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The Weekly Business-to-Business Forum
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Ethical Stewardship in Organizations
Don Daake, PhD and Edward S. Piatt, MBA | B2B contributors
According to Caldwell, Hayes, Karri and Bernal’s landmark article Ethical Stewardship—Implications for Leadership and Trust, great leaders are ethical stewards who generate high levels of commitment from followers. What implications does this have on ethical stewardship and governance? Governance is concerned with how organizations seek to optimize performance and accountability, how values and goals are integrated within the systems and structures that are created, how leaders develop and maintain relationships that generate commitment and cooperation of those who work for them, and how principals of leadership and management are formally applied in the conduct of organizational business. Stewardship theory would mandate that the leader (sometimes called the steward or agent), will not substitute or trade self-serving behaviors for personal selfish gain but rather will seek the good of the organization he or she works for. Taking this concept into consideration then, what are the factors that comprise an ethical steward? An impressive body of research literature points out several defining characteristics or traits of an effective steward. These traits include the following: trust, integrity, moral principals, virtues, values, commitment and primary concern for the organization, vision, focus, and achieving utility (common good) through organizational achievement. How can leaders fulfilling their roles as ethical stewards impact the organization? By having the ethical steward treat employees as highly valued ends rather than as means, commodities or human resources. By implementing a compelling vision of what people and organizations can become, and by seeking to protect the personal interests of the followers by creating secure mutual relationships, leaders can unlock the potential of followers to transform the organization. From this viewpoint, the focus of the leader/ethical steward is long term, rather than short term. The ethical steward honors the duty of long-term wealth creation to benefit all stakeholders, rather than pursing personal self interests. in Stephan Covey’s book The 8th Habit, he defines leadership as “communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.” Ethical stewards build trust by truly investing in and affirming the identities of those whom they serve. There has been widespread interest in ethical behavior since the disasters of Enron and WorldCom. Questionable practices at non-profit agencies like the National Red Cross, and untold sto-
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ries of political leaders failing to behave honestly have also contributed to a renewed focus on ethics. By diligently utilizing stewardship thinking and actually applying the principals of ethical stewardship, leaders can regain the public trust. Ethical stewardship can facilitate building trust, both inside and outside the organization. Leaders and employees can become “servants and debtors” in honoring their ethical responsibilities as stewards of their organization. Understanding the role of ethical stewardship within the organization and applying its principals provides business leaders the opportunity to build trust in their organizations, improve employee commitment, and create long-term wealth and sustainable competitive advantages. Don Daake, Ph.D. is professor of business and director of The Weber Leadership Center at Olivet Nazarene University. Edward S. Piatt is an Ed.D. student at Olivet Nazarene University.
Have Your Business Processes in Place
Reneé Perry | B2B contributor
At a recent local chamber meeting, we had a couple of speakers giving their advice on the basics of running a business. During the meeting they asked business owners how many hours a week they work. They made it seem as if it should be normal that you work eighty plus hours a week. Eighty hours? Obviously, you will work tons of hours in the first few years of owning a business. I like to compare it to raising my children. It takes nurturing and care, and then after a while, less time is needed to physically be there. Why is
this? If you have your processes in place, processes that cover all bases, it will save you hours of wasted work-time a week. It takes time to set up a process. How are you going to set up your files that make it easy for you to manage your customer’s accounts receivables, invoices, and database for marketing? You must keep in mind that having this information available for your accountant in an organized manner is extremely important. If the time comes that you get audited, it’s important to have your information available, and that means knowing where to find it easily and quickly. What process will you use to hire and/or fire employees? There are important regulations to fol-
low on employee issues that you must be knowledgeable of. The bottom line is there’s a process for every situation to help you create space and time for yourself. Once you have that down, and your employees understand their processes and follow through, it should be fairly smooth sailing. It’s also a good idea to take the time and tweak them every year. What is slowing your work week down? What process can you put in place to make your business day easier? Is there anything you can delegate? First identify the problem, and then brainstorm solutions to that problem. Ask employees if they have any ideas, because they too know that time is money. Developing your processes will transform your wasted work-hours into profitable time invested in your business.
Reneé Perry is a small business coach and consultant. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Manpower Outlook Survey Results
Mild Job Market Expected for Kankakee County, Favorable Job Market Expected for Joliet
Submitted by Beth Brosseau | B2B contributor
Kankakee County employers expect to hire at a modest pace during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. From October to December, 7 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while none expect to reduce their payrolls. Another 86 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 7 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. Employers anticipate staff levels to be lower than the third quarter of 2008 when 20 percent of companies interviewed intended to add employees, and none planned to reduce staff levels. Compared to one year ago when 20 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 23 percent expected to cut payrolls, hiring intentions for the fourth quarter are stronger. For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing and Wholesale/Retail Trade. Hiring in Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation/Public Utilities, Finance/Insurance/Real Estate, Education, Services and Public Administration is expected to remain unchanged. Joliet area employers expect to hire at a steady pace during the
fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Survey. From October to December, 22 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 4 percent expect to reduce their payrolls, according to Manpower spokesperson Suzanne Cosme. Another 70 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 4 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. “Employers anticipate staff levels to be much lower than the third quarter of 2008 when 50 percent of companies interviewed intended to add employees, and 10 percent planned to reduce staff levels,” said Cosme. “Compared to one year ago when 20 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 7 percent expected to cut payrolls, hiring intentions for the fourth quarter are stronger.” For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Durable and Non-Goods Manufacturing, Transportation/Public Utilities and Education. Employers in Wholesale/Retail Trade voice mixed hiring intentions. Hiring in Construction, Finance/Insurance/Real Estate, Services and Public Administration is expected to remain unchanged. Of the 14,000 employers surveyed in the U.S., 22 percent expect to increase their staff levels during the October – December period,
while 13 percent expect to reduce their payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of 9 percent. Fifty-nine percent expect no change in hiring and 6 percent are undecided about their Quarter 4 2008 hiring plans. The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on December 9, 2008 to report hiring expectations for Quarter 1 2009. About the Survey The employment services company, Manpower Inc., releases the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the only forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in size, scope, longevity and area of focus. The survey has been administered for more than 45 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world. A highly respected economic indicator, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey reports on findings from 32 countries and territories around the world. The U.S. results are based on interviews with more than 14,000 public and private employers in 460 market areas across the country.
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