How can you effectively stand up for your values when pressured by your boss, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite? Drawing on actual business experiences as well as on social science research, Babson College business educator and consultant Mary Gentile challenges the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools. She gives business leaders, managers, and students the tools not just to recognize what is right, but also to ensure that the right things happen. The book is inspired by a program Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with Yale School of Management, and now housed at Babson College, with pilot programs in over one hundred schools and organizations, including INSEAD and MIT Sloan School of Management.
She explains why past attempts at preparing business leaders to act ethically too often failed, arguing that the issue isn’t distinguishing what is right or wrong, but knowing how to act on your values despite opposing pressure. Through research-based advice, practical exercises, and scripts for handling a wide range of ethical dilemmas, Gentile empowers business leaders with the skills to voice and act on their values, and align their professional path with their principles. Giving Voice to Values is an engaging, innovative, and useful guide that is essential reading for anyone in business.
Gentile, director of the Giving Voice to Values curriculum and senior research scholar at Babson College, offers a powerful action-oriented manifesto for living with integrity, fighting for one's convictions, and building a more ethical workplace. Arguing that if enough of us feel empowered to voice and act on our values then the business world will be transformed, she shows how to practice and perfect speaking up, thereby building skills and confidence. While Gentile's goal is unimpeachable, the vaunted outspokenness might be a harder sell to individuals in more vulnerable positions. Nevertheless, she provides sound guidance to making the workplace fairer by appealing to the sense of purpose in others, completing a self-assessment to determine risk and personal communication style, and anticipating reasons and rationalizations for questionable behaviors. For those motivated to hear her call, Gentile presents a strong and sorely needed case for improving corporate culture.