"Giving Voice to Values" Author and Educator Mary C. Gentile, Ph.D. Leaves Audience with Tools for Ethical Action

March 20, 2013

Dr. Mary C. Gentile, Director of Giving Voice to Values and Senior Research Scholar at Babson College spoke to faculty, staff, students and community partners of Duquesne University on February 13th.  Her topic, 'Giving Voice to Values:  The "How" of Business Ethics,' has to do with the individual voice.  What happens when someone tells us what to do and it doesn't feel right to do it?  How do we reframe an ethical response so that we can enact our values effectively? 

Through various research tools, Dr. Gentile and many domestic and global colleagues found that people could identify an ethical situation and analyze it, but that doesn't automatically translate into how to take action.  People need to find their voice and speak to a situation in a way that can be heard and heeded.  "The near term skill set revolves around what to say, to whom and how to say it when the manager knows what he or she thinks is right when an ethical breech occurs - but doesn't feel confident about how to act on his or her convictions.  This overlooked but consequential skill set is the first step in building the ethical muscle.  This is the purpose of the Giving Voice to Values program," states Dr. Gentile.  Based on numerous actual accounts, Dr. Gentile and others have developed case studies that identify and analyze an ethical situation and give the individual actual words and actions to take if this happens to him or her.  These cases are free to the general public, and are listed on the website www.givingvoicetovalues.com

Additional material is available in the book Giving Voice to Values:  How To Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right, Yale University Press 2010; www.MaryGentile.com.

If you are an educator and need more in-depth cases, you may contact Dr. Gentile directly through her website. 

From the Duquesne University School of Business perspective, Director of Ethics, Dr. Virginia Gerde stated, "We teach that at the managerial and organizational level, you need to create an atmosphere for people to do the right thing.  We encourage our students to think about this in terms of becoming future managers and better leaders."