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What To Do When Things Go Wrong

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MANAGING INTEGRITY IS DIFFICULT. No-one expects everything to go right all the time and indeed sooner or later, something is pretty much bound to go wrong. The trick lies in knowing what to do when it does.

The corporate pantheon is full of examples, good and bad, of how to respond when disaster strikes. Aflac responded swiftly and effectively when an ethical problem arose with the ‘voice’ of its iconic duck (see Chapter 5). By contrast, the painfully limp leadership response from soccer’s ruling body FIFA to protracted accusations of systemic corruption is a perfect example of what not to do. But what can we learn from the companies that have got ‘getting it wrong’ right, so to speak?

Siemens: Crisis as opportunity

German engineering giant Siemens is the poster child for anti-corruption makeovers (see Box 14). Following a massive conduct scandal in 2006, the company put in place what is widely considered to be the ‘gold standard’ of compliance programmes, praised by the OECD and US federal authorities for its comprehensiveness and rigour. The company is now held up as a benchmark for anti-corruption. Key factors in the Siemens E&C success story have been:
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Keywords: compliance; corporate responsibility; corruption; reputational risk; sustainability; values

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2015

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