Moral meltdowns

“Culture: Bad Apple or Bad Barrel?” is the subject of the Richard P. Gifford Lecture in Business Ethics by Marianne M. Jennings on Monday, February 21, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Ballroom, Hall Campus Center.

“In a nutshell, she offers seven signposts for recognizing moral meltdowns in your company before it is too late,” said Dr. Joe Turek, dean of the LC School of Business and Economics. “Is the problem a handful of unethical individuals (bad apples) or is there something wrong with the way business is conducted (bad barrel)?”

Jennings is a professor at Arizona State University and the author of A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit. She speaks often on business and ethics. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Reader’s Digest.

She has spent a lifetime studying business ethics and ethical failures. In her lectures and book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse, she shows the reasons that companies and nonprofits undergo ethical collapse, including:

· Pressure to maintain numbers

· Fear and silence

· Young ‘uns and a larger-than-life CEO

· A weak board

· Conflicts

· Innovation like no other

· Belief that goodness in some areas atones for wrongdoing in others

The Gifford Lecture is sponsored by the Lynchburg College School of Business and Economics. The late Richard P. Gifford was a vice president for General Electric and a leader in the business, civic, educational, and religious life of the Lynchburg community. Friends and business colleagues established an endowed lecture series in his memory to bring nationally recognized executives and scholars in business, leadership, and economics to campus.