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Best Buy Blog Seeks to Make Corporate Ethics Transparent

Bestbuy Many companies try to sweep their corporate transgressions and internal issues under the rug, but Best Buy is apparently not among them. In fact, I have been quite intrigued recently with the Kathleen Edmond blog, written by Best Buy's chief ethics officer. In the tagline she has chosen for the blog, Edmond writes that "[by] making ethics a completely transparent dialogue, Best Buy can be a leader in ethical standards for our employees, our customers, and our shareholders. Please feel free to join the conversation."

It appears that Edmond is serious about making ethics at Best Buy "transparent," to the point that she regularly posts about (and seeks comments on) the latest ethical or internal violations committed by Best Buy employees, and about some of the company's more aggressive ethical guidelines. Edmond writes that last month, for instance, Best Buy fired an employee who had gone into the desk drawer of a department supervisor searching for her own paycheck, noticed the supervisor’s paycheck, “glanced at” the supervisor’s pay information, and later told another employee about the supervisor’s paycheck details. Edmond tries to create a discussion with her readers on these real-life occurrences, asking them if details such as the length of time it took for the issue to be raised (months) should be relevant, and wondering if the situation would be different if the employee had shared private details about her supervisor’s "performance appraisal" rating instead.

In her most recent post from earlier this week, Edmond shares that every year at this time, Best Buy sends out reminders to its employees that they may not accept gifts from vendors. It also send letters to its vendors asking that they not send Best Buy employees any gifts. While seeking her readers' thoughts on the subject, Edmond explains the reasons for this policy: (a) Best Buy chooses vendors based on the quality and value of the product/service that ultimately is the best for its customers, and does not want there to be even the slightest suggestion that decisions are influenced by personal gain on the part of an employee; and (b) Best Buy believes that "fraud and corruption begin small and at the edges of a business relationship." It does not want to enable a culture where accepting something small then "creates a sense of entitlement, which then becomes an expectation."

Good stuff. Are any other companies putting out similar blogs on these topics?

Posted by Bruce Carton on December 7, 2009 at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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