Emtrain Blog

Chris MacDonald

Ethics Professor Chris MacDonald is author of the popular Business Ethics Blog — a blog he created in 2005 which is now featured on the Canadian Business Magazine website. Chris has been named the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” three times and has been labeled one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.” He is co-author of a popular business ethics textbook, a best-selling textbook on critical thinking, and founder and co-editor of the Business Ethics Journal Review.

Recent Posts

The 2016 Rio Olympics: A Great Sporting Event and an Ethical Mess

Posted by Chris MacDonald

August 26, 2016

The following post was written by our expert contributor, Professor Chris MacDonald and originally appeared in the Canadian Business magazine. Professor MacDonald is a contributor to our Code of Conduct and Ethics training course.


So, the 2016 Olympics are over. And while the Olympics always seem to serve up their share of controversy, this year’s event in Rio seems to have had more than the usual quantum of troubles. In fact, the Rio Olympics featured enough scandals and ethical dilemmas to keep a university Moral Issues course going for two full semesters.

The ethical issues at Rio began, of course, long before the Olympics did. To start, there was the controversy over holding a multi-billion dollar event in an underdeveloped country in the midst of political turmoil. And as the games approached, serious concerns were raised about the lack of essential infrastructure, not to mention lack of plausible assurances about safety and security.

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Topics: Ethics

Business Ethics: Could the FBI Really Force Apple Engineers to Break Encryption?

Posted by Chris MacDonald

April 4, 2016

The following post was written by our expert contributor, Professor Chris MacDonald and originally appeared on his site, The Business Ethics Blog. Professor MacDonald is a contributor to our Code of Conduct and Ethics training course.


News surfaced recently that, in the event that the FBI is successful in getting a court to compel Apple to unlock an iPhone, the company’s engineers might simply not do the work.

In addition to raising interesting practical questions (still hypothetical at this point) for the FBI, this turn raises interesting ethical questions about forced labor. It’s easy enough in the abstract to accept the idea of a court forcing a corporation — a lifeless thing — to do something. But it’s somewhat more difficult to stomach the idea of a court order compelling a number of human individuals to do work over a period of weeks.

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Topics: Business Compliance, Ethics

How Design Can Help Companies Make Better Ethical Choices

Posted by Chris MacDonald

December 29, 2015

The following post was written by our expert contributor, Professor Chris MacDonald and originally appeared on his site, The Business Ethics Blog. Professor MacDonald is a contributor to our Code of Conduct and Ethics training course.


What does it take to design an ethical plan of action? What would you do if you were head of compliance at Volkswagen, or SNC Lavalin?

The question arose recently, as I spent a weekend as a speaker and judge at the terrific Ethics in Action case competition, held at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business.

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Topics: Business Compliance, Ethics

How Bad Management Leads to Bad Ethics

Posted by Chris MacDonald

November 3, 2015

The following post was written by our expert contributor, Professor Chris MacDonald and originally appeared on his site, The Business Ethics Blog. Professor MacDonald is a contributor to our Code of Conduct and Ethics training course.


What’s the connection between ethics and competence in business? What part was played in Volkswagen’s wrongdoing by the fact that the company’s engineers were apparently technically incapable of making good on the promises their marketing department was apparently intent on making?

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Topics: Business Compliance, Ethics

If You Think You Can’t be Ethically Compromised at Work, You’re Wrong

Posted by Chris MacDonald

October 1, 2015

The following post was written by our expert contributor, Professor Chris MacDonald and originally appeared on his site, The Business Ethics Blog. Professor MacDonald is a contributor to our Code of Conduct and Ethics training course.


It’s a bad week for corporate bosses. Volkswagen CEO, Martin Winterkorn, resigned this week in light of revelations that the car maker had, on his watch, falsified emissions tests on what may turn out to be millions of diesel VWs.

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Topics: Business Compliance, Ethics

Business Ethics: 4 Lessons to Learn from Cecil the Lion

Posted by Chris MacDonald

August 6, 2015

The following post was written by our expert contributor, Professor Chris MacDonald and originally appeared on his site, The Business Ethics Blog. Professor MacDonald is a contributor to our Code of Conduct and Ethics training course.


As of this week, Walter J. Palmer of Minnesota, is pretty much obviously the worlds least-popular dentist. Palmer recently shot — as part of what he says he thought was a legal big-game hunt — a lion whose home was a protected national park in Zimbabwe.

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Topics: Business Compliance, Ethics

American Apparel's Code of Ethics: A New Start

Posted by Chris MacDonald

January 13, 2015

Retailer American Apparel has announced a new code of ethics. The move comes, not coincidentally, just a month after the board sacked controversial CEO and founder Dov Charney. Charney had been at the centre of a string of employee sexual harassment suits.

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Topics: Legal, Business Compliance, Code of Conduct, Ethics, Code of Ethics

How Uber Can Regain Our Trust

Posted by Chris MacDonald

December 22, 2014

Uber isn’t in the taxi business. It’s not even in the tech business. It’s in the “trust” business. That is, it’s in the business of building trust between strangers. And if it can’t figure out how to do that, it will fail.

 

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Topics: Legal, Business Compliance, Code of Conduct, Ethics

Top 6 Movies About Business Ethics

Posted by Chris MacDonald

August 11, 2014

There are lots of ways you can learn about ethical issues in business. You can do some reading. You can take a course. But hey, let’s talk movies. Here’s a list of my 6 favourite business ethics documentaries. Granted, these aren’t exactly great date movies. Nor are they action-packed blockbusters. But trust me, you could do a lot worse. 

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Topics: HR Compliance, Business Compliance

What's Legal Isn't Always Ethical

Posted by Chris MacDonald

July 9, 2014

Just because it's legal, doesn't make it ethical. Ethics expert Professor Chris MacDonald explains how people often blur the lines between following the rules and making ethically sound choices. 

 

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Topics: HR Compliance, Business Compliance