Ethics Chatbot in Pursuit of Better Corporate Ethics

This story discusses how Accenture uses digital technology both to help employees sort through ethical challenges and to gather information that will allow the company to formulate better ethical guidance in the future.

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LINK: Can Ethics Bots Help Companies Forge Useful Codes of Conduct? (by Michael Blanding for Forbes)

…When executives analyzed ethics documents adopted by companies their compliance leaders admired, such as GE and Microsoft, they saw models that focused on specific steps employees should take when faced with difficult decisions. One result: Those examples inspired Accenture to think outside the box and create an app that would be interactive and intuitive.

The final result was COBE (Code of Business Ethics), an ethics chatbot on which employees could type their questions and get answers tooled to their specific concerns. Rather than providing simple “yes” or “no” answers to questions, the chatbot helped users locate information within the code of conduct efficiently and quickly.

The code has served another, perhaps even more important purpose by allowing firm leaders to anonymously capture data across its workforce in order to better identify where ethical concerns might be arising.

“If people in a particular geographical area are asking lots of questions about the policy on taking gifts from certain ministers, then this would help compliance leaders appreciate that maybe it’s time to go back and make sure people understand our gifts policy and obligations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” ….

What do you think?


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