Assignment: Memo to 3M CEO

In your readings on Ethics in Business, you learned the importance, far-reaching effect, components, and value of managing a corporate ethics program.  Perhaps because “bad news travels faster,” our media coverage continues to be full of stories of unethical business dealings. However, one organization dedicated to promoting the positive value of ethical business practice is the Ethisphere Institute. Click this link to view their website.

Each year since 2007, the institute has recognized top-performing companies after measuring their ethical performance against standards set for the following criteria:

  • Ethics and compliance program
  • Corporate citizenship and responsibility
  • Culture of ethics
  • Governance
  • Leadership, innovation and reputation.

At the top of the list for the past four years is the 3M Corporation.  Here’s an excerpt from the award press release:

“3M’s Code of Conduct is central to its business playbook and a key reason for the company’s high reputation among consumers and across many industries. Seen as a competitive advantage, 3M leaders create and promote a workplace environment where compliance and ethical business conduct are expected and encouraged through a strong tone at the top and leading by example.”[1]

In this assignment, you will write a memo of congratulations to 3M CEO Inge Thulin, citing examples of 3M’s policies, programs, and practices that exemplify concepts and ethics program components you learned about in the Module 13 readings.


  1. Thoroughly read the Ethics in Business module.
  2. Carefully consider the concepts, examples, and programs described in the reading. Think of how ethics policies and practices contribute to their success or failure.

Your Task

Click this link to review the 3M Code of Conduct and related policies. Carefully review and identify policies or practices that align with those presented in the module reading.  For example: how does 3M’s “Report a Violation” program align with whistleblower protections described in the reading?

Select and thoroughly study at least three 3M programs that align with concepts and programs found in the module reading.

Write a three-paragraph (minimum) memo addressed to current 3M CEO Inge Thulin congratulating him for specific programs and ethical performance that earned 3M the Ethisphere award.

If you’re not familiar with a Memo style, you can click this link to view a sample memo. (Note: Your memo does not need to contain every section included in the sample memo. Just be sure to include the date, recipient, sender, subject, and at least three paragraphs addressing the 3M programs you chose.) Be sure to address the CEO properly, and write to him as a concerned executive.

In addition to the text, you are encouraged to research 3M and Ethisphere, their respective programs and policies, and other related ethics practices using reliable and properly cited Internet resources. You may also draw from your personal work experience with appropriate examples to support your references.


Your written assignment will be graded using the Written Assignment Rubric (the Microsoft Word version of the Written Assignment Rubric is available here). Please review and keep it in mind as you prepare your assignment. Each component is weighted as follows:

10% Organization and Format

Adequate: Writing is coherent and logically organized, using a format suitable for the material presented. Transitions used between ideas and paragraphs create coherence. Overall unity of ideas is supported by the format and organization of the material presented.

40% Content

Adequate: All required questions are addressed with thoughtful consideration reflecting both proper use of content terminology and additional original thought. Some additional concepts are presented from properly cited sources, or originated by the author following logic and reasoning they’ve clearly presented throughout the writing.

40% Development – Critical Thinking

Adequate: Content indicates original thinking, cohesive conclusions, and developed ideas with sufficient and firm evidence. Ideas presented are not merely the opinion of the writer, and clearly address all of the questions or requirements asked with evidence presented to support conclusions drawn.

10% Grammar, Mechanics, Style

Adequate: Writing is free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, allowing the reader to follow ideas clearly. There are no sentence fragments and run-ons. The style of writing, tone, and use of rhetorical devices is presented in a cohesive style that enhances the content of the message.

  1. 3M Named a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company. (2017, March 13). Retrieved September 25, 2017, from