The Ethical Kaleidoscope: Values, Ethics and Corporate Governance (Hardback) book cover

The Ethical Kaleidoscope

Values, Ethics and Corporate Governance

By Douglas G. Long, Zivit Inbar

© 2017 – Routledge

114 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781472471604
pub: 2016-12-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315308838
pub: 2016-12-08
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The study of corporate governance is a relatively modern development, with significant attention devoted to the subject only during the last fifty years. However, in recent years, awareness of issues and/or shortcomings in the governance of public and private, large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit organisations has become more widespread and, very often, almost instantaneous through social media. This has placed, and is placing, increasing pressure on company directors as they seek to guide their organisations through competitive maelstroms.

Based on research interviews with company chairs in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA, this book considers the challenges faced by directors as they grapple with sometimes competing demands, such as morals and law, personal and corporate values, and the like, in the quest to ensure a successful operation.

The book starts by considering the macro issues of values, ethics, culture, and leadership before moving to consider the microcosm of what actually happens in organisations and the challenges faced by directors. Throughout, the authors provide examples gleaned from their research.

The book finally moves to presenting the concept of an ethics kaleidoscope which provides different lenses through which directors can consider issues with which they are faced as they strive to ensure both legality and morality in operations. It then closes with recommendations and tools designed to assist directors as they move forward.

The Ethical Kaleidoscope will be of interest to corporate directors, executives, and shareholders, as well as students of corporate governance and ethics. In other words, it will be of interest to all those who are interested in leading a sustainable culture based on ethics in their organisations.

Table of Contents


Anecdotes from interviews

Part I The ethical context of governance

1. Values

2. Ethics

The issue of ethical research

Personal ethics vs corporate ethics

The Johari Window

Emotional intelligence

3. Organisational culture

The complex issue of culture

Culture: achiever or deceiver?

Culture from the top: the role of boards in organisational culture

Modelling culture

The competencies for changing culture

What do you do when your competitors gain advantage through unethical practices?

4 Leadership

The bigger picture

Board leadership

Part II The board’s role in corporate ethics

5. The board’s macro perspective

The bigger context

Complexity and ambiguity

Governing and directing ethics: varying and complementary roles of boards

Inherent ethical issues in corporate governance vs society's expectations

6. The ethics kaleidoscope: gaining strategic advantage

Lens 1: External risks

Lens 2: Internal processes

Lens 3: Board risks

Lens 4: Organisational culture

Lens 5: Intuition

7 What about the future? Thoughts and recommendations for boards

Recommendations for boards

Lens 1: External risks

Lens 2: Internal processes

Lens 3: Board risks

Lens 4: Organisational culture

Lens 5: Intuition




About the Authors

Douglas G. Long teaches values, ethics, and leadership at The Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. From 1988 to 2000 he was associated with Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney where he researched, designed, and delivered the programme Leadership in Senior Management. Two of his previous books, Delivering High Performance: The Third Generation Organisation and Third Generation Leadership and the Locus of Control: Knowledge, Change, and Neuroscience were published by Gower.

Zivit Inbar is an Industry Professor at the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. She is the owner of DifferenThinking, a boutique consulting service specialising in People and Performance strategies for growth. In addition, Zivit is a Non-Executive Director and Advisory Board Member. Previously, she had an extensive career as Chief Human Resources Officer of global companies. Her PhD is focused on the influence of culture and institutional environment on strategic thinking and strategy in China.

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