Moral Rating Agency

Moral Algorithm

Can an algorithm be written for morality?


Surprising as it may sound, it’s possible to create an algorithm of corporate moral behavior.  Our Moral Ratings are the result of this formula being applied to the scores we have arrived at for each of the five dimensions that we investigate.  The formula includes a weighting:

Degree Score >5,

Moral Rating = 

(Degree Score x 4.5) 

+ (Speed Score x 4.5) 

+ (Attitude Score x 1) 

+ (((Degree Score – 5) x 0.1) x Exposure Score) 

– (((10 – Degree Score) x 0.1) x Power Score),


Moral Rating = 

(Degree Score x 4.5) 

+ (Speed Score x 4.5) 

+ (Attitude Score x 1) 

+ (((Degree Score – 5) x 0.1) x (10 – Exposure Score)) 

– (((10 – Degree Score) x 0.1) x Power Score).


Degree, Speed and Attitude

The first three elements of the formula, Degree, Speed and Attitude, each scored out of 10, can produce a maximum of 100, which applies to a company that fully and completely withdrew from Russian Activities, speedily and with the right Attitude.  For how each of the five dimensions is computed, see Rating Methodology.

These three elements are weighted 45% to Degree, 45% to Speed and 10% to Attitude.  The latter is important, but we consider actions speak louder than words and generosity.


The Exposure element of the formula needs special treatment.  This is our policy:

Companies that are not withdrawing from Russia with low Exposure should receive lower Moral Ratings than those with high Exposure.  A company that withdraws in a Full & Complete way, should receive a higher Moral Rating if it has a high Exposure than one with a low Exposure.

The way we reflect this is to start from the position that a company with a Degree Score of 5 out of 10 should be treated in a neutral way (the credit it should receive for the Sacrifice on what it stopped with Russia should cancel the debit it should receive for its failure to make a Sacrifice for what it didn’t stop).  Meanwhile, companies stopping totally should get credited to the extent of their Sacrifice or Exposure level while, at the other end of the spectrum, companies not stopping should be debited to the extent of their non-Sacrifice or Exposure level.

To achieve this, we separate the positive and negative sides of a neutral Degree Score through the IF/ELSE components of the formula, so that each is given credit or debit according to their Degree above the mid-point of 5.  Full & Complete companies and companies failing to Announce get +5 and -5 respectively through the “(Degree Score – 5)” components, in order to make the former a reward and the latter a penalty, which results in a range of between +0.5 and -0.5 (i.e. +50% to -50% in impact in the equation for good and bad respectively).  This is then multiplied by the Exposure Score, which, for the good companies with Degrees above 5, results in a maximum reward of 5 (this would be for the case of a company that has 10 Degree and is fully exposed with a 10 Exposure Score).  For the bad companies with less than 5 in Degree, the difference between 10 and their Exposure Score is calculated to show their ‘lack of exposure’, which is then multiplied by the first component, resulting in a maximum penalty of 4.5 (because the minimum level of Exposure for a company not exiting is 1 rather than 0).  Taking into account the minus 4.5 floor, the range for Exposure within the overall Moral Algorithm is 9.5.

The Exposure element in the formula we have added to achieve the above is:

For Degree Scores above 5:

+ (((Degree Score – 5) x 0.1) x Exposure Score)

For Degree Scores below or equal to 5:

+ (((Degree Score – 5) x 0.1) x (10 – Exposure Score))

The “((Degree Score – 5) x 0.1)” component generates the extent to which a good or bad company should be credited or debited based on its Degree of stopping business with Russia.  To bring in the actual Exposure the particular company had, the Exposure Score in each case is then applied to the equation, but, in the case of a bad company, the “(10-Exposure Score)” component reverses the effect so that its Moral Rating is debited more for less Exposure (i.e. because it has less excuse not to stop when its Exposure is low).

In conclusion, companies are credited or debited for Sacrifice or non-Sacrifice through a combination of their level of Exposure and whether they are on the right side of the story or not, these being the two moral components of their behavior relating to Exposure at the time of the invasion.


The Power element of the formula also needs special treatment.  This is our policy for Power:

Since Power is only a moral factor when a company does not withdraw fully and completely (it is a case of moral failure not moral courage, unlike Exposure which is relevant to both), we apply Power as a punishment to companies that are not totally withdrawing, on account of moral responsibility to exercise their Power, with more punishment for the more Power they have.  Thus, a company that has not stopped working with Russia that has a high Power Score should be punished more than one with a low Power Score, and a company that totally withdraws should have no reward regardless of the level of Power it had.

The Power element in the formula we have added to achieve this is:

– (((10-Degree Score) x 0.1) x Power Score)

The first component “((10-Degree Score) x 0.1)” generates the extent to which, and indeed whether, the company should be debited, and the second component “Power Score” is then applied to bring in the actual Power the company had.  Note that the way we ensure that a company with a 10 Degree Score receives no punishment is achieved by the entire Power element of the equation computing to zero (since a 10 Degree Score minus 10 produces a multiple of zero).

In conclusion, companies are debited for not responding to the Power they have through a combination of the extent they are still involved with Russia and the amount of Power they wield, these being the two moral components of their inaction relating to Power.

Note that Exposure and Power each have a similar maximum range between best and worse impacts, 9.5 and 10 respectively, so they have the same approximate weighting in the Moral Algorithm.


In conclusion, a company that stopped working with Russia totally, quickly, with the right Leadership and Altruism and suffered extreme Sacrifice would receive 105 points from the Moral Algorithm.

At the other end of the spectrum, a company that failed to stop which had the worse combination of Exposure and Power for a failing company (Exposure Score of 1 and Power Score of 10) could receive minus 14.5 points from the Moral Algorithm.

Note:  Although the Moral Rating is generated from the algorithm, the descriptive Moral Badge is generated by combining words based on the company’s behavior in each of the five moral dimensions.  This Moral Badge alternative helps a reader see the components of a company’s behavior in linguistic form.

This site is published by Mark Dixon under the name Moral Rating Agency. Copyright, 2022