Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Ethical business oath goes global with UN backing

June 2010

A Hippocratic-style oath for business managers is to go global after being backed by the United Nations Global Compact.

The oath, which has been designed as a ‘guiding compass’ for corporate managers, was drawn up last year and is promulgated by the Oath Project, an independent non-profit organization managed by the US-based Aspen Institute.

The Compact’s support is being seen as key to expanding the initiative, which has had its roots in the US but now hopes to move into global business circles. Among other supporters are the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders initiative and the Association of Professionals in Business Management.

The Compact Office will promote take-up of the oath in conjunction with another UN project, the Principles for Responsible Management Education, which promotes CSR teaching and is supported by nearly 300 business schools.

Georg Kell, the Compact’s executive director, said the oath ‘forges an important link between individual ethics and corporate responsibility’. He added: ‘This project represents a critical effort to embed management education and training in a broader context of business ethics.’  Last year an MBA Oath was also launched, by a group of Harvard students, to encourage MBA graduates to act responsibly in business dealings.

The management oath
I promise that I will:
  manage my enterprise with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society
  understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my enterprise
  refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society
  protect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my enterprise, and oppose discrimination and exploitation
  protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet
  report the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly
  invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

Oath Project | Global | Business ethics

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