REPORT: The ethics of resignation

As the pace of workplace change accelerates, lifelong learning becomes increasingly important. Individuals can prepare themselves for what lies ahead by regularly refreshing their skills – both technical and “soft skills”.

In the latter category, alongside key skills such as communication and creative thinking, there is the issue of workplace ethics. How should we do business? What social and personal values do we prize?

This latest paper from the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning explores the topic of accountability.

At a time when chief executives, presidents, and managing directors are remarkably well paid, it is especially important that when something goes wrong under their command, they accept that the buck stops with them and that they do not try to pass the blame on, or hang on — on the basis that they are “best-placed to clean up the mess” but instead offer to resign. The offer may not be accepted — but all the more reason to offer it before it is demanded.

Jonathan Harris CBE, FRICS

The ethics of resignation

Abstract

When there is a failure within an organisation the person at the top may not be to blame, but they are accountable and should offer to stand down.