Business Ethics

This paper will focus on Benji Watson, a graduate from the Liberty University MBA program and his recruitment by a corporation that sells various vitamins, health foods and health supplements; New Gen Health Sciences. The case study that was presented provides us certain information that Benji has either gotten from his recruiter or from his own personal research. After a weekend of being at the company introduction event, Benji is presented with a dilemma as to whether to accept the lucrative offer New Gen has presented him. Throughout this paper I will take a closer look as to whether I believe Benji should or should not accept his contract offer from New Gen. Integrity

One of the most important factors when looking into joining a corporation is to take a look from the top and see how the CEO runs his corporation. Benji has already had several red flags raised as to the business practices that the CEO of New Gen employs throughout his corporation. Mary C. Daly (2003) describes how a Harvard Business School case study quoted an Enron official who gave a description of Jeffrey Skilling’s decision-making process as follows: “It was all about creating an atmosphere of deliberately breaking the rules” (p. 269-270). She goes on to say that in a similar situation, Salomon Brothers encouraged extreme risk taking in the pursuit of profits that sometimes were not within the ethics or morals of the individual (p. 270). A severe lack of integrity within these corporations ultimately led to their demise.

Unfortunately, it seems as if the CEO of New Gen is headed down this same path in his pursuit of profits. The CEO of New Gen claims to be a person who cares about people and making their lives better, yet he displays a total lack of integrity when he referred to the company’s customers as “fat, lazy, lethargic Americans.” Benji needs to ask himself, is this the type of boss I want to work for? To make matters worse and to once again bring the CEO’s integrity into question, he harshly asked another potential employee whose infant child was crying to leave the room as to not bother the others who were in the room. I would caution Benji to take into consideration these actions when he makes his decision.

Julia Sferlazzo (2012) describes two types of business ethics theories and the debate that focuses on whose interest’s managers should consider when they are making decisions (p. 772). The two theories, shareholder and stakeholder theories respectively, both take a different approach in how they go about implementing their business ethics. The shareholders theory basically involves when the only duty of the manager is to pursue profit and that the only obligations they have are to act within the confines of the law. This theory was favored in the early 1900’s but over the past several decades this theory has fallen out of favor in terms of government regulation due to the corruption and corporate greed. In the stakeholders theory, a balance is placed on what is in the best interest of the shareholder, employees, the community, and as society. This theory of professional ethics is accepted the most amongst academics (Sferlazzo, 2012, p.772-773).

Based on the theories I have outlined above, I believe that New Gen more closely falls in line with the shareholder theory, and one that could lead down the path of corruption. Although New Gen is not ethically doing anything illegal, they are falsely marketing their company as a leader in ethics when in reality they are only in pursuit of the maximum amount of profit. “For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But though, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (Timothy 6:10-11, NIV). Strategic Ethics vs. Real Ethics

In Dobson’s (n.d.) critique, he states several times that although a business’ actions may appear moral, it is clear that the motivation can sometimes only be material. This question is are these companies only saying they are running an ethical business as motivation to attract investors or are they taking action on what they are saying by their real ethics they are imploring. When Benji was conversing with his recruiter about New Gen’s industry leading ethics code, the recruiter basically told him that it was a strategy that the company had to say in order to ensure government regulations were met and they could entice investors. This should be a red flag for Benji that this company may be employing a strategic ethic instead of real ethics in order to attract new investors rather than doing the right thing. These dishonest business practices along with not being able to adhere to real ethics and using them only to their strategic advantage will eventually catch up to this company and its financials will struggle if these practices continue.

“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves” (Matthew 7:15, NIV). Benji would be wise to heed the advice that Jesus gave to Matthew when advising him on how to enter the kingdom of heaven. Spiritually, Benji has to make a conscience effort to continue to research and investigate on whether this is a wise decision for him to accept a job from a potential dishonest corporation. Is New Gen a corporation that values its consumers and employers both ethically and spiritually or are they a corporation that only uses their “industry leading ethics code” as a strategic ploy to attract their investors? These are the questions Benji must consider when deciding on accepting this contract offer.

The Decision
From both a spiritual and an ethical perspective there is no way that I would advise Benji to accept this job offer. Although this job appears lucrative from the outside looking in, upon further research Benji should realize that this company’s foundation is based upon furthering the profit for the CEO and not taking into consideration of the stakeholders. Furthermore, New Gen is a company that is dishonest and shows a total disregard to the integrity that a reputable business would display. In no way would I advise Benji to accept this job offer.

Daly, Mary C. (2003). INTEGRITY IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW: TEACHING INTEGRITY IN THE PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY CURRICULUM: A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR CHANGE. Fordham Law Review, 72, 261-277. Dobson, John (n.d.). Virtue Ethics as a Foundation for Business Ethics: A “MacIntyre-Based Critique” Retrieved May
15, 2013, from Sferlazzo, Julia (2012). Learning Legal Ethics From MBAs: How a Comparison of Legal and Business Ethics Could Promote Ethical Professional Behavior. Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 25, 769-786.