Essay on Bosy

20974 Words Jul 25th, 2012 84 Pages
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PA R T

IV

ETHICS AND THE ORGANIZATION

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CHAPTER

8

ETHICAL PROBLEMS OF ORGANIZATIONS

INTRODUCTION
In the third quarter of 2002, the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank, estimated that the corporate scandals that began with the Enron debacle in late 2000 would cost the U.S. economy $35 billion. That is the equivalent of a $10 increase per barrel of oil.1 It is, in a word, staggering. And we may not have seen the end of it. Long before Enron’s collapse, a number of business ethicists and business professionals watched with concern as Wall Street analysts demanded increasingly
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A drop of one or two pennies in quarterly earnings that vary from expectations can result in a 30 percent decline in the price of the stock, virtually overnight. We’ve developed a short-term culture in American business, where executives have become obsessed with the selling price of their stock. They drive earnings in whatever way they possibly can to meet the expectations of analysts, rather than presenting a picture that is totally accurate.”4 With news of unfathomable greed and misdeeds and just plain stupidity at Enron, Arthur Andersen, WorldCom, Adelphia, Citigroup, Tyco, and others flooding the media, it’s easy to wonder if any organization is doing the right thing. Well, wonder 214

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ETHICAL PROBLEMS OF ORGANIZATIONS

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no more. There are thousands of organizations that work every day to uphold ethical standards and train employees in what those standards mean. If you try to imagine the hundreds of thousands of transactions that occur every day and then think about how many you hear about as being illegal or unethical—even with all of the bad news in the years since 2001—the real proportion of wrongdoers is probably quite small. In this chapter, we’re going to look at a series of business ethics cases within the framework of stakeholders—those individuals or groups who have a stake in what the organization does or how it performs. Many of the cases

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