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New Board Series Released: Why Ethics Are Not Optional

Ethics On Boards Are Not Optional For Global Companies, Boyden Study Series Finds

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– Top global executive search firm’s new installment in “Changing of the Board” series reveals less forgiving conditions make it more difficult to ignore implications of even minor ethical lapses –

NEW YORK, September 22, 2010 – Good ethics is good business and creating the right “tone at the top” for all company employees and agents is one of the most important duties of directors, according to a new installment of Boyden’s Board Series: Changing of the Board, released today by Boyden global executive search. 

“The requirement today is for directors to refocus on ethics to rebuild market trust and restore corporate reputation,” said Chris Clarke, President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation. “It’s imperative to utilize ethical search to recruit truly independent board members who recognize the importance of ethical behavior especially when operating in global markets.”

Part Three of the “Changing of the Board” series, entitled “Why Ethics are Not Optional,” includes contributions from a number of high-level experts and advisors who reveal the unique role of directors’ ethical and legal duties. Part Three also explores the following topics:

  • Boards bear responsibility for preventing and investigating fraud
  • Ethical search means breaking with traditional board practice in recruiting from a close circle of insiders and allies
  • Ethics standards vary among geographies with boards needing to “negotiate” acceptable business practice differences across culture lines
  • Transparency is not always useful in governance
  • Why annual board reviews of ethical guidelines fall short
  • Ploys used by management to limit board control
  • Interview with John Levy, CEO of Board Advisory, on ethics and rebuilding trust

“Ethics have to be tied to everything both short and long term,” said Tim McNamara, Managing Director at Boyden Washington, DC. “Board members have the ultimate responsibility for ethics in a firm, including disciplining of senior management in corporations and extending to business practices of joint ventures in extending enterprises.”

 “Too many board members have considered ethics a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have,” said Thomas Flannery, Leader of Boyden’s Board Services Practice in North America and Managing Director at Boyden Pittsburgh. “Today that is changing. It is becoming difficult to ignore the huge price tag associated with not doing the right thing.”

About the Series

The Boyden “Changing of the Board” series includes an introduction to the topic, Part One, “Boards in Crisis,” Part Two, “Better Directors for Better Boards,” and Part Three, “Why Ethics are Not Optional.” Part Four, “Boards and Corporate Governance,” will be released over the next few months on The series includes important guidance from several directors, experts and advisors.

About Boyden World Corporation

Boyden is a global leader in the executive search industry with more than 70 offices in over 40 countries. Founded in 1946, Boyden specializes in high level executive search, Interim Management and Human Capital consulting across a broad spectrum of industries. For further information, visit the firm’s website at www.boyden.