Mohamed Bin Hammam, FIFA and ethics

Article first published as Mohamed Bin Hammam, FIFA and ethics on Technorati.

It was announced this week that Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar has officially withdrawn his nomination for the presidency of FIFA, the world governing body of football. His withdrawl comes as he is due to face the FIFA ethics committee on allegations that he used bribery in his role previously. Incumbent president Sepp Blatter is also due to attend the hearing but has not withdrawn his nomination and looks set for a 4th term as president.

This development has implications for business around the world. Great Britain is due to launch anti-bribery legislation this summer. Described as ‘the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world’, the UK Bribery Act is due to enter onto force on 1 July 2011. The act makes giving or receiving bribes a criminal offense, however with the UK already lagging behind the rest of the EU on bribery legislation, is the government really taking this seriously?

How big an issue is un-ethical behavior in business?

Research earlier this year revealed that nearly 25% of professionals had broken their professional code of conduct. This comes in an age where professionals are being urged to act in an appropriate way. MBA students are increasingly signing an oath upon graduation that promises ethical behavior.

And ethical behavior at work has clear benefits to the profitability of companies. The below graph compares the “WME Index,” or all publicly traded 2011 World’s Most Ethical Company honorees, against the S&P 500 since the initial World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition from 2007.

ethical returns

How do you ensure ethical practice in your company?

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