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Measure for Measure: The effects of ethics training

Carl R. Oliver (oliveca@earthlink.net) is a retired Corporate Ethics Officer, now Senior Lecturer at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. He is a coauthor of the book Business Ethics: The Path to Certainty.

Observation indicates that many companies could measure the effects of business ethics training better. Perspective comes from the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (USSG),[1] which set the de facto minimum standards for US business ethics, and the widely used Kirkpatrick Model for evaluating training programs.[2] Two specific underused measures are qualitative content analysis of ethics intake reports and annual employee interviews to audit the ethics element of corporate culture. Part of the solution is switching measurement from return on investment (ROI) to return on expectations (ROE).

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