BONUS | Jolene Lampton - Global Ethics Day

October 21, 2020 | 12 Minutes

Jolene A. Lampton, Ph.D., CPA, CGMA, and CFE, Professor of Management/Accounting and Area Coordinator of MBA - Accounting Programs at Park University | Austin Campus School of Business, joins Count Me In to talk about the meaning of Global Ethics Day. As a member of IMA’s Committee on Ethics, Jolene has a strong belief that all organizations should have their foundations rooted in ethics. And ethical foundations start with people. Giving-voice-to-values is a powerful tool for the development of a strong ethical culture and Jolene helps listeners understand how they can align their values with their organization. Download and listen now!

Contact Jolene Lampton:

IMA's Ethics Center:

Mitch: (00:05)
 Welcome back to Count Me In. IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. This is your host Mitch Roshong, and today you'll be listening to a bonus episode featuring a conversation about Global Ethics Day. Jolene Lampton, Professor of Management, Accounting, and Area coordinator for MBA and Accounting Programs at Park University, joined Count Me In cohost, Adam Larson, to talk about the significance of ethics and values. Jolene is also a member of IMA's Committee on Ethics and was kind enough to share her perspectives with us on this very important day. To hear more, keep listening as we head over to their conversation now.

Adam: (00:47)
Since we're releasing this podcast on Global Ethics Day, I wanted to start out by asking why is this day important, And what does it mean to you?

Jolene: (00:53)
On this global ethics day, I believe it is a day for all of us to search within ourselves, our beings, to bring our values to the surface as we think about a common set of values. People with high self efficacy have conviction within their beings to do the right thing. This in turn gives them confidence. They do not second guess their own intentions. They act in accordance with their convictions. People with high self efficacy can speak about it. They can articulate their values. This is called efficacy. It means you have the ability to produce an intended result. It is intrinsic. It comes from within one's being, your persona. With  conviction, you feel willing or even compelled to speak your beliefs. This is a point where you can exude confidence to others, and this will show in your behavior. On the other hand, people with low self efficacy cannot do this. Rather, they doubt themselves. They are intimidated. When speaking with others about a situation, they do not feel confident on how to act on their own convictions. So you want to achieve high self efficacy. You want to feel good about yourself and be motivated and confident to take action accordingly. On this global ethics day, I hope you will examine your own values and start to speak about them.

Adam: (02:56)
So when we look at ethics from an organization perspective, how important is it for an organization to have its foundation rooted in those ethics?

Jolene: (03:06)
Your values are rooted in your internal beat. They come from within. Even before you go to work for an employer, you should check on their websites to see if their values align with your own. And if you can't find the employer's core values on their website, it's a great interview question. You should ask them what their core values are. When this alignment is achieved. That is the best fit for both the organization and the individual. It's an ideal cultural fit. You want to work for an organization with your same core values, your intrinsic values.

Adam: (03:57)
So you just mentioned that, you know, you want to work with an organization that has your same values and organizations are made up with lots of different people, and how can someone build the confidence to do the right thing and to speak up when they need to? So let's say they've done all that legwork that you said the organization meets up, but then they notice something that doesn't, that doesn't match up with their values. How do they build that confidence to do the right thing?

Jolene: (04:22)
Human beings have special abilities related to learning that sets him apart from other species. Social cognition theory says we learn by modeling and imitating others. Think about it. This is how your own youngster learn to walk and talk. They looked at you as a role model. Then you grew up and you mastered performance, gaining some morals and we acquire the ability to function independently, which is a good thing, and we gain the unique ability to self reflect, which gives us the ability to have self efficacy, which gives you confidence to do the right thing. Giving Voice to Values is an approach that will let this happen more readily. Giving Voice to Values was created by Mary Gentilly in 2010. This approach advocates that you will speak your mind when you know what is right. What you really should do is prepare and practice for actions and not just any action, but the difficult, hard, and risky intricate values-based actions. This is a first step to building ethical muscles, which will give you confidence to act on your own values. The habit of voicing one's values takes practice to make our values just come out instantaneously. So start by crafting your own scripts and responding to others, when you feel compelled to come up with a response, let's begin with the scenario of shared values. When talking about cheating in a cheating episode that you witnessed. There is a shared respect for academic integrity that you should work to build upon in order to reduce cheating behavior. Giving Voice to Values empowers anyone and all of us to voice a sense of doing the right thing. This scenario requires for you to look clear eyed and honestly about the act of cheating. Who we are, who we have been, we can be. To speak up about or wrong, takes a kind of courage that requires a special set of skills like those needed to speak up when you see, when you witnessed your first episode of fraud in action. You need to prepare your script in advance and practice that message out loud in front of a mirror. Remember in such instances, you may need allies and supporters. You may even need to convince your own boss or other official, and you will need credibility with others when you speak or take action, or you may need to just pause and gather more data to make a compelling case. As a mature and capable performer. You are the determinant to take action or select a time after which you've gathered sufficient data. You will decide. If you've prepared scripts in advance, you develop your ethical muscles, just like a weight builder develops muscles. This takes practice a lot of practice. This is what Giving Voice to Values does for you. It prepares your ethical muscles. So you normalize your behavior. Individuals who have exercised their ethical muscles often enough find that it becomes a part of their own self-definition the trick is that when it's normalized and you come up with a stressful situation, you will, calmly react and respond to the case at hand, if you practice voicing your values. This is the position for your behavior to be values-based, and it'll give you a can do attitude. The more you begin voicing your values, the better off you will be.

Adam: (09:16)
So as each person finds that ability to bring that voice to the values, and it's important to know what your values are, how can each person see how their values align to the organization that they're a part of.

Jolene: (09:30)
You should know, your organization's values. Core values should be on your company website. They should be in your policy and procedure manuals. They should be in on your bulletin board or other requisite sheets. And more importantly, they should be in your mind. Begin today, looking for your corporate values and speak about them in your workplace. As you work today, examine how your work reflects your core values. As you're performing reconciliations or preparing reports, think about it. Start sharing with others in your own department, share with your supervisor and your colleagues. They too should be reminded that procedures should align with core values. Be a culture champion in your own organization. In the book, The Culture Engine by Chris Edmonds, you found that 70% of respondents to a value survey did not have values in their organization, and of those 70%, only about half of people could identify their own values and their organization. On this Global Ethics Day. I hope you will find a way to see your values and how your work aligns with those values and start to speak them today.

Closing: (11:17)
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