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Business Ethics Reform

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Business Ethics Reform
Heidi Hamilton
MGT320-3 – The Legal Environment of Business
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Dr. Jason Lum
April 26, 2013

Business Ethics Reform There have been many, increasingly significant business scandals and failures over the past forty years. There were the bribery scandals of the 1970s, the defense industry scandals of the 1980s, and the Savings & Loan scandals of the 1908s and 1990s. After that came the dot-com collapse, the accounting scandals involving Enron and WorldCom, and most recently the financial scandals and crisis of 2006-2009, whose effects have been the most damaging, and significant worldwide (Brekert, 2010). History gives us an early warning about ethical pitfalls of business and the tragedies that result from those ethical failures in business. People have been aware of these problems for quite some time. The ancient Greek historian Plybius said that Carthage fell because "nothing that leads to profit is considered disgraceful" (Cuilla, 2011). This goes to show that the basic problems of business ethics are not new. The only thing that changes is the cultural and technological aspects of the problem. Even Ptah-hotep in his book written between 2550-2300 BCE wrote about a person's responsibilities at work. These responsibilities include adherence to duty, self-control, and transparency or vigilance against those who want to bribe or make secret deals (Cuilla, 2011). If history has taught us that ethics in business are important, why is it so hard to follow? This writer believes that there needs to be some changes to how ethics are viewed in the corporate world. For some, ethics seems to be an option if it means an increase in profits. Who cares if people are misled, if it increases the bottom line? Corporations need to understand that ethics is not something that they have when…...

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