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Ethical Behavior of Corporations: Good and Bad
By Team One:
October 27, 2011
Table of Contents
Contribution Page 3
Unethical Corporate Behavior 5
Ethical Corporate Behavior 8
Southwest Airlines 10
What is ethical? According to dictionary.com, ethical is “1. pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct. 2. being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession.” We are dealing with morals, principles, standards, and right and wrong. Are these not all somewhat subjective? There is definitely gray area when discussing ethics; however there is also a great deal of common ground. The purpose of this document is to share examples of unethical and ethical corporate behavior as determined by nearly universally agreed upon ethics.
A common thread throughout the following case studies is one of company leadership and direction. With most significant corporate initiatives, support at the top is imperative to success. Likewise, ethical and unethical behavior at the top sets the tone for the company. C-level management (CEO, CFO, COO, etc.) must lead by example and demand checks and balances are in place to insure unethical behavior is not permitted or possible.
Technological advancements have proved to be a double-edged sword as it relates to corporate ethics. Computers have provided the technically savvy associate, avenues to break codes of ethics. But by the same token, technology has opened communication channels to the world (i.e. internet) to expose unethical behavior. In a culture of 24/7 news and insatiable news audiences, unethical corporate activities will be broadcast relentlessly to the world and companies will pay dearly. Unfortunately as you will read below,...
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