Carris Companies Experience: Corporate Values in Practice  - CLEO Skip to main content


Organizational leadership sets the standard for ethical conduct in the workplace. Christianity’s ‘Golden Rule’ was used by William H. (Bill) Carris, owner of the Carris Financial Corporation (CFC), as the central ethical principle in his Long Term Plan (UP), describing the transition to 100% employee-ownership and governance. This paper examines how the courageously open and unequivocal intent to ground the Carris Companies culture change, to full employee ownership in the ‘Golden Rule’ as base principle, lays a foundation toward a more ethical environment between individuals within its workplace and broader corporate community. The twofold strategic direction within the plan is designed to ‘teach employees the business’ and to create a new style of corporate governance, one characterized by community, trust and inclusiveness as a means of achieving the corporate mission, ‘to improve the quality of life for our growing corporate community.’ This effort toward ‘Employee Empowerment’ was recognized in the prestigious 14th Annual Corporate Conscience Award presented in June 2000 by the Council on Economic Priorities.