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Business Ethics Essay

1460 words - 6 pages

Running head: Business Ethics Persuasive Draft

Business Ethics Persuasive Draft
Jamesina Charles
Kaplan University
March 16, 2010

Business Ethics Persuasive Draft
Despite the bad economy, a percentage of businesses have increased their ethical culture from 9 percent to 18 percent in the past two years based on the study done by the Ethics Resource Center. (Nortz, 2010) All businesses should have an ethics code that links professional conduct with the company’s mission, standards and values. (ERC, 2009) Acceptable and unacceptable behavior with consequences should clearly be defined so that all employees know what is expected. Because business ethics and the code of ...view middle of the document...

Ethical behavior that is transparent will curtail resentment from employees who follow the code. Maintaining business ethics is crucial to the bottom line. It is the job of the managers to provide a safe work environment for everyone. A company’s reputation depends on how they treat their employees, customers, vendors, and shareholders. Some unethical behavior that is observed are lying to vendors, being abusive to subordinates, and violating safety regulations. These types of behaviors should be investigated and reprimanded.
Enron employees were encouraged to bring any issues and concerns to the Chief Executive, Jeffrey Skilling and Ms. Watkins took him upon his offer. On August 22, 2001, Sherron Watkins, the former Enron vice president had a meeting with him and the founder Kenneth Lay to discuss millions of dollars owed to the company. (Fox News, 2006) In her memo to Mr. Lay she said, “I am incredibly nervous we will implode in a wave of accounting scandals.” (Fox News, 2006) She was told that an investigaion would be done in accounting but it was not done. In 2002 Ms. Watkins found out that Enron tried to find a way to fire her after the meeting. Her job prospects outside of the company dried up when the company’s earnings in 2001 showed a loss of over $600 million. She finally left in November 2002 and became a consultant for corporate governance issues.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Section 806 has provision to protect whistleblowers. (Sarbanes-Oxley, 2002). U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes and U.S. Representative Michael G. Oxley helped enact this bill to force companies to straighten up. (Find Law, 2008). A whistleblower is an employee who reports claims of financial, health and safety violations. Many states also have laws to stop retaliation if the whistleblower is unjustly fired. State wage, hour laws, family and medial leave are some of the additional laws that are included. The claims can be avoided if corporations handle the complaint and use it as an opportunity to make improvements.
A standard of operation should be in the code of ethics to encourage employees to report violations without fear of retaliation. It is the management’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment. (T+D, 2006) If an employee encounters a situation that is not in the code of conduct it should be discussed with their immediate supervisor. Corporations can gain support from the government, stakeholders, and the public if they are a responsible organization. (ERC, 2009).
Why should anyone care about ethics if the leaders are not adhering to it themselves? Society has the expectation that all corporations should lead with integrity, honesty and social responsibility. Corporate and accounting scandals in corporations such as Enron and WorldCom cost investors billions and their misconduct affected their employees and stockholders. Keeping commitments within the company and to your shareholders will promote trust. (ERC, 2009) It is very...

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