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Tone at the Top

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When accounting firms audit a company, procedures require them to assess the “tone at the top.” The attitudes and behaviors of senior management set the organization’s “tone” and can affect risk management.

The logic is that if senior management appears cavalier about, say, governmental regulations, the rest of the organization is likely to be cavalier as well.

The revelations about Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly shine a bright light on tone at the top. The leadership of their organizations did nothing, despite knowledge of repeated offenses.

Managers set the moral and ethical tone in organizations. Good ones set them high.

Kip Caffey

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