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Ethics - who cares?

#1 Ethics - who cares?
04/04/2010 14:26

Joe O'Mahoney

How many of you have had training in ethics? What did it consist of? Does it have any impact on your work?

I'm an academic writing a book on consulting ethics - any comments / opinions gratefully received!

Best wishes


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#2 RE: Ethics - who cares?
04/04/2010 16:36

anon to Joe O'Mahoney (#1)

I have not had any training specifically on ethics, although there is mandatory training on respect at work, professional standards, etc.

Even if I did have training on ethics, my experience from the respect at work and professional standards training is that actions speak louder than words. I may not remember the training verbatim, but I certainly remember when leaders act consistently/inconsistently with the intent of that training, or support/undermine others in upholding these values.

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#3 RE: Ethics - who cares?
06/04/2010 08:18

Anon to anon (#2)

I am an experienced consultant and have some advice for you, Joe O'Mahoney.

Your book would be very interesting if it were to systematically uncover/expose the 'tricks' that many Partners in consulting firms get up to.

Suffice to say I don't have the time to list them here, but let's put it this way: It seems that many (most?) Partners, particularly in the larger firms, seem to have read in great detail almost every book about business ethics there is. And then they deliberately go out of their way to do the exact opposite.

You know the kind of thing:

- putting 6 people on a project that 1 person could do

- having a team spend 6 months working on something that a 15 year old could get done in a fortnight, then reading the powerpoint on the way to the presentation and acting like a guru on the subject

- working the young 'uns all night long

- working the young 'uns all weekend

- giving the client the most phenomenal gifts you can imagine (huge hampers etc)

- using amateur psychology a lot (one guy was late for a meeting and pretended he had his briefcase stolen and feigned surprise at this because "there was nothing in there except some work I had been doing" as if he alone holds all the world's top secrets and everybody wants them

- and so on.

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#4 RE: Ethics - who cares?
06/04/2010 08:36

dinkum to Anon (#3)

there's an ex-capgemini bod who's already written a couple of books about consulting scams and rip-offs, particularly in public sector, and gets quoted in the press every now and then - can't remember his name but i'm sure the mighty google will locate him...

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#5 RE: Ethics - who cares?
06/04/2010 10:37

Anon to dinkum (#4)

At PA we used to have our ethical principles printed on our special PA notebooks. That shows how seriously we took ethics, I bet there are no other consultancies that take ethics as seriously as that.

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#6 RE: Ethics - who cares?
06/04/2010 10:42

anon2 to Anon (#5)

Pity PA don't have a little note reminding staff where to put their USB sticks !


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#7 RE: Ethics - who cares?
06/04/2010 21:04

scam to anon2 (#6)

Do you mean Neil Glass (who wrote under the pseudonym of David Craig)?

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#8 RE: Ethics - who cares?
07/04/2010 23:09

PA Supporter to scam (#7)

Ha, ha, how funny. The UBS stick incident was a long time ago and nothing bad happened so I don't know why you are making such a fuss of it. I can't understand why people winge so much about PA on here. They are proberbly not very good people who havent been succesful at PA.

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#9 RE: Ethics - who cares?
08/04/2010 07:44

anon to PA Supporter (#8)

Whats a UBS stick? If PA cant even spell it corerectly, then we are all stuffed.

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#10 RE: Ethics - who cares?
08/04/2010 07:45

anon to anon (#9)


Ith that thumwhere near London?

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#11 RE: Ethics - who cares?
08/04/2010 09:00

ha ha to anon (#10)

anon, I thought your last post was hillarious!

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#12 RE: Ethics - who cares?
08/04/2010 17:14

Ethel to ha ha (#11)

Ethics (also known as moral philosophy) is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality; that is, about concepts such as good and bad, the noble and the ignoble, right and wrong, justice, and virtue.

So tell me, what is Right and what is Wrong about Consulting?

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#13 RE: Ethics - who cares?
08/04/2010 21:58

Ethics - walk the walk to Anon (#3)

And just to back up both Anons (4 & 6 Apr), the amount of "training" is irrelevant, it's how everyone acts that matters - consistently and at all levels.

A couple of senior managers at my last company (who shall remain nameless) excelled themselves by ordering (with absolutly no ambiguity!) individuals to do things which were against the client's interest (and were clearly illegal as well).

Didn't make a good impression on us.

Needless to say, the individuals in question and their bosses are still there and thriving.....

PS: oh, they had an "ethics hotline" but for some reason it wasn't used by the individuals in question - something to do with not trusting senior management's integrity. Can't imagine why..........

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#14 RE: Ethics - who cares?
10/04/2010 00:30

Anon to Ethics - walk the walk (#13)

I wonder if you worked for the same organisation I used to work for. They had a hotline too that actually ended up going through to top managment who in this instance were the very last people you could ever comfortably talk to about "ethics".

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#15 RE: Ethics - who cares?
10/04/2010 11:45

It always ends the same to Anon (#14)

Top management = Executive Chairman?

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#16 RE: Ethics - who cares?
11/04/2010 20:50

anon to It always ends the same (#15)

Surely not PA's EC?!

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#17 RE: Ethics - who cares?
27/05/2010 12:50

Joe to Joe O'Mahoney (#1)

Great - interesting discussion here. Ffew those of you that liked Craid David's books, have you seen 'Confessions of an economic Hitman'? Very interesting stuff on international development consulting......

Thanks again for your ideas!!!

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