Are We Wasting Our Time Teaching Business Ethics? Ethical Lapses Since Enron and the Great Recession

31 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2016

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Miriam Gerstein

Brooklyn College

Date Written: September 14, 2016

Abstract

This paper examines whether corruption and dishonesty are still major issues after huge debacles such as Enron and the Great Recession of 2008. Sadly, little has changed and the moral compass is broken at many organizations; greed still reigns. Examples from the financial, automobile, retailing, and accounting industries are provided to demonstrate that many leaders have no qualms about selling dangerous products or using dubious accounting to maximize profit. Apparently, little has changed: organizational leaders and boards may be paying lip service to the importance of integrity and ethics but are not practicing what they preach.

Keywords: leadership, ethical leadership, business ethics, banking scandals, automobile industry, Rana Plaza, Chinese milk scandal, accounting scandals, sugar association

JEL Classification: A22, A23, D81, G18, G21, I20, L20, L21, M14, M19, M31, Q20, Q38

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Hershey H. and Gerstein, Miriam, Are We Wasting Our Time Teaching Business Ethics? Ethical Lapses Since Enron and the Great Recession (September 14, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2839069 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2839069

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York ( email )

Miriam Gerstein

Brooklyn College ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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