Social Networking at Work Is a Major Risk with Large Costs
- Develop broad-based strategies and social networking policies grounded in ethics and values, not merely compliance, so that employees are able to handle novel situations in an environment that continues to evolve. Only 32 percent of companies report having policies concerning social networking.
- Establish a social networking policy sooner rather than later and reinforce it with training to reduce ethics risks for employees and management alike. It's important for rules to reflect today's realities of widespread use during the workday so that workers are more likely to abide by them.
- Take advantage of social networking to enhance internal and external communications, especially outreach to employees to reinforce the company's ethics culture.
- Invite social networkers to help shape social networking policy and to help the ethics/compliance function engage employees through social networking.
Curtis C. Verschoor, CMA, is a member of the IMA Committee on Ethics. He is the Emeritus Ledger & Quill Research Professor at the School of Accountancy and MIS and an honorary Senior Wicklander Research Fellow in the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, both at DePaul University, Chicago. He is also a Research Scholar in the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts. He was selected by Trust Across America as one of North America’s Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior in 2012 and 2013. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2013 by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®), www.imanet.org; reprinted with permission.
For guidance in applying the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice to your ethical dilemma, contact the IMA Ethics Helpline at (800) 245-1383 in the United States or Canada. In other countries, dial the AT&T USA Direct Access Number from www.usa.att.com/traveler/index.jsp, then the above number.