Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/59650
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Type: Conference paper
Title: Learning from corporate mistakes
Author: Robins, F.
Citation: Proceedings of the Conference on Corporate Communication 2009, June 5-8 Wroxton, England
Publisher: CCI
Publisher Place: CDROM
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1356-3289
Conference Name: Conference on Corporate Communication (2009 : Wroxton, England)
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Fred Robins
Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contrast the business risks of seeking to hide “questionable” corporate activities with the benefits of achieving high levels of corporate transparency. Design/methodology/approach – The paper summarises three well-documented cases of corporate malfeasance, simply and sequentially. Each is analysed separately. Findings – The paper finds, in each case, that once the concealed “truth” comes out, the companies are in a much worse position than if they had come clean when initially challenged. The generalised finding is that once pressures mount, what is intentionally concealed tends to become exposed, with unanticipated and powerful negative consequences. Practical implications – To minimise business risk, managers are well advised to refrain from doing things behind a veil of secrecy and, instead, opt for greater transparency. Since what is hidden seldom remains hidden, a “policy” of corporate transparency is often in their interest. The lesson is that when under public pressure, for whatever reason, facts, risks and relationships will out. Originality/value – This paper demonstrates how openness rather than secrecy can reduce business risk and raise ethical standards at the same time.
Keywords: Business ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Risk management
Description: Also cited as: Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 2010; 15(2):169-180
Rights: Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited
RMID: 0020095735
DOI: 10.1108/13563281011037937
Description (link): http://www.corporatecomm.org/pdf/CCCProgram09Web.pdf
Appears in Collections:Business School publications

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