growing employment categories is chief ethics officer, as evidenced by the creation of that post at the New York Stock Exchange (NYX), Nortel Networks (NT), Marsh & McLennan (MMC), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).

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