Last week, BSR, a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world, released a new report on The Five Levels of an Ethical Culture: How to Build and Sustain Organizations with Integrity. Happy, motivated, and ethical employees are the foundation of a positive organizational culture. However, creating a strong culture means knowing how to influence effectively complex systems of human interaction. The intersection between our social, legal, and economic systems and behavioral sciences is what makes the study of corporate culture and compliance fascinating.
This working paper breaks down the five levels of an ethical culture at which an organization should build an ethical culture: individual, intrapersonal, group, intergroup, and inter-organizational. It makes the important point that in order to build a strong culture, an organization must focus on building culture. This means making sure that the core organizational values are reflected in interactions and decision-making at every level of the organizations.
It's worth your time to sit down and read this report.