Giving Voice to Values
How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right
An innovative approach to standing up for your values in the workplace—inspired by a popular program from the Aspen Institute
"In business and in life, we often know what is the right thing to do, but we have trouble implementing it. This book, developed in conjunction with the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program, shows how we can all give voice to values and make the right things happen. It is a wonderful guide to help us enter an era of responsibility and of leadership based on values."—Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute
"Inspiring and empowering. Instead of thinking 'I wish I could,' readers will come away saying 'I know I can.'"—BizEd
How can you effectively stand up for your values when pressured by your boss, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite? Drawing on actual business experiences as well as on social science research, Babson College business educator and consultant Mary Gentile challenges the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools. She gives business leaders, managers, and students the tools not just to recognize what is right, but also to ensure that the right things happen. The book is inspired by a program Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with Yale School of Management, and now housed at Babson College, with pilot programs in over one hundred schools and organizations, including INSEAD and MIT Sloan School of Management.
She explains why past attempts at preparing business leaders to act ethically too often failed, arguing that the issue isn’t distinguishing what is right or wrong, but knowing how to act on your values despite opposing pressure. Through research-based advice, practical exercises, and scripts for handling a wide range of ethical dilemmas, Gentile empowers business leaders with the skills to voice and act on their values, and align their professional path with their principles. Giving Voice to Values is an engaging, innovative, and useful guide that is essential reading for anyone in business.
Praise For Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right…
"Gentile presents a strong—and sorely needed—case for improving corporate culture."—Publishers Weekly
"Gentile offers a fresh approach to ethics education in business school: a practical primer on building skills and confidence to act consistently with personal values."—T.R. Gillespie, Choice
"Neither didactic nor judgmental, Giving Voice to Values is inspiring and empowering. Instead of thinking 'I wish I could,' readers will come away saying 'I know I can.'"—BizEd
"Timely and empowering. . . . A research-based, sensitive and flexible management pedagogy that confidently steers away from traditional prescriptive approaches to assertiveness training and conflict management techniques. . . . Gentile's agenda lifts the expansive literature on group decision making, communication and persuasion to a practical, applied level for teachers of management science."—L.G.E. Smith, Academy of Management Learning and Education
Winner of the 2011 Gold Medal for Axiom Business Book Awards in the Business Ethics category, as given by Jenkins Group & IndependentPublisher.com
"A wonderful guide to help us enter an era of responsibility and of leadership based on values."—Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute
"Giving Voice To Values heralds a revolution in ethics education. Gentile . . . wants to help you practice what to do when you know something is unethical. It's like a self-defense class for your soul."—Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Switch and Made to Stick
". . . the most significant contribution to business ethics I have experienced in my professional career! . . . destined to shape the behavior of future generations in ways that should make us all much prouder of business as an entity and management as a career."—Leonard A. Schlesinger, President, Babson College
". . . a fascinating tool to help us to be as ethical as we strive to be. . . . The ideas in the book are clever, original, thoughtful and important."—Max H. Bazerman, Straus Professor – HBS
"I can think of no better way to take ‘ethics’ out of the realm of pure philosophical discussion. Giving Voice to Values identifies what’s stopping us from acting on the values we feel strongly about. It gives us the tools, the courage and the understanding to be our better self in even the stickiest business situation."—Ira Millstein, Senior Partner, Weil Gotshal, Manges, Senior Associate Dean for Corporate Governance and the Eugene F. Williams, Jr. Visiting Professor for Competitive Enterprise and Strategy, Yale School of Management
Yale University Press, 9780300181562, 320pp.
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
About the Author
Mary C. Gentile, PhD, is Creator/Director of Giving Voice to Values, Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Senior Advisor at the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program, and consultant on management education and leadership development.