Ethical Dilemmas in Today's
University of Maryland University College
December 18, 2002
It is almost impossible to pick up any American newspaper and avoid reading an article dealing with the unethical and possibly even illegal conduct of those who run our businesses. Whether it is insider stock manipulation, off balance sheet partnerships, questionable accounting practices, dumping of environmental contaminants, the stories continue to appear. The ethical conduct of U.S. businesses will be examined and compared with that of the past. The ethical climate has changed in the last couple of decades.
Unethical conduct is nothing new to the business environment. Unethical practices didn't necessarily bring a business down ten to twenty years ago, but unethical business practices today can lead to the premature death of a company. Companies such as Enron, Exxon, Ford, Union Carbide and Johnson & Johnson have all had occasions where unethical practices have reared their ugly heads and each chose to handle things differently, with varying degrees of consequence. Each of these company's bout with unethical behavior will be examined.
In July of 1985 Houston Natural Gas merged with Inter North to form Enron, originally Natural Gas Pipeline Company. In 1989 Enron began trading natural gas commodities. In June 1994 Enron traded its first unit of electricity. In just 15 years, Enron grew from nowhere to be America's seventh largest company, employing 21,000 staff in more than 40 countries. Unfortunately, the firm's success turned out to have involved an elaborate scam. Enron lied about its profits and stands accused of a range of shady dealings, including concealing debts so they didn't show up in the company's accounts. As the depth of the deception unfolded, investors and creditors retreated, forcing the firm into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2001 (Zellner, 2002).... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2005, 08). Ethical Dilemmas in Todays Business. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 08, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ethical-Dilemmas-Todays-Business-63902.html
"Ethical Dilemmas in Todays Business" StudyMode.com. 08 2005. 08 2005 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ethical-Dilemmas-Todays-Business-63902.html>.
"Ethical Dilemmas in Todays Business." StudyMode.com. 08, 2005. Accessed 08, 2005. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Ethical-Dilemmas-Todays-Business-63902.html.