Tag Archives: john dalla costa

A reflection on roots and responsibilities

John Dalla Costa writes that most of us, as we mature in our moral sensibilities, recognize that our rights entail responsibilities. Philosopher Simone Weil, Dalla Costa argues,  saw this sequence reversed. Obligations, she argued, are the preconditions for rights — the necessary precursor to create the surplus of loyalty and goodwill of mutuality  . . .

John Dalla Costa

In the late stages of the Second World War, when it was obvious that Germany would be defeated and France liberated, the young philosopher Simone Weil began to prepare a framework for healing the great rifts that had opened up in France.

Her book on post-war rehabilitation and reconciliation was entitled The Need for Roots. The war, in her view, did not so much unsettle French society as accelerate threats and vulnerabilities that had been erupting long before. Because of inept government, the clash between industrialists and trade unions, and many other social and economic pressures unleashed by the Great Depression, Weil believed that her compatriots were suffering from a breakdown in mutual loyalty. She called this denial of obligation to one another “spiritual suicide.”

“Roots” was Weil’s metaphor for culture, politics, social capital and ethics — recognizing that our being from a place, and of a place, is prerequisite for our being in relation, and therefore exercising integrity. Paradoxical needs for both order and liberty, for both responsibility and equality, for both private and collective property, and for risk and truth, pivot on these capacities for mutual loyalty.

The fissures perplexing French society in the aftermath of war are not dissimilar from those challenging us today as managers, consumers and citizens in this crisis-plagued stage in globalization. We too have seen loyalty disintegrate, especially in the relationship between companies and workers, but also between companies and their founding or host communities. As consumers, our preference for the lowest possible price has, in that same way, made us disloyal to neighbors who were displaced by outsourcing production to regions with the lowest wages.

At a time when many of her compatriots were clamoring for revenge or vilifying those who held different political or social views, Weil believed the way forward required parties on all sides to recover a sense of obligation towards one another, retrieving the community’s proudest and most meaningful principles in order to create a basis for shared future endeavors.

In his book, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands, Rakesh Khurana describes the emergence of what scholars and philosophers have called “loose individuals.” Trained in business schools that largely subscribe to the view that management is amoral or values-neutral, managers operate without any “shared agreement about basic societal values” — and without any “meaningful language for civic discourse about the ultimate purpose of our secular institutions.”

Like mercenaries, these “loose managers” have no roots, no commitment to place from which to draw moral memory — or to connect with others who share mutual duties and obligations for sustenance, security, and success. Confident in their technical mastery, they don’t feel “constrained by norms arising from social values such as fairness or equity, or by allegiance to social institutions such as nations, firms, or even jobs. Such individuals lack any sense of moral responsibility, often playing fast and loose with the other individuals in relationships of trust and responsibility.”

Even if one happens to be rooted in a job and at home in a community, one cannot but help absorb the norms at work which determine one’s place, status and potential rewards. Those of us who go along with questionable conduct are mercenaries as well, sequestering what we do for a living from its actual impacts on where we live.

The mercenary tendencies of loose managers trickle down, legitimating mercenary consumerism, and self-justifying an increasingly mercenary society. We buy products from anywhere without any connection to the hands and hearts of those who made them. As Weil recognized, loyalty to only one’s self-interest, or loyalty to only one’s own rights, keeps us in the perpetual competitive conflict that inevitably undermines those very self-interests and rights. Mercenaries are highly proficient at winning by destroying, but they have a very poor historical track record for succeeding by sharing and creating.

Most of us, as we mature in our moral sensibilities, recognize that our rights entail responsibilities. Weil’s exacting and troublesome genius was to see this sequence has reversed. Obligations, she argued, are the preconditions for rights — the necessary precursor to create the surplus of loyalty and goodwill of mutuality in which rights take hold and flourish. T.S. Eliot described Weil as “the first post-modern saint” because she was one of the first to recognize that the Enlightenment story of shared purpose from progress has been shattered — and that in the absence of an ordering narrative, we needed to at least begin seeding a new basis of commonality and community from our shared obligations.

John Dalla Costa is funding director of the Centre for Ethical Orientation, a Toronto-based consultancy providing ethics, governance and integrity services.

Ethics for austerity

Perhaps the only world leader who has careful deliberated the world’s many ills is Pope Benedict XVI. His last two encyclicals remind us of the central importance of hope, truth and charity. He recognizes that pragmatic approaches to economic development often produce despair for people who are rendered the disposable means for wealth creation . . .

John Dalla Costa

The world is groaning under the heavy and painful burden of debt. Even when we forget or deny our common sense, the iron laws of economics are such that spending beyond our means is nearly always foolish, often destructive and ultimately unsustainable. But knowing what to do doesn’t necessarily make it easy to determine how.

As much as austerity is a fiscal imperative, it also carries farreaching ethical implications that will ultimately reveal the moral priorities of society and managers. On one level, the ethical questions relating to austerity are fairly straightforward. Have we been honest about the substantive causes of the current crisis so as to have coherence and credibility for the belt-tightening being prescribed as a solution? Are the impacts of austerity distributed fairly so that senior executives experience the same sacrifices in pay, benefits and security that are expected of employees?

We are wrong to regard austerity as only a tactic. Scholarly research shows that previous efforts at austerity have mostly failed. Those who have studied the corporate reengineering phenomenon of the mid-1990s have shown that the promised efficiencies from staff cutbacks were rarely achieved or sustained. Often, downsizing destroyed the very culture needed for innovation and implementation. The loss of loyalty, coupled with the loss of corporate memory, also made companies much more susceptible to ethical impropriety. Austerity may be the right thing to do, but without ethical forethought it all too easily destroys value and degenerates integrity.

By any reasonable analysis we are facing multiple troubling deficits. Polls show that we have deep deficits not only in regard to public confidence toward the economy, but also in public trust toward CEOs, the political class and many of society’s institutions meant to protect the public good. And more ominous than even our economic deficit is our ecological one. Numerous metrics for gauging the ecological footprint of our consumer lifestyle and economic activity show that it would take the resources of five planet Earths to bring the rest of the world up to the Western standard of living.

Since our financial crisis is deeply entwined with crises in sustainability, moral meaning, and democratic participation, any effective austerity must account as much for ethics as for budgets. Perhaps the only world leader who has given careful deliberation to these multiple deficits is Pope Benedict XVI. His last two encyclicals remind us of the central importance of hope, truth and charity. Benedict recognizes that pragmatic and technical approaches to economic development often produce despair for people who are rendered the simple and disposable means for wealth creation.

Our vocation, Benedict reiterates, is to foster economic development that cherishes human development, advancing dignity, freedom, social cohesion and inclusion — as well as GDP. By implication, we need to apply our austerity to greed as well as waste: We need to be austere in according economic issues priority over human ones; we need to be austere in presuming that the market or new technology will, on their own, solve either our social and ecological problems or satisfy the primary needs of the human soul.

If we take a long-term view, austerity may actually be a type of dress rehearsal for a new economy based on frugality, creativity, respect for creation, and “relationality.” With great forethought, the Holy Father believes that we need a surplus of hope to effectively manage our multiple deficits — and that developing the common will to reclaim the common good will require steadfast pursuit of the truth, hand-in-hand with consistent and careful dispensation of charity. I think he’s right that society’s struggles from fiscal deficits cannot be segregated from our deficits in faith, hope and love.

John Dalla Costa is funding director of the Centre for Ethical Orientation, a Toronto-based consultancy providing ethics, governance and integrity services.

Business integrity in a time of multiple globalizations

John Dalla Costa participated in a July 2010 interfaith gathering of scholars in theology and corporate social responsibility. They proposed some of the foundations for a project of pluralistic governance. Participants were charged with framing principles for economic recovery and cooperation from within the major Abrahamic faith traditions . . .

John Dalla Costa

John Dalla Costa

One still-reverberating consequence of the financial crisis is the loss of moral authority for North American governance models. Already flexing its economic power in global currency discussions, China has recently begun to lobby for new modes of corporate management based on Eastern principles and values.

With Brazil and India’s economic ascendancy, alternative approaches to regulation and governance are also emerging in Latin America and the Asian subcontinent, as well as in the Middle East and Africa. Many economists and business leaders presumed that we were  heading toward a singular standard for corporate integrity. Instead, we are now doing business in a much more complex operating reality, which sociologists explain as a phenomenon of “multiple globalizations.”

For business ethicists, and for executives committed to ethical excellence, the challenge now is to recover the principles and practices that legitimize corporate conduct, while carefully reflecting the evolving pluralistic moral claims on economic agents. As with any project of diversity, effective engagement hinges on two dynamics: a respectful outreach to others who bring different voices and perspectives to the moral dialogue about business, and an interior owning of difference that beckons us to articulate the unique insights that will be our contribution to global ethical discourse.

In July 2010, an interfaith group of scholars in theology and corporate social responsibility came together to propose some of the foundations for this project of pluralistic governance. Co-convened by the Caux Round Table, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Prof. Ronald Theimann, and Prof. Ibrahim Zein, we participants were charged with framing principles for economic recovery and cooperation from within the major Abrahamic faith traditions.

Our starting point, as it has been for Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclicals, was to reflect on the deep human vulnerability experienced in history — and now underscored by the financial crisis. The global economy of transactions and commercial exchange links people in an almost sacramental communion. We depend on one another for making a living, for imagining and realizing dreams, and for earning dignity by sharing the outputs of our personal gifts and capacities. Technology brings a greater moral risk, so much so that innocent workers, investors, customers and citizens can be easily harmed or displaced by economic decisions made by managers in faraway cities or office towers.

Vulnerability seems to be a deficiency, but it is actually a defining mark of our humanity. By etymology, to be vulnerable means to be wounded. This inescapable vulnerability is a powerful creative force, serving as the locus for our ethics and shared human rights. It also animates in each of us the sympathy that Adam Smith — the Scottish political economics pioneer — identified as critical for developing the mature “self-control” as the complement and corrective for “self-interest.”

Work is at root a means for escaping, or protecting against, vulnerability. Each of the Abrahamic faith traditions situates work in the context of stewardship, with persons invited to participate in “the Creator’s vision for a just and fruitful globe” by using our gifts, talents and creativity to alleviate or minimize vulnerability, the round table scholars’ statement said.

In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, “the social dimensions and cultural foundations for sustaining economic life” are premised on “appreciation for both human possibilities and limitations.” The teachings concerning “discernment, judgment, correction and action” from each of the Abrahamic traditions provides inspiration for seven spiritual disciplines for managers:

Receiving, which involves the openness, humility and fidelity to attend to God’s grace and advice;
Responding, which recognizes the call to use our talents “in the service of higher ends;”
Repenting, which takes ownership of mistakes and accepts appropriate responsibility as prerequisites for shaping “rightly directed action;”
Reminding, which recalls to one another the obligation for justice, with particular attentiveness toward those who have the least voice in decision-making;
Reforming, which takes seriously the public trust, earning legitimacy for enterprises by the opportunity, dignity and collaboration enabled for human beings;
Remembering, which invokes the teachings of our scriptures and traditions to create the “dynamic checks, balances and timely reformulations” for fulfilling stewardship;
Rejuvenating, which uses “imagination, investments and methodologies of business enterprise” to respond efficiently and effectively to the social and ecological problems that define our age.”

In a time when differences between the world’s religions seem to be the primary impetus for conflict or cultural clashes, the joint statement issued by the scholars provides an important model for collaboration, respect and constructive problem solving. Only a starting point, this work of surfacing spiritual disciplines also inspires each of us who work as managers to reflect more deeply on scripture, integrating our interior sources of meaning with our exterior practices of managerial professionalism. As is true in any community, we are learning about integrity from each other, with the humility that is an intrinsic feature of prayer.

For sociologists, the concept of multiple globalizations is generally the horizontal one of different geographies, histories or anthropologies. For persons of faith, this multiplicity is also vertical, with theology and spirituality taking on a more public role in global ethics discourse.

John Dalla Costa is funding director of the Centre for Ethical Orientation, a Toronto-based consultancy providing ethics, governance and integrity services. The scholars’ statement is available at cauxroundtable.org

Business ethics as if morally mattered

John Dalla Costa writes that if companies need a business case to strengthen their commitment to ethics, then those ethics are subservient to the bottom line. Disturbingly, ethical problems are then robbed of their moral worth. Business scholars say that ethical responsibility issues are usually parsed to eliminate any reference to higher purpose . . .

John Dalla Costa

Governance, business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have become much more considered practices in companies since the dot-com crash, but a decade’s worth of measures aiming to strengthen managerial integrity have fallen well short of the need.

On a dollar-to-dollar comparison, the collapse of Lehman Brothers was 10 times more costly to shareholders than the ignominious downfall of Enron. The social costs are also exponentially greater, with millions of people immediately losing jobs and pensions, facing what many economists believe will now be a prolonged period of high unemployment and structural adjustment. It’s true that companies placed bets that they could not cover, and that regulators failed to imagine consequences or prescribe norms for protecting the public trust. However, part of the blame must also go to the systems for self-regulation, including business ethics and CSR, which were meant to temper irresponsibility and to provide a method for exercising managerial conscience and organizational conscientiousness.

When the banks first began to falter in late 2008, I visited the websites for Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns and downloaded their publicly available codes of ethical conduct. What jumped out as I did a side-by-side comparison was the uncanny similarity, as if the companies’ standards were adapted from a common legal boilerplate. Both codes began by invoking the authority of the respective boards of directors, both specified restrictions relating to conflict of interest, and both included a closing section enjoining employees never to put corporate assets at risk. Research confirms that most companies now have some type of code of their own, but the question business leaders need to ask is whether their systems for responsibility are any less flimsy.

For most companies, ethics have been reduced to a compliance function, involving a legalistic checklist devoid of any influence on strategy or culture. Compliance is a type of adolescent discipline for preventing infractions, whereas the pressures in most business environments actually require the ethical maturity to excercise creatively moral imagination and practice moral courage.

Admittedly, a few companies have gone beyond minimal ethics to take a more strategic approach to risk management. During the last decade, more and more data has been proffered supporting the business case for ethics. A recent article in Fortune explains that “virtue is supposed to be its own reward, but according to an emerging line of thought, it’s profitable too.”

Two recent studies have raised empirical reasons for being suspicious of this approach. First, a McKinsey survey of international business leaders confirms that while an increasing number of CEOs acknowledge a duty for corporations towards social justice, poverty reduction and sustainability, most also admit to a large gap between their rhetoric and actual performance. Second, a 2010 report from the U.N. Research Institute For Social Development shows that social responsibility programs undertaken by the world’s largest 100 corporations have achieved only a fraction of their promise. Executives appreciate the benefits of a reputation for responsibility, but the authors conclude that “far more attention has been paid to assessing what CSR does for the business and the ‘bottom line’ than for people and the environment.”

It will be obvious to many that part of this quandary relates to instrumentality. If companies need a business case to strengthen their commitment to ethics, then in essence those ethics are contingent or subservient to the bottom line. Perhaps the most disturbing feature of this pattern is that our deepest ethical problems are robbed of their true moral worth. Business scholars who study the internal practices of companies have found that ethical and social responsibility issues are usually parsed to eliminate any reference to higher principle or purpose.

Andrew Crane, professor of business ethics at York University in Toronto, details four such strategies to “accomplish ethical neutrality.” Managers de-personalize the stakes, using code words such as “headcount” or “outsourcing” to evade the human impacts of decisions. They set rigid boundaries for morality by insisting that any such concern is private or relative and therefore inappropriate to strategic discourse. Crane discovered that companies “appropriate” ethical concerns without answering to the higher standard this entails, such as claiming to be “green,” “organic” or “healthy” without investing in sustainability or addressing obesity. Paradoxically, the end result is a regimen of business ethics that renders morality taboo.

This is problematic for authenticity and integrity, especially for Christians. As disciples of Jesus, ethical and moral problems represent profound moments of conversion — not opportunities for advantage, but for bearing the cross that no one else can shoulder. Some economists argue that business is “value neutral,” but we know that ethical lapses by business leaders have moral consequences, impacting innocent people and passing difficult burdens on to the poor.

For business ethics to matter, we must work to again root their claim in moral soil. As theologian and ecologist James Nash reminds us: “The task of ethics is not to adapt reasonable norms to fit current practices, but rather to challenge and enable societies to adapt their practices to fit those norms.”

John Dalla Costa is funding director of the Centre for Ethical Orientation, a Toronto-based consultancy providing ethics, governance and integrity services. He is the author of five management books.

The risk of repetition without repentence

John Dalla Costa writes that an unsettling revelation attending the current global financial crisis is that some of those who structured the most problematic credit derivatives that put the economy in jeopardy were alumni of Enron. Additionally, some CEOs in the financial sector are pushing back on demands for better regulation and more moderate compensation. . .

John Dalla Costa

John Dalla Costa

Among the many unsettling revelations attending the current global financial crisis is that some of the traders who structured the most problematic credit derivatives that put the whole economy in jeopardy were alumni of Enron. Rather than learn lessons about the excesses of the dot-com boom, investment banks and insurance companies readily employed what one author famously called “the smartest guys in the room.”

Economists tell us that markets are cyclical and that busts or failures are part of the self-correcting mechanism of self-interest writ large. But that pattern may itself be more of an excuse than inevitability. One study of cycles shows that the frequency of crisis has in fact accelerated and that each successive wave wreaks significantly more damage.

Some of us will remember the scandal-plagued failure of junk bond innovator Drexel Burnham in the late 1980s. But few will know that the person at the center of AIG’s current debacle (and until recently head of its U.K. derivatives business) was one of the swashbucklers from long-deposed Drexel Burnham. In effect, the business meltdown now causing so much grief to investors, workers and communities is not a distinct event but part of a continuity of malfeasance. Our failure to learn history’s lessons means more than risking the repeat of its excesses. In fact, our forgetting, amplified by technology and intensified by globalization, begets ethical failures that are ever wider in scope and graver in their impact on society.

How can this be? Why are we so willing to quickly adopt technological or knowledge innovations to reduce risk, while resisting the prudence and moral care that are in fact intrinsic to stability and fairness? We know from long experience with business ethics that great mistakes by boards or CEOs rarely come from intentionally choosing to do the wrong thing. While the press and public look for sinister subterfuges or high profile scapegoats, the reality is that business leaders in the middle of ethical storms are often not only accomplished in their field, but of responsible personal reputation. The mystery that deserves serious scrutiny is not that a “few bad apples” disregard the rules, but that so many that we would generally regard as “good persons” also lose sense of ethical proportion or decency.

Experts have coined terms like “group think” to explain the momentum of expedience that opens the way for mass amorality, but this psychological model tends to let us all off the hook too easily. One report of a recent national meeting of mainstream economists observed little-to-no self-critical analysis. Session topics included some admission that the profession had made mistakes, but the general assumption of presenters and participants was that models, not people, were to blame.

Similarly, some CEOs in the financial sector have now begun to push back on public demands for better regulation and more temperate compensation, essentially disregarding that their companies had off-loaded the moral hazard from their practices onto the public — which has so far spent hundreds of billions of dollars bailing them out. Such resistance to explore personal culpability in the face of the greatest financial calamity in 70 years means that we may already be planting the seeds for future irresponsibility.

The Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan recognized that the group thinking that led to a moral breakdown could not in itself resolve the problems it created. Lonergan explained that only conversion could release the human heart and mind from what he called “the bias of common sense.” As it has throughout Christian history, such conversion hinges on a confessional moment of recognizing one’s inadequacy before God.

Importantly, this sacramental moment is not to wallow in guilt, but rather to resume our relationship with holiness — to recognize our human frailty and needs, to take responsibility for what is broken in our souls or society, and to welcome the grace that is the ultimate resource for hope and renewal. Repentance is a sacrament for this reason: It frees us by God’s love from the “habitual imperfections” that otherwise keep us locked in the prison of repetitive disregard for what is right.

Catholic business people have as their vocation that extra duty to bring an imagination for repentance and reconciliation to their workday responsibilities. As Jesus taught about prayer and fasting, this need not be a public display of piety. The charge, instead, is for daily internal prayer that transforms one’s daily external actions.

Saints have taught us to pray on waking so as to discern the terms of God’s call or will in the day ahead. They remind us to withdraw from busy activity during the day, if only for a few seconds, to recall the close proximity of Jesus walking with us. And many saints modeled an evening prayer based on examination of conscience, to tally the gifts of the day we have offered to God, and to see patterns where we missed heeding the moral need of moments or situations we encountered. Recent events show that we cannot bring ethics in business up to the challenge of systemic impropriety without changing the system that denies personal responsibility. Confession is a creative act, without which we paradoxically remain in repetitive destruction.

John Dalla Costa is funding director of the Centre for Ethical Orientation, a Toronto-based consultancy providing ethics, governance and integrity services. He is the author of five management books.

Signs of unsettling times

Our call as Christians is to be a light in the darkness, insisting on hope not fear . . .

John Dalla Costa

The credit crisis has morphed into an even more dangerous bubble involving lost credibility. Markets are bereft of confidence, unleashing equities deflation, job losses and factory closings that only exacerbate what is now a globally shared sense of fear and gloom.

Not surprisingly, much of the mistrust for this crash is directed at business leaders. I would argue however, that this historic unwinding of false fortunes – derived from suspect mitigation of credit risk – indicts the very understanding we have of business ethics. As a business ethicist, I include myself in this criticism. Our mistake, at its most basic, has been reinforcing a binary diagnostic in which good ethics led to good companies, while failed companies proved wanting of sound ethical restraint. This has allowed us to study and apply the business case for ethics without engaging the larger systemic dimensions. This is no longer viable. Business ethics as we have practiced them are no longer credible for three reasons:

First, as Alan Greenspan admitted before Congress, the “self-interest” of companies and managers proved a “flawed” basis for “self-regulation.” Since business ethics were designed as the corporate skills for exercising responsibility, the flaw in self-regulation bespeaks a flaw in the discipline for achieving it. We are getting proof again that the self-interest of millions, multiplied over billions of transactions, does not yield the common good.

Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II repeatedly focused Catholic social teaching on interdependence. Self-interest is not a negative in itself, but we have tended to categorize morality as a private or solitary preoccupation of managers rather than as an exercise in solidarity. Of course we must be personally responsible for our decisions and actions, but the Church’s premise is that the moral dynamics of integrity, such as repentance and courage for righteousness, hinge on sacramental community and grace. Self-interest is never without shared risks or vulnerabilities, so self-regulation must be cooperatively defined and collaboratively managed.

Second, except in rare instances, business ethics have become an instrumental tool for companies — either to advance competitive advantage by burnishing reputation or to provide a hollow exercise in compliance to avoid legal liability. Again and again the logic has been to build the business case for ethics. Many scholars and practitioners have indeed provided the empirical data for making this case, which has many worthwhile lessons to teach. Lost in this priority to prove practicality is that utility does not exhaust the moral claims of ethical life, especially for Christians. Rather than a “heart of facts,” we need as Ezekiel taught a “heart of flesh.”

With bailouts and stimulus packages, we want to recover the economy, beliefs and patterns that we had before without addressing the biases and imbalances that led to the current crisis. Restoring authentic confidence will require something else — the ethics not for more transparency but for more truthfulness; not simply to prevent malfeasance but to also inspire the creative commitment for making markets more responsible and companies more human.

Third, our current bias is to make the morality of the organization rest on the ethical shoulders of individuals. We have had numerous examples of whistle-blowing failures — either when managers opted not to blow despite having whistles or (as in the Madoff case) when those persons with the courage to risk blowing whistles were ignored by authorities who had their heads buried in the sands of the status quo. This is not to be anti-market or against business, but rather to acknowledge that we must engage markets and business as imperfect human institutions that require on-going moral scrutiny by the community at large.

Some researchers have described the “taboos” around business ethics. Faith is one voice for penetrating these taboos and creating the space for individuals to draw moral sustenance from tradition, history and their respective living faith communities.

In Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us “that every generation has the task of engaging anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs; this task is never simply completed” (#25). In the swirl of our economic crisis, business leaders and ethicists have indispensable roles in this “arduous search.” We must be the ones to apply ourselves to new skills of governance: for example, creating audit committees for social and justice impacts, or setting compensation structures for executives that are reasonable, fair and motivating. We must be the ones who end the schism between strategy and morality, insisting that business and its outcomes are too important to human flourishing to be left to one-dimensional metrics of profitability; and we must be the ones who revitalize ethics in business to stir prophetic qualities that will help managers see beyond the exigencies of this quarter or fiscal year, and see the work of business in its proper long-term horizon as part of God’s gift and calling.

As always, our calling as Christians is to be a light in the darkness, insisting on hope rather than fear, and embracing responsibility for contributing our talents to “the right order.”

John Dalla Costa is funding director of the Centre for Ethical Orientation, a Toronto-based consultancy providing ethics, governance and integrity services. He is the author of five management books. He is a Regis College doctoral candidate in theology focusing on moral resources for sustainable development.