Ethics officers, in my experience, are smart, sincere, and committed both to the idea of a values-based culture and to indemnifying their employers. But they are, in the end, at the mercy of the demands of the corporate culture of which they are a part. If corporate leaders are serious about ethics, they will have to empower their ethics officials to develop tough programs that challenge and monitor senior executives at a level of intensity commensurate with the power that they wield.
Done right, ethics is uncomfortable. But it's a whole lot better than the alternatives. (The Boston Globe, 03/20/05.)
I am sure that the Leadership Development Program at the Hutchinson Technology Corporate University is not teaching the business leaders that business and ethics is a contradiction in terms, or that it should be "uncomfortable" to practice on a daily business.