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Talking the Walk: Ethics & Compliance Case Studies

At ECI, we work to help others improve their E&C programs.

Organizational and Fellows Members of ECI, are provided a new case study as part of their membership. Each case study is designed to facilitate and help internal compliance teams discuss difficult topics and current risks.  The topics pertain to issues in ethics, compliance, leadership, managing up, working as a team and more!

Although almost every ethics and compliance program has its “own way”, ECI has developed some guiding principles that apply to every program. ECI’s case studies are stories designed to help highlight these principles and how to apply them.

These stories are realistic, complex, and filled with contextually rich situations that often involve a dilemma, conflict, or problem that one or more of the characters in the case must negotiate. Because of this complexity, ECI provides a Leader’s Guide specifically designed to help you engage your team and allow them to learn from the case study. Each Leader’s Guide includes questions for discussion and some related statistics from ECI research.

How you use case studies will depend on you, but we hope you will think of these as a regular opportunity for the professional development of your team.

Not an Organizational or Fellows member?

Each case is available to any of the ECI members.  Non-members can purchase case studies for $150 apiece.

Why Not Become an ECI member?

Whether you are the only E&C person at your company or if there's a large group of E&C staff, ECI has a membership level that's perfect for you.  Learn more about the different membership levels for individuals or organizational memberships at the links provided.

A recent E&C conversation at an ECI conference

Talking the Walk Ethics Case Studies

Click on the buttons below each case study to be taken to the downloads page for that study.  Each page has 3 files:

  • Participant Guide - These are for the people who will be participating in the ethics situation.
  • Leader's Guide - This is for the person who will be leading the Talking the Walk session.  Inside are instructions detailing how to best use the case study.
  • Combined Zip file with both of the above documents.

You can download the files separately, or get them both at one time in the Zip file.

Scroll to the end of the page for a special FREE download that is available to everyone!

Talking the Walk Case Study 15 Whose Turn Is It Anyway?

Case Study 15: Whose Turn Is It Anyway?

Late nights. Weekends. Holidays. Travel. It’s not the most fun, but somebody has to do it; sometimes the job simply has to be done.

How do you decide who has to work when no one wants to?

Will it be the tenured employee counting his days until retirement, the one with an ailing father, the parent of a graduating senior, the new mom whose husband is on the brink, or the singleton who feels like he’s always covering for the rest of the team?

How would you decide? And how will Jesse, the team’s leader?

Find out in this month’s Talking the Walk.

Case studies are released with an included Leader’s Guide, to help you walk employees through the scenario’s, facilitate meaningful conversation and pose questions that lead to important interactions.

Get Case Study 15 Now
Talking the Walk Case Study 14 Masculine Preferred

Case Study 14: Masculine Preferred

Marie has been hoping and hoping to get ahead, and this looks like it might be her shot. She’s worked for it. She’s poised and ready. But she’s also not the man her potential client is looking to work with. Who gets to decide if she’s right for the job?

Find out in this month’s Talking the Walk.

Case studies are released with an included Leader’s Guide, to help you walk employees through the scenario’s, facilitate meaningful conversation and pose questions that lead to important interactions.

Get Case Study 14 Now
ECI's Talking the Walk Ethics Case Study 13

Case Study 13: March Madness

Q: What’s worse than hearing crickets about a project you worked diligently on?

A: Finding out your boss is watching basketball instead of reviewing those documents.

Then again, if can’t beat them, maybe you should join them. What will one young intern choose to do? Find out in this month’s Talking the Walk.

Embrace the Madness of Case Study 13
Ethics Case Study 12: Will They, Won't They? - Talking the Walk

Case Study 12: Will They, Won't They? Should They, Shouldn't They?

Elizabeth and Darcy, Sam and Diane, Harry and Sally, Pat and Jim. Countless books, television shows, and movies have revolved around the questions: Will they? Won’t they?

But, in today’s workplace environment, it’s also a matter of Should they? Shouldn’t they?

What decision will one up-and-coming young professional make? And how might it impact everyone around her?

It’s time to think it all through in this month’s Talk the Walk.

See What Happens in Case Study 12
Today's Panacea is.. Talking the Walk 11 Ethics Case Study

Case Study 11: And Today's Panacea Is...

When it comes to implementing new initiatives, it’s not always easy to know who to involve and how. Sometimes it can feel like new ideas are being rolled out before there’s even time for previous efforts to yield results. But at other companies, any attempt at change gets lost in the muddle of meetings and red tape. How well will one eager CECO strike the balance and what will her team say about her plans?

Think it through. Talk it through. Get ready to Talk the Walk.

See How to Implement Case Study 11
This Ethics Case Study is the Gift that Keeps Giving: Talking the Walk from ECI

Case Study 10: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The season of giving can turn into the season of extra headaches quickly. Some companies make extra efforts to help employees navigate the quagmire of corporate gift giving; others say little if anything.

In this month’s Talk the Walk, one young employee learns that the forbidden fruit sometimes arrives on your desk in a pretty basket with a plaid bow. What will she do next?

Think it through. Talk it through. Get ready to Talk the Walk.

Get the Gift of Case Study 10
ECI's Talking the Walk Ethics Case Study 6: Bad Day for a Bad Day

Case Study 6: A Bad Day for a Bad Day

Yvonne’s mom is sick, and angry, and takes it out on her. Her E&C team includes old-school employees who “tell it like it is” and younger employees who expect more “consideration.” Something’s gonna give. When will Yvonne boil over? Who will get burned, and how?

Find out how in this month’s Talking the Walk case study.

Skip the Bad Days, Get Case Study 6
What Happens when Meetings Don't Solve the Issues? Talking the Walk CS 5

Case Study 5: Hard Truths and Soft Skills

Productive team meetings distill the insights and expertise of each member, allowing for stronger solutions and more in-depth problem solving.
But sometimes, they don’t.
When a team meeting toes the line between fair critique and unwarranted criticism, it is important that you know exactly how to respond.
Do these coworkers understand what's at stake? Find out in this month's Talking the Walk.

It's not Hard, Get Case Study 5 Here
Talking the Walk Ethics Case Study 4: Judgement Call

Case Study 4: Judgement Call

If they gave frequent flyer miles for helpline calls, Rodney would have earned a trip to Tahiti.
Compliance department team member Dustin knows the type and takes Rodney’s calls in stride.
When Dustin gets a call from someone else with serious (and not conflicting) allegations about Rodney’s boss, he starts to see everything in a new light.

Don't Judge Till You Get Case Study 4
For some people, it's not the most wonderful time of the year. Talking the Walk Ethics Case Study 3

Case Study 3: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holiday season provides a special opportunity for organizations to recognize the contributions of employees and to celebrate hard work and achievements together. But it also brings additional risks and potential headaches.

Find out for yourself in this month's Talking the Walk.

Enjoy The Wonderful Case Study 3
Ethics Case Study: Talking the Walk #2

Case Study 2: Who Cares

Eva’s been waiting for feedback on a major project. CECO Jamal wants to find the time to respond thoughtfully, but never has a moment to spare. Amanda is being squeezed by the needs of her reports, including Eva, and her boss, Jamal.

Find out for yourself in this month's Talking the Walk.

Show You Care: Get Case Study 2


As a leader in your organization, no doubt you have watched the #MeToo and the #TimesUp movements and concluded that we are at a critical juncture in our society.
At the Ethics & Compliance Initiative, we agree. In our view, not only will the current dialogue about sexual misconduct affect the way we relate to each other as individuals; the movement will also have a profound impact on our workplaces.

As the dialogue continues, many of us are asking, “Where do we go from here?”

The answer to this question is not only to focus on what people sometimes do wrong, but also to consider how we can help each other do right. We need to begin a conversation about respect as a core value in our workplaces so that our employees have a shared understanding about how they should treat one another. Respect as a standard also provides a common language to help individuals raise and resolve sensitive concerns.

At ECI we are offering you a FREE special edition case study on workplace sexual misconduct, entitled #RespectAtWork. The case includes questions for discussion that invite employees to talk about their commitment to a respectful workplace. A leader guide is also included, so that every manager can follow instructions and lead the dialogue. It is our hope that you will take this case and distribute it among your employees, then take the time to discuss the scenario together.

We hope you will find this resource to be a helpful way to initiate an important shift in your organization.

Fill Out This Form and Get Your Case Study