Ethical mentoring is a fairly new term, but it’s likely to be one we are going to hear a lot more of.
The concept comes from a recognition that unethical and illegal behaviour in organisations rarely happens because an individual or group of people set out to do wrong. Rather, it starts with small breaches and gradually grows in scope and scale.
While they are not expected to substitute for formal processes of whistleblowing, ethical mentors can have a positive impact on the systems that organisations already have in place.
Currently, there are two recurring problems with these systems. The first is that people don’t report problems, because they are afraid that the situation will escalate out of their control.
The second is that, at the other extreme, people rush to report matters to the whistleblowing hotline, and end up undermining due process that is already tackling the problem in an appropriate and effective manner.
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