Posted: May 25th, 2022

Cisco Ethics Idol Case Study 2 pages

The relevance of ethics and corporate social responsibility cannot be overstated. This is more so the case given that a business that has in place an effective ethics and CSR framework is likely to develop a reputation as a responsible entity and minimize the regulatory burden (Andersen, 2004). It is for this reason that most companies take ethics and CSR undertakings seriously. Cisco is one such company. In a bold move, the company developed Ethics Idol as a more engaging and exciting alternative to PowerPoint presentations in training employees about ethical decision making.


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Question #1. What are the advantages of Ethics Idol as an ethics training communication medium over in-person PowerPoint training?


A survey of ethics and compliance issues training at Cisco found out that employees regarded the in-person PowerPoint based exercise boring, dull, and unexciting. This is more so the case given that in essence, what the company had been doing was forcing employees to cram compliance and ethics information using a standard and rigid PowerPoint presentation approach. Ethics Idol is not only exciting, but also invigorating. Unlike a PowerPoint presentation which is a rather repetitive and monotonous exercise, Ethics Idol is designed to present unique and new ethical situations covering a wide range of topics and employees are required to actively participate in the formulation of appropriate responses to the said ethical situations. Its non-repetitive and engaging nature is likely to keep everybody hooked to the learning process.


Also, it is important to note that Ethics Idol calls for the active engagement of an individual. To come up with responses, employees are required to follow through the situation presented and really apply their thoughts. This promotes retention of key concepts. Specifically, this seems to have particularly suited Cisco, whereby most employees are engineers who by virtue of being tech-savvy prefer, and are indeed used to, working out solutions by themselves. With PowerPoint, there is minimal involvement and important concepts could be ignored or totally missed.


Question #2. Would you enjoy this type of training program? Why or why not?


I would definitely enjoy this kind of training. This is particularly the case given that I find repetitive tasks uninspiring and therefore hard to follow through or fully commit to. Engaging undertakings capture my attention and commitment. The fact that Ethics Idol calls for a person to derive an appropriate response to the situation presented makes it quite thought provoking. In essence, this brings excitement to the learning process and thereby makes the entire exercise engaging and easy to follow through. Further, I believe I would be able to retain more content in this case than I would if the exercise made exclusive use of in-person PowerPoint presentations. The fact that I would be made to think about the responses of the judges and then compare my ideal response to the correct position would mean that I would never forget the facts of the case presented, and thus its lessons.


Question #3. Can you think of other ways ethics and corporate social responsibility information could be communicated in an engaging way?


Ethics and CSR information could be communicated in a variety of engaging ways. One such method is role play. In the Words of Bohlander and Snell (2010), planned and implemented correctly, role-playing can bring realism and insight into dilemmas and experiences that otherwise might not be shared (p. 332). In this case, real-world ethics and CSR scenarios could be imitated in which case employees act out the characters of persons in situations calling for the appropriate decisions to be made. The engaging nature of role-play promotes creative problem solving. Yet another engaging format through which ethics and CSR could be communicated is group engagements. In this case, employees are assigned group tasks to discuss ethical and CSR issues and present findings of such deliberations.

Andersen, B. (2004). Bringing Business Ethics to Life: Achieving Corporate Social Responsibility. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: ASQ Quality Press


Bohlander, G.W. & Snell, S. (2010). Managing Human Resources (15th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

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