Book review: The Right Thing

Emma De Vita reviews a new volume by Sally Bibb about encouraging ethical behaviour in your workforce

Most people have a clear sense of right and wrong. For those working in the voluntary sector, behaving ethically goes with the territory. But as a charity manager, you can't rest on your laurels - you need to make sure ethical behaviour pervades every corner of the workplace.

In The Right Thing, Sally Bibb offers some practical advice about how best to encourage the right kind of attitude, as well as giving some interesting figures on the subject.

A workplace survey carried out earlier this year showed that 85 per cent of respondents working in the sector said it was "very important" for organisations to be ethical. This compared with 75 per cent in the private sector. When asked why, 85 per cent of the voluntary sector staff who thought it was very important to be ethical said it was morally the right thing to do.

So how can organisations be ethical? Bibb suggests a combination of initiatives, from creating an appropriate decision-making framework and an effective ethical leadership development programme to a code of conduct. But perhaps the most important thing is to lead by example. Don't even think of 'borrowing' a few pens to take home - who knows where it might lead?

- Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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