Was It Really an Unethical Affair?

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Affairs among members of the large corporate structures are not uncommon and can be found documented in many different venues. When a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) chooses to have an affair with an employee on his staff, many questions can be raised. Is it a question of whether the affair was wrong, or whether the conduct reflects poorly on not only the person’s involved, but the company that was involved? Perhaps it just came down to Mr. Stonecipher not practicing what he preached. From an ethical standpoint, Mr. Stonecipher was clearly in the wrong. As a CEO or a leader for that matter, you must lead by example and his example was poor at best. You cannot enforce standards in the workplace if you are skirting those standards yourself.

As chairman of any company, you must not only enforce standards among your employees, but you must also adhere to those standards. Integrity is a forefront for anyone who is placed within a position of responsibility and can be defined as doing what is right regardless of who is watching you, if anyone. Any corporation has a values base that it works from and non-compliance with those values can cause a domino effect within the corporation’s structure. If the person that is entrusted with enforcing the standards or values cannot adhere to them himself, how can he/she expect his/her employees to do so? When Bill Clinton had an affair with one of his interns, it caused much grief in the military community. As a military member, if you are caught having an extramarital affair, you are punished under the Manual for Courts Martial and potentially relieved of your duties. If Bill Clinton is able to carry on such an affair with little to no punishment, how can a military member be punished for the same thing? For all intents and purposes he was considered the CEO of the uniformed services as our Commander-in-Chief which meant he should have set the example for military members to follow. Could a military member have...
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