How do you create an ethical business culture? Storytelling at Shell, BP, and Microsoft

Creating an ethical culture in your business

You cannot create a good enough ethical mousetrap – humans are vastly creative (even at fraud). The mishaps at LIBOR, VW, 2008 financial crisis, Deepwater Horizon, Wells Fargo all happened at businesses which had multiple layers of controls.

So what can you do? Create an ethical culture – it sounds a glib thing to say (for a consultant), but if we want ethical organizations, free from fraud and from social and environmental harms, that is what is required.

One way to do that is to create “ethics stories” – which uses stories as units of cultural transmission. In this short clip, I offer examples from BP and Shell – and note that fact that Microsoft is trying to do this with innovation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect With Paul

Join Paul's newsletter for the latest provocations on philosophy in business.

Sign Up

Get the latest provocations in science philosphy and busienss from Paul.

We respect your email privacy


Connect with Paul

On Twitter

On Youtube

On Facebook



Download Media Kit

View Media Kit