Essay about Memo to Congress

Submitted By rbachman
Words: 2390
Pages: 10

MEMO: To Congress Business ethics is one of the greatest issues in the United States that accompanies a very large area of grey zones and questions. The government and individuals have been concerned and trying to implement the correct policies to better business ethics. In the early 2000’s the Enron company became of the of the biggest business ethics scandals ever seen. This huge case brought in many ideas to reform business ethics, though we still see many problems in todays economy. There is no one policy with one quick change that will fix ethics but there is reform to corporate ethics in America that will help. To understand better the changes that need to be made to business ethics it is important that everyone knows exactly what business ethics is. It all starts with the simple definition of ethics; ethics is in business and in life. Ethics is “the study of what constitutes right and wrong behavior” (Cross and Miller, pg.76). Starting as children we are taught the differences of right and wrong behavior. As we become more educated and can impose more power in our lives the differences between right and wrong become even more important as they can impact the lives of others. The majority of people choose to take the right path but some who have power take the wrong path mostly for personal gain. As we have seen in the Enron case the leaders of the company gained a great deal of money because of their bad ethics. Due to the fact that their right and wrong behavior was in the business world that makes theirs bad business ethics. Business ethics is important because it does not only affect the people who made the decisions but it can affect a large amount of people. Enron’s case places executives behind bars for their bad choices but it really hurt the company employees the most. The company had to file bankruptcy and thousands of people lost their jobs. It was these losses and bad business ethics that constituted a strong interest in reform of corporate ethics. Quickly after the Enron case the government and many companies that decided they needed to look in creating better business ethics. Many major companies choose to create ethical codes of conduct. These codes of conducts are great in creating a business environment with correct ethical guidelines for all employees. Along with the ethical code of conduct many companies all created training programs to teach employees ethical conduct. Most of these training programs involve face-to-face meetings with managers and company employees. Of the changes to business ethics after the Enron case was the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which “requires companies to set up confidential systems so that employees and others can “raise red flags” about suspected illegal or unethical auditing and accounting practices” (Cross and Miller, pg.81). This act gives individuals more power to speak out against bad business practices with less fear for losing their job. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was a major step forward to protecting people from corrupt business ethics. Even with this policy and the movement forward there is still many problems being seen in corporate America. These problems that are still being seen raise the importance of reform. It is important to have better ethics in business for many different reasons. The main reason is seen in business and in life, solid ethics builds long lasting relationships. Would you or someone you know want to become friends with a person that you know makes unethical decisions, my guess is no. So why would any person in business want to work with a company they know has participated in bad business ethics? They most likely would not do so, unless misguided into the working relationship and even then they would probably be out as fast as they got in. When companies normally find themselves with ethical problems it is because they are looking for quick profits that make the company look good right now.