Cover of The Sincerity Edge by Alexandra Christina, Countess of Frederiksborg and Timothy L. Fort
The Sincerity Edge
How Ethical Leaders Build Dynamic Businesses
Alexandra Christina, Countess of Frederiksborg and Timothy L. Fort


176 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804797450
Ebook ISBN: 9781503603356

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Finalist in the 2018 SIM Book Award, sponsored by the AOM Social Issues in Management Section.

Recognizing their role as "corporate citizens," companies are seeking guidance on how to be true to their missions, principled in practice, and well regarded for their contributions to society. As this book reveals, the key lies in sincerity—the sum of values like authenticity, integrity, and trust.

Countess Alexandra Christina, a European corporate director, and Timothy L. Fort, a leading American scholar, delineate a clear and actionable model for bringing sincerity to the business context. Their vision for sincerity complies with law, aligns corporate social and financial performance, and values corporate ethics in its own right, rather than as a means to an end. Underpinning this model is a synthesis of the top research in the field and a suite of new interviews with current and former CEOs. Tracing inspirational tales and scandals alike, this book shows how leaders can head up companies that more reliably make good decisions and conduct themselves in a trustworthy manner. It then concludes with twelve concrete actions that businesses can take to cultivate "the sincerity edge."

About the authors

Alexandra Christina, Countess of Frederiksborg is a board member of Ferring Pharmaceuticals International in Switzerland and Patron of Danish Parkinson Disease Association and the Danish Association of the Blind.

Timothy L. Fort is the Eveleigh Professor of Business Ethics and Professor of Business Law and Ethics in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He is a 2024 Noble Peace Prize Nominee.

"In The Sincerity Edge Countess Alexandra and Professor Fort demonstrate that corporate responsibility has its biggest impact—economically and socially—when it is pursued sincerely. Drawing on their fresh survey of leading CEOs who value integrity, they connect the reader to concrete practices and also explain why ethical values can drive dynamic businesses."

—John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods and co-author, Conscious Capitalism

"The authors present valuable lessons that companies around the world have identified as key to implementing CSR in their organizations. With inspiration for how to bring CSR to the next level, the book will help you to build a solid and executable plan that promises to be strong, sustainable, and sincere. All companies engaged in CSR will benefit."

—Niels Soelberg, Former CEO, Microsoft Denmark and Vice President, Microsoft EMEA Public Sector

"Expanding on cutting edge scholarship in business ethics and management, this book offers straightforward insight for those with experience in corporate social responsibility and those seeking to understand how ethics fits in to their work for the first time. Business leaders—present and future—would do well to learn the power of The Sincerity Edge."

—Michael Santoro, Santa Clara University, Co-Founder, Business and Human Rights Journal

"Sincerity and trust have incredible potential to catalyze the realm of business ethics. Two seasoned experts lead the way with this book, well written and strongly backed."

—David Berdish, Virginia Commonwealth University and Former Manager of Social Sustainability, Ford Motor Company