Ethical and Unethical Business Practices

This paper will go over several ethical and unethical business practices. I will define both ethical and unethical followed by examples. There are numerous definitions of ethics. The definition usually depends on the context of the situation. For example, there are medical ethics and business ethics among many, many others. In general, business ethics is when employers conform to the approved standards of their profession. And unethical business practices is the opposite, not conforming to approved standards. Unfortunately, being unethical does not always mean that it is illegal.

Ethics has many different definitions and means many different things to different people. Ethics in general, is a type of moral philosophy. Ethics should be defined by the context in which it is used (i.e. business, medical). Logically, since we are dealing with businesses we will define ethics within the context of business practices. Business ethics is the application if ethical values to business behavior. Basically, what society believes is right and wrong and is applied to businesses. The generally accepted accounting principals (GAAP) "provides assurance to outsiders (external decision makers) that the information available in a given decision situation was prepared in accordance with a well-defined set of rules and guidelines" (Werner, & Jones, (2004) (1)16. Notice the phrase given decision situation. It means that the person who made the decision was following guidelines and rules. GAAP permits a certain degree of managerial discretion. Therefore, we rely on the people within this classification to be ethical.

A perfect example of someone who has access to be able to manipulate a business's finances is a manager. He or she has the ability to control net income from several approaches. He or she can change accounting policies (depreciation methods, inventory valuation (LIFO vs. FIFO). He or she can also manipulate the net income by various accrual methods (warranty cost). So as you can see, a manager has a great opportunity to display unethical behavior. Although we view some things as unethical, that does not mean it is illegal. It is very important to remember this if you ever purchase stock in a company. There will always be a chance for your money to be tossed around. And if you are in a position to manipulate financial assets yourself, be careful. Uncle Sam will come after you if you are caught.

Werner, M.L. & Jones, K.H (2004). Introduction to Accounting: A User Perspective, Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. (1) 16

Published by Heather Zarka

I am a twenty-five year old from Dayton, Ohio. I am a recent graduate of Colorado Technical University. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. I am currently looking for a position in t...  View profile

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  • VictemOfRacism 5/18/2012

    KeyStaff was the agency that i have been with over the course of 3 or more years. The location of KeyStaff was 111 W Anderson Ln Ste D197, Austin TX. I did not experience problems with KeyStaff until the business moved over to a new location on 2417 Ashdale, Ste A Austin, Texas. It first began when i called in on the date of 04/12/12 in order to update my availability for work. I was told that i was placed on a DNU (Do Not Use List) because there were no jobs available at that time according to one of the KeyStaff recruiters.I then e mailed my concerns to the head manager in charge of KeyStaff regarding this issue. Later i called in to confirm that my e mail had been received. That was when one of the recruiters did in fact confirm with me that my complaint was reviewed and that i was removed from the DNU (Do Not Use List). So up until 05/14/12 i was under the impression that the issue of me being placed on the DNU list was resolved. That is when i was told by some KeyStaff member that i was indeed on the DNU list. Ok i was lied to on that part. Secondly why would a person have to be placed on some DNU (Do Not Use) list or denied further services just because no work would be available at that time? In addition to that i was told that KeyStaff could not work with me any further due to my so called frequent calls into the agency. Yet i was under the impression that i was obligated to call in to update my employment availabilty on a weekly basis. Other accusations were made such as how i gave them a hard time and was difficult to work with. Again this all came from KeyStaff recruiters who i dont recall being assigned to or working with. I would only call in once or maybe twice at the most per week for employment placement. And that i did over the course of 3 plus years since i first registered with KeyStaff for work. I never had any issue with KeyStaff prior to them moving over to a new location. So this disturbed me greatly. So on 05/15/2012 i called in for another attempt to voice my concerns. I was denied contact with the manager, told again that i was denied services, accused of causing problems, disconnected from. I called back several times in order to reach the manager in charge. I was tranfered to voice mail machines. I left a couple of messages that were never returned. After several attempts to speak with the head manager i then said that i was going to come in to recive some documentation from KeyStaff. The recruiter said ok yet KeyStaff still could not provide me services. So the following morning i came in to get my test scores. I took data entry, typing, and a few other tests prior to KeyStaff moving to their new location. All of them i passed. I only came in that following morning to recive copies of them. I was denied any print out of them. But i was told that they could be e mailed to me. I was ok with that. Yet i still wanted to speak with the manager. When she came out the manager said that she could only write them down for me on a note pad. I tried again to communicate my concerns with her but she would not listen and was very evasive. Finnaly i told her how i felt discriminated against. And that i did not recognize any of the new recruiters at that new location. She then demanded that i leave and threatend to call the cops on me for simply trying to voice my concerns. I did not use any vulgar or derogatory words. I did not raise my voice or yell. I was very cordial and mild mannered with my replys. Later i called in for the last time in order to find out why the cops would be needed. I requested the manager and was transfered and placed on speaker phone. AFter explaining my concerns and experience i was again disregarded. One of the recruiters simply replied by telling me not to call again and that they would have the cops place a restraining order on me. I was lied to, slandered, blown off, and deceived several times by these other KeySTaff members. This is not ethical standard and i cant rest until proper action is taken regarding how i was slandered by KeyStaff.