A New Ethics Program

This (sub. required) is interesting.

Amid the hand-wringing over corporate scandals, the Business Roundtable has unveiled an initiative to train the nation's CEOs in the finer points of ethics. But experts wonder if these old dogs can be taught new tricks.

The Roundtable's plan is certainly ambitious: The association of top CEOs will start an ethics institute at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia to conduct research, develop a B-school ethics program, and lead seminars. "As the chief ethics officers at our companies, we know setting and maintaining the highest ethical standards starts at the top," says Henry A. McKinnell, the group's chairman and Pfizer Inc.'s (PFE ) CEO. "This effort will support business leaders to maintain a cutting-edge culture of ethical business practices."

It may help some, but ultimately people need to be taught ethics at an earlier age. My point to someone would be that winning by cheating is a hollow victory. I don't see how guys like Kozlowski can pretend they are great CEOs when the stock gains they have presided over are due to bad accounting and unethical business practices. I'd rather play by the rules and see how I really stack up against my competitors.

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It bothers me that guys who are content with the false hype make it to the top in the first place. I think that is just a symptom of poor corporate culture and promotion programs that reward those who seek it over those who deserve it.