Ethics touches almost every aspect of association management. This sampling of articles from our archives can help you cultivate a more ethical organization.
How do we know associations care about ethics?
The most popular article of all time on AssociationsNow.com is a 2014 post titled “Take It From the Top: How Leaders Foster an Ethical Culture (or Not).” It has caught the eye of tens of thousands of readers interested in the relationship between leadership and ethics. Thousands more have turned to other good reads on ethics on both this site and asaecenter.org.
If you’re thinking you could use an ethics refresh, this list of Associations Now editors’ picks is a good place to start:
How to Update Your Code of Ethics for Today’s Members. Mariama S. Boney, CAE, CEO of Achieve More LLC, offers advice for continually updating association ethics codes to match current needs. “We should articulate our core values and ensure that the ethics code highlights our core values that need to be translated through the policies and procedures, and review the ethics code every one to two years,” Boney says.
A Reckoning With Ethics and Injustice. Part of our recent Lead2021 package, this piece highlights the ethical challenges that arose in 2020, including issues related to both COVID-19 and racial equity. “The pandemic has thrown everyone for a loop,” says MaryAnne Bobrow, CAE, a longtime association consultant on ethics and management. “And people like to take shortcuts.”
Make Ethics Support a Member Benefit. The Institute of Management Accountants bakes ethics into its member support programs and services, including by offering free credits for ethics-related educational courses. IMA also has an ethics helpline, operated by the association’s committee on ethics, that provides guidance to members and other professionals.
Three Ethics Resources Every Association Should Provide Its Members. Offering more insight on IMA’s programs, Raef Lawson, CAE, the association’s vice president for research and policy and professor-in-residence, urges associations to devote time, money, and resources to ethical issues. “Given that employers and educational institutions currently do not provide adequate ethics resources, associations have an opportunity and responsibility to develop professions that prioritize ethical behavior,” he writes.
How to Make Ethics Training Stick. Associations Now leadership blogger Mark Athitakis highlights research from the Ethics & Compliance Initiative that finds that ethics training in organizations often doesn’t translate to applications in the real world. One thing that makes a difference? The direct involvement of organizational leaders.