A Question of Ethics

Courts, Workplace Culture, and Technology

August 24, 2023

Today’s Question of Ethics Conversation looks at workplace culture and technology. It focuses on the ethical challenges to workplace culture and technology as it pertains to Canon 1.1 of the NACM Model Code of Conduct, which states that a court professional faithfully carries out all appropriately assigned duties, striving at all times to perform the work:

  • Diligently—characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort.
  • Efficiently—capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials)
  • Equitably—dealing fairly and equally with all concerned
  • Thoroughly—in a complete or thorough manner
  • Courteously—marked by respect for and consideration of others
  • Honestly—without cheating, genuine, without frills
  • Openly—exposed to general view or knowledge

According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), an organization’s culture defines the proper way to behave within the organization.

  • This culture consists of shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviors, and understanding.
  • Organizational culture sets the context for everything an enterprise does.
  • Because industries and situations vary significantly, there is not a one-size-fits-all culture template that meets the needs of all organizations.

Workplace culture has a profound effect on any organization as these statistics bear out.

  • 53% of working Americans who have left a job due to workplace culture report leaving because of their relationship with their manager
  • 94% of people managers agree a positive workplace culture creates a resilient team of employees
  • 97% of executives agree their actions have a direct impact on workplace culture

Technology is a tool, but it can have a dramatic effect on workplace culture.

“Technology can be used to enhance information and operations, improve public access to court information and services, and reduce administrative costs while increasing efficiency in case processing.”

This Question of Ethics Conversation looks at how technology plays a role in workplace culture for court users, for one’s co-workers, and on a court’s institutional knowledge.

Today’s Moderator

Creadell Webb, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer; First Judicial District, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Today’s Panelists

Courtney Whiteside, Director, Municipal Court, St. Louis, Missouri
Karl Thoennes, Court Administrator, 2nd Judicial Circuit, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Peter Kiefer, Retired Court Professional
Samantha Wallis, Deputy Trial Court Administrator, Supreme Court, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Ceclia Garner, Court of Court, General District Court, Richmond, Virginia

Watch the episode on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/hFbdYNxbEhc

Leave a question or comment about the episode at ethics@nacmnet.org.