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Current Ethical Issue In Business Essay

1447 words - 6 pages

IntroductionIn any environment, people can be influenced to go against his or her better judgment or succumb to pressures in order to advance themselves to a higher position. This appears to be typical in the area of politics. Recent elections have brought the ethical issues to the forefront of the American mind. In this paper, the corruption involving business men and women in which both President-elect Barack Obama and Senator John McCain have had professional agreements with will be examined. The main issue with these dealings is a conflict of interest. This paper will also look at how President-Elect Obama and McCain reacted to the allegations and the roles they both played in the agreements. The team will attempt to revise the ethical standards and plainly communicate the new standards in order to resolve the issues.Ground RulesThe ground rules manifested in the situation between President-Elect Obama and McCain are political and perceptual. Since both campaigns are jockeying to be perceived as the candidate who will clean up Washington, their promises are raising the bar for political behavior. According to Dilanian and Kelley (2008), both campaigns have emphasized ethics however; both campaigns have fundraisers who are under investigation by governmental agencies. This contradiction dilutes the argument of restoring higher ethics to the White House at the same time, jeopardizes the ground rules both candidates are trying to follow. For example, according to Dilanian and Kelley (2008), McCain's fundraiser Fred Malek was "censored by the Securities Exchange Commission" and President-Elect Obama's fundraiser James Reynolds was accused by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of "sham" consulting contracts. These examples highlight the problem of promising higher ethics while leading a group of people from different backgrounds."A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, insurance adjuster, a politician, an engineer, executive or director of a corporation or a medical research scientist or physician, has competing professional or personal interests. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties impartially. A conflict of interest exists even if no unethical or improper act results from it. A conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the person, profession, or court system. A conflict can be mitigated by third party verification or third party evaluation." (Wikipedia, 2008) The best way to handle conflicts of interests is to avoid them entirely. For example, someone elected to political office might sell all corporate stocks that he or she owns before taking office, and resign from all corporate boards. Or that person could move his or her corporate stocks to a special trust, which would be authorized to buy and sell without disclosure to the owner. The government officials are asked to share their financial...

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