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Business Ethics Make Good Business Sense

1175 words - 5 pages

AbstractIn the wake of the 2000 bursting of the stock bubble unethical practices and decisions by a number of companies and corporations have surfaced and left an enduring stain, upon the public's view of CEO's and other leaders of businesses as well as the corporations themselves. This stain has left the stock market a now avoided arena in stark contrast to the two decades preceding the revelations of creative accounting and outright lies by companies such as WorldCom and Tyco. Economies of other nations were directly affected by the unethical actions of a few men and women in these companies as well as the United States. It has become clear that leaders of commerce are learning a new lesson. Business devoid of ethical decisions is bad business.Chief Executive Officers and every member of every board of every business should be getting a message. Business devoid of ethical decisions is bad business. The results of the lack of ethics and its impact on the economy can be observed in several ways. What ethical framework can be attributed to those who would harm so many for the sake of greed? People behind the decisions or policies are now feeling the legal ramifications of those actions as well as the companies they lead. The collapse of several large companies can be directly attributed to, if not illegal, very unethical actions. The past few years will be remembered as a watershed moment. Even with the network of powerful political allies Big Business will not escape the current investigation and future federal mandates on business practices after the revelations of the past few years.Can you look at yourself in mirror in the morning? It is not much of a philosophical guideline or explanation as Aristotle's Golden Mean or Kant's Categorical Imperative. But one wonders what the answer would be from a person like CEO of Tyco International, Dennis Kozlowski would say. Or what WorldCom CEO, Bernard J. Ebbers would reply to this question. The loans that B.J. Ebbers obtained from WorldCom were only a step above embezzlement. It was not a situation where Dennis Kozlowski missed a clerical error when listing acquisition of the company, he allowed fraudulent accounting. Kenneth Lay, the former CEO of Enron, who currently faces investigation and criminal charges in his part of the scandal that has all but ruined that company, still sits on the board of that company.There are several commonalities between the companies Worldcom, Tyco International, and Enron but two stand out or can be distilled down to these; unethical actions and loss of stock value. Enron is the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history. This fact is due directly to their unethical actions, actions that were designed to boost the stock price. It is unknown if these CEO's thought that the stock would stay high and maintain the appearance that the company's were worth a great deal more than they were. It is unlikely they believed their deception would last as all either borrowed...

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