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GMC Augusta Professor Initiates Study of Christian Corporate Codes of Ethics

A Georgia Military College (GMC) adjunct instructor is currently examining the impact of Codes of Ethics, Christian leadership, and Christian beliefs, values, and principles (BVPs) on the corporate landscape - in particular, their impact on corporate legal compliance and social responsibility in the 21st century. In order to complete his doctoral dissertation in Education and Ethical Leadership, Professor James Brady of GMC Augusta, who is also a U.S. Army Veteran and former defense operations officer, initiated this unique and perhaps one-of-a-kind research study. Brady’s preliminary research began nearly a year ago and will culminate in his study of the corporate Codes of Ethics (COEs) of 17 nationally recognized, for-profit Christian companies, including Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, Interstate Batteries, and Covenant Transportation. The purpose of his study is to explore the impact these COEs have on corporate legal compliance and social responsibility and to determine what empirical lessons might be learned from these faith-based Christian companies.

Dr. Stuart Yoak, Executive Director for the international Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) shared the following remarks, “Unethical behavior by business executives, government leaders and professionals is sadly one of the most frequent headlines in today’s news. Although not new, for the past quarter century we have seen a variety of highly publicized efforts claiming to clean up the ethical mess across all sectors in our society.  Given the continued reports of unscrupulous actions by those in management positions, successful programs are difficult to find.  Maybe we have been looking in the wrong places for true examples of a higher quality of leadership?”

“New research now underway by Professor James Brady is taking a careful look at for-profit, self-identified Christian companies that have adopted Codes of Ethics which holds CEOs, managers, and employees to a higher standard of ethical behavior.  These companies have built their corporate identities around a set of values which acknowledge the moral obligations businesses have to their customers, employees, communities and shareholders. Professor Brady’s work holds the promise that we may yet uncover effective training, oversight and recognition of the very best in American business.”

Dr. Yoak’s observations are directly on point considering recent revelations about Volkswagen’s deliberate manipulation of emissions testing systems. Similarly, Stuart Parnell’s criminal conviction for knowingly allowing his former company, Peanut Corporation of America, to distribute peanut butter contaminated with salmonella, is another example of dangerously misguided priorities.

In order to move forward with his research, Brady completed a local pilot study which included participation from four faith-based Christian companies located in Augusta and Evans, Georgia: Evans Medical Clinic, Have Joy, LLC, the Law Offices of John Garcia, and Saint Joseph Hospice. Each of the four companies assisted Brady’s research by answering detailed interview questions about their faith-based Christian philosophies, their individual business codes of ethics, and their unique challenges and perspectives. The interviews were designed to learn more about the Christian perspectives of local companies and to validate the clarity, quality, and objectivity of the interview questions which Brady will present to the Chief Executive Officers of 17 nationally recognized Christian companies.

Brady expects his research to be completed during the upcoming year and his dissertation to be published by January of 2017.  Brady is expected to graduate from Olivet Nazarene University of Bourbonnais, Illinois, with his doctorate in Education and Ethical Leadership by May of 2017.
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Contact Information:
For more information about Professor Brady’s research project, please contact him directly at mobile telephone number (706) 495-6573 or email at JABradyLLL@aol.com.