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Resisting Corporate Corruption, 3rd Edition by Stephen V. Arbogast

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Essay 1How to Do an Ethics Case Study

Most individuals in corporate life come to ethics issues largely unprepared. And then, when unlucky enough to encounter something unethical, people can find the deck stacked against them. They are unprepared because they have had little training and even less practice in handling the complexities ethics issues bring. They may have their personal sense of morality as a guide but not much more. If they had liberal arts training, they may have discussed philosophy or morality but not in a concrete setting in which the personal consequence may be demotion or termination of employment. Their business or law school training my have provided a low-emphasis course on corporate governance but not much on what to do when your boss orders you to work around a law.

They will find the deck stacked against them because when they first encounter an ethics problem, they usually will be dealing with someone above them in management. This person or persons will have the advantage not only of senior position, but also more experience managing decisions through the organization and past its gatekeepers.

New employees are quickly socialized by their everyday business experiences into the real world of “gray zones.” Firms don’t violate accounting principles per se but use them adroitly to present their results in the best light. People often spin or withhold information internally or from customers or partners when they perceive an advantage in doing so. Tax ...

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