Ethics Companies Come and Go Research Paper

Pages: 3 (1098 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Business


Companies come and go in the marketplace quite frequently. Some of them disappear because of a lack of customers or because the business owners failed to operate the business in such a way as to make a profit. Other companies close up because of an economic downturn, a recall on their products, or because their prices were simply too high and/or their products did not have enough marketability. Of course, there are always other factors that can contribute to the downfall of a business, and one of those factors is ethics. When a company places stakeholder agendas over ethical boundaries, serious problems can result.

According to Schulman (2006), a business cannot just determine what industry they are in and how to act within that industry. Citing Robert Finocchio, a professor at Santa Clara University, Schulman (2006) states that there are three other questions which must be asked. Those are (1) what does our business stand for, (2) what is the purpose of our business, and (3) what values does the business hold? Many businesses create a strategic plan in which they proclaim how ethical they are, but that can be a red flag for some people. Proclamation is not what makes a company ethical, and it is often easy to proclaim something but much more difficult to actually follow through with that proclamation (Schulman, 2006). If a business is truly ethical, it does not just need to say so. It needs to act ethically in all of its dealings, as that will be noticed by others.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Research Paper on Ethics Companies Come and Go in the Assignment

That is not to say that a company should not or cannot list its ethics and values in a mission statement and other documents, but only that a discussion of those values does not go far enough toward ensuring that they are upheld by the company and all of its employees. There are many ways in which to incorporate ethics into a strategic plan for a business, and that starts with avoiding getting into a business that can be considered unethical or illegal. Always follow the laws, no matter where business is done (Schulman, 2006). In addition, values should be realistic and should be part of what is believed by the leaders of the company (Schulman, 2006). A "do as I say and not as I do" policy does not work well in business, so ethics must start at the top of the organizational chain and become part of the company's culture all of the way down the line to the lowest-ranking person in the organization.

When leaders act unethically and keep that behavior from their employees and followers, it often backfires and harms the people who had no knowledge of what was taking place just as much as those who were aware of the behavior. One case of a company putting its agenda first and its ethics last is the Enron scandal. Of course, there were other casualties in that debacle, such as the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. Arthur Andersen had audited the books for Enron, and had been shredding documents related to the company when they knew that investigators were starting to have questions (Thomas, 2002). When the Arthur Andersen firm was deemed guilty, it planned to appeal the case under the premise that it had not actually broken the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Ethics Companies Come and Go" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Ethics Companies Come and Go.  (2011, August 21).  Retrieved November 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Ethics Companies Come and Go."  21 August 2011.  Web.  28 November 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Ethics Companies Come and Go."  August 21, 2011.  Accessed November 28, 2020.