Business Ethics and Deontology

In all of today’s businesses and organizations ethics play a critical role in effectively accomplishing day-to-day operations and ensuring the organizations future. If ethics could be packaged as a tangible commodity, it would be a major resource for many businesses and organizations. While specifics of defining ethics can vary from one organization to another, it can be summarized into the accepted set of moral values and corporate standards of conduct in a business organization. Whether intended or not, these ethics/standards can have a major impact on an organization bottom-line – it can add value to an organization by showing that it can be trustworthy across all spectrums of business dealing. Adversely, cracks exposed in an organization’s ethical veneer can send investors and consumers fleeing and drive the company to bankruptcy.
The objective of this paper is to review the role ethics, or lack there of, played in the downfall of Adelphia Communications. From utilizing company funds for personal expenses to misrepresenting accounting and inflating the company’s value, the lack of ethical regard to industry and company standards caused the downfall of the communications giant and sent top company officials to prison. This paper, briefly, discusses the ethical decision-making and deontological ethics for business executives and explores the concept of moral duty. Principles of deontology should guide executive decision-making particularly when executives are tempted to operate outside of codified legislation or are bound to act under judicial-free conditions.
Understanding Deontological Ethics
Business ethics manifests both as written and unwritten codes of moral standards that are critical to the current activities and future aspirations of a business organization. They can differ from one company to another because of differences in cultural perspectives, operational structures and strategic orientations. The guiding framework of business...