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The Conscience Code

Lead with Your Values. Advance Your Career.

G. Richard Shell

The essential guide to standing up for your values at work.  Protect your integrity by committing to The Conscience Code.

A fast-track colleague elbowing their way up the corporate ladder in your organization is faking their sales reports. Your entrepreneur boss asks you to lie to would-be investors. The team leader is a serial sexual harasser. What should you do? Nobody prepared you for this part of professional life. You face a gut-wrenching choice: “go along to get along” or risk your job by speaking up for what you know is right.

At the Wharton School of Business, MBA students have shared all these stories, and many more, with award-winning Professor G. Richard Shell. They want to stay true to themselves but fear the consequences of speaking up—for their families, office relationships and, ultimately, their careers. They are not alone. Surveys show that more than 40% of employees report seeing ethical misconduct at work, and most fail to report it—killing office morale and allowing the wrong people to set the example.

Shell created The Conscience Code to point to a better path: recognize that these conflicts are coming, learn to spot them, then follow a research-based, step-by-step approach for resolving them skillfully.  By committing to the Code, you can replace regret with long-term career success as a leader of conscience.

The Conscience Code:

  • Solves a crucial problem faced by professionals everywhere: What should they do when they are asked to compromise their core values to achieve organizational goals?
  • Teaches readers to recognize and overcome the five organizational forces that push people toward actions they later regret.
  • Lays out a systematic, values-to-action process that people at all levels can follow to maintain their integrity while achieving true success in their lives and careers.

Driven by dramatic, real-world examples from Shell’s classroom, today’s headlines, and classic cases of corporate wrongdoing, The Conscience Code shows how to create value-based workplaces where everyone can thrive.

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About the Author

G. Richard Shell

G. Richard Shell is the Thomas Gerrity Professor, Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics and Management and Chairperson of the Legal Studies & Business Ethics Department at the Wharton School of the University of...

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