Guidelines for responsible behaviour

By Astri Inga Kamsvåg

29 March 2016 18:52

Guidelines for responsible behaviour

The newly created guidelines are titled "Responsible behaviour. Values and ethical guidelines for Norwegian School of Economics employees".

Photo: Helge Skodvin
Gunnar E. Christensen, Vice Rector for Academic Management

In April 2015, the Board discussed NHH's current rules and guidelines for behaviour. The Board wanted an overview of the code of conduct guidelines NHH already had, as well as an update of this code.

Gunnar E. Christensen, Vice Rector for Faculty Management, headed the working group that prepared the new guidelines.

What are the working group's conclusions?

"The working group chose to create an overarching document that gathers existing, amended and new guidelines under one umbrella", says Christensen.

The new guidelines describe NHH's goals, visions and values. They also contain central aspects of NHH's social responsibility, desired behaviour and reputation. All of these aspects are closely connected.

Christensen explains: "NHH's ethical guidelines and the institution's values committed, open and ambitious govern how we manage our social responsibilities and the collegial responsibilities each and every one of us has. NHH's reputation and stature are affected by this."

What does NHH mean by "responsible behaviour"?

"What we want is for all NHH employees to be conscious of questions about research ethics, secondary activities, whistle-blowing, gifts in professional contexts, collegial responsibilities between individuals and social responsibility. In some areas, the new document provides clear and indisputable answers, in others it does not. Responsible behaviour encourages each individual to engage in ethical reflection", says the Vice Rector.

'Responsible behaviour' encourages each individual to engage in ethical reflection.

Gunnar E. Christensen

Why has NHH prepared these guidelines?

"The main goal is to present NHH's values, ethical guidelines and the consequences these are to have for our behaviour in a clear and concise document", says Project Director Anne Line Grepne, who has also been a member of the working group.

She adds: "Much of the material we have had for a while, but knowledge of it and access to it have varied. We have now gathered general ethical guidelines for the public service as well as our own values and ethical guidelines under one umbrella."

She says that the guidelines have circulated at NHH, both on the academic and administrative sides, and have received broad support.

How does NHH envision using the guidelines?

Gunnar E. Christensen replies: "We will use them as sources in discussions of ethical dilemmas, as bases for reflection, as support in consultations and to help us make the right choices.

All employees must familiarise themselves with the document. In the coming months, all managers must review the document with staff in their unit. NHH expects all employees to know and comply with the ethical guidelines. This is also important in order for NHH to retain and further develop its good reputation.

Behaviour that does not comply with the content of "Responsible behaviour" and related guidelines and regulations may have HR consequences.

The guidelines apply to both permanent and temporary employees at NHH.

Why must employees register their secondary activities?

In connection with the preparation of the guidelines for responsible behaviour, NHH has created guidelines for secondary activities.

"The purpose of these guidelines is to prevent conflicts of interest between employees' secondary activities and NHH's interests, and to protect the confidence in and integrity of employees. Each employee must show a high degree of ethical awareness in the assessment of secondary activities", says Gunnar E. Christensen.

All NHH employees are now registering their secondary activities in a new central register that will be publicly accessible. The deadline for registration is 18 April 2016.

The working group

- Gunnar E. Christensen (Vice Rector for Faculty Management)
- Elise Kongsvik (Legal Advisor
- Sigrid Lise Nonås (Associate Professor, Department of Business and Management Science) employee representative
- Anne Line Grepne (Project Director)

Responsible behaviour (nhh.no)

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