Mini-MBA: Ethics and Compliance Curriculum

What is Ethics?

This interdisciplinary curriculum begins with three foundational modules, laying the groundwork for approaching ethics and compliance from an interdisciplinary perspective. In this first module we delve into major philosophical theories of ethics, including rights, justice, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics. Led by faculty from Rutgers Business School, this module will support participants in analyzing how core ethical principles guide workplace decision-making.

Key Takeaways:

  • Define major philosophical theories, including rights, justice, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics
  • Explain how philosophical theories guide decision-making at work

What is Compliance?

Led by Rutgers Law School faculty, this module provides an overview of the evolution of compliance regulation over the last century. We will not only cover the key rules and regulations that have shaped compliance across industries, but also use case studies to analyze the dynamic relationship between regulation and compliance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Describe the administrative model of compliance regulation, and the growth in the scope and complexity of regulation over the twentieth century
  • List federal, state, and local government and regulatory agencies that impact compliance in different industries
  • Describe key rules and regulations that have formed the basis of compliance programs, including the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the U.S. Department of Justice Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Use case studies from across industries to analyze the relationship between regulation and compliance, including off-label marketing of pharmaceutical products, Anti-Money Laundering safeguards for financial institutions, workplace harassment/discrimination, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, federal False Claims Act

Bridging Ethics and Compliance

This final foundational module bridges ethics and compliance, examining the spectrum of approaches that organizations take in combining the two. By discussing the ways in which ethics and compliance initiatives overlap and differ, participants will be able to situate their own organization in terms of its perspective on ethics and compliance, and understand the other perspectives that exist across multiple industries.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify when ethics and compliance initiatives overlap
  • Identify when ethics and compliance initiatives differ

Enterprise Risk Assessment and Management

Risk assessment and management are pivotal to compliance initiatives, and this module overviews key principles including assessing a company’s risk profile and appetite and identifying means to mitigate, reduce, and insure against risk. This overview will be combined with the interplay of ethics and risk, both in terms of managing ethical risks and ethically managing risks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Describe a company’s risk profile and risk appetite
  • Identify means of mitigating/reducing/insuring against risk, including the role of investigations
  • Implement risk controls and test for control gaps
  • Discuss the ethics of risk management, including management of ethical risks and ethics of risk management

Ethical Leadership

The second half of this Mini-MBA program explores strategic approaches to ethics and compliance, beginning with ethical leadership. Tone comes from the top, and it’s important to understand the critical role of ethical principles in shaping leadership approaches and how leaders can foster an ethical culture at all levels of the workplace.

Key Takeaways:

  • Review historical and philosophical perceptions of ethics and leadership
  • Analyze ethical challenges to leading and develop strategies to overcome them

Cultivating Organizational Culture

In this module, we emphasize the significance of organizational culture in building a successful ethics and compliance program. Participants will explore key elements involved in cultivating a positive ethical culture, including defining and measuring culture, implementing training programs, and overcoming hurdles to foster an ethical environment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Define and measure organizational culture
  • Develop codes of conduct
  • Develop ethics and compliance training programs
  • Develop strategies for creating and developing an ethical culture in an organization
  • Identify hurdles to creating an ethical culture and ways to overcome them

Implementing an Effective Ethics and Compliance Program

Building on theoretical and foundational frameworks of ethics and compliance leadership and culture, this module focuses on practical implementation across an organization. This module begins by analyzing the relationship between leadership and the ethics and compliance organization, before defining the systems and processes that are needed to operate an effective ethics and compliance program. Participants will situate key processes like internal audits and investigations within an ethical framework and a context of organizational justice.

Key Takeaways:

  • Define the roles, responsibilities, and relationships between the board, the C-suite, and the ethics and compliance organization
  • Define the systems and processes needed to monitor and respond appropriately to potential ethics and compliance violations
  • Define strategies for building a robust and ethical framework for internal audits and investigations
  • Describe strategies for fostering organizational justice and a ‘speak-up’ culture that is grounded in ethics and transparency

Measuring the Effectiveness of Ethics and Compliance Programs

Measuring ethical behavior can be difficult, particularly when viewed in a positive rather than punitive framework. Knowing what data to collect, how to collect it, and what forms of analysis to use are all key factors in demonstrating the effectiveness and value to the organization of an ethics and compliance program. This module provides concrete strategies for data collection and measurement, enabling participants to effectively demonstrate the value and effectiveness of their ethics and compliance programs to various stakeholders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Review the role of data collection and analysis in ethics and compliance programs, including data for monitoring and measurement
  • Describe strategies for measuring ethics and compliance effectiveness

Ethics and Emerging Technology

Technologies are evolving continuously, with new forms of technology poised to disrupt industries on an ever-faster basis. Ethics and compliance programs must be able to respond to these new technologies and their ethical implications. This module discusses technologies like crypto assets, blockchain, and artificial intelligence to understand how they impact ethics and compliance initiatives. Participants will learn how to adapt ethics and compliance programs to address new ethical implications and ensure their sustainability amid technological advancements.

Key Takeaways:

  • Situate ethics and compliance in the context of emerging technologies, such as regulation of crypto assets, blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi)
  • Discuss the ethical implications of data analytics
  • Discuss the ethics of artificial intelligence

Ethics and Compliance in the Global Environment

In this concluding module, we take a global perspective on ethics and compliance. Understanding different regulatory environments and cultural expectations is crucial for global organizations. This module presents real-world case studies from leaders in global organizations, illustrating how a strong ethics and compliance program can become a competitive advantage across various cultural contexts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Situate content from the previous nine modules in a global context, including different regulatory environments and different cultural expectations
  • Contrast strategies that position compliance as a punitive measure—including internal audits and investigations—versus those that position compliance as a competitive advantage
  • Review case studies in using ethics and compliance as a competitive advantage for global corporations

Program Overview

For an overview of our Mini-MBA: Ethics and Compliance program plus program benefits and outcomes, please click here.