Business Ethics in Sport

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The Melbourne Storm
A scandal that was inevitable

Topic: An analysis of the ethics of the Melbourne Storm NRL Club’s salary cap breaches Section 1
The purpose of this essay is to analyse the ethics of the Melbourne Storm NRL Club’s salary breach with reference to the management literature on business ethics. This essay will look at three separate articles discussing business ethics and then link the information found on ethical decision making towards the Melbourne Storm salary breach scandal. The first article will discuss networking and its link to business, with reference to the three types of networking and specific unethical behaviour in networking. The second article will look at the theory of planned behaviour and discuss what widespread unethical behaviour is and how closeness centrality can lead to it. The final article argues that culture plays a predominant role in ethical decision making and links individualism and collectivism to the case. After analysing all three articles and then comparing what was learned about ethics to the Melbourne Storm scandal, we should be able to answer the question; did the pressure of performing in an aggressive competition influence the Melbourne storm to adopt unethical behaviours? Section 2

Practice of Networking: An ethical approach
The practice of networking has evolved more so in the last twenty years than in the previous sixty. It has been recognised as an essential component in the business context and various benefits including resources, information and knowledge can be obtained from business networks. Mélé (2010) mentions that networking can be associated with inter- and intra-organizational aspects of a business and pressure from maintaining a positive ethical standard can lead to unethical behaviour. But before we establish the specific misconducts in business ethics, we must look at the three types of networking; utilitarian, emotional and virtuous. Mélé (2010) recognises utilitarian networking as an investment into obtaining benefits related to safety or protection, economic advantages, and obtaining power. Emotional and virtuous networking differ from utilitarian networking, as the former are not influenced by material goods, but instead motivated by the desire to work pleasantly with others, and make a positive contribution to a noble cause (Mélé, 2010). Virtuous behaviour includes good faith, honest goals and applying an ethical influence within the network. The actions that are contrary to virtuous behaviour are labelled as misconduct or unethical behaviour. Acting with bad faith such as taking advantage of others without respecting network legitimate norms is a classic example of misconduct and can lead to unfair opportunism, which is another form of unethical behaviour. Opportunistic behaviour on a negative level involves the abuse of trust or disregarding network norms or principles to better the position of one’s self often at the expense of others. There is also responsibility to bear if a person is cooperating in the wrongdoing of others. This is unethical behaviour as there is a common theme of disguised bribery involved in another person’s wrongdoing. Do competitive environments lead to the rise and spread of unethical behaviour? Parallels from Enron. The authors of this article claim that the driving force toward Enron’s unethical behaviour was the organizational culture of the business. However, there are other aspects mentioned that lead a company to widespread unethical behaviour. The theory of planned behaviour assumes that individuals are rational and that their decisions come after a careful evaluation of the possible implications of their actions if they choose to engage or not. The theory of planned behaviour is useful for determining why a person would act unethically because it acknowledges a person’s values as a main contributor towards their behaviour. In Enron’s case, the behaviour within the organization was tainted and the...
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