Ethics Research Essays

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Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV), “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.” The accounting firm of Arthur Andersen exemplified this statement completely. The firm which began in the early 1900’s as a stalwart defender of ethical behavior, by the beginning of the twenty-first century was more corrupt than anyone could imagine. The fallout from the demise of Arthur Andersen has been immense and some lasting effects can still be felt today.
Ultimately, the downfall of this accounting giant was due to the degradation of leadership. Schein states there are “six primary embedding mechanisms…that leaders have available to
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The accounting firm was charged both criminally and civilly for many different offenses. For example, “In another Andersen-related case, an Arizona grand jury has re-indicted five men on charges of fraud, racketeering and theft in connection with their involvement in the failed Baptist Foundation of Arizona (BFA)” (Accountant, 2002). The most obvious effect of Arthur Andersen’s unethical behavior and actions is the collapse of several multi-billion dollar corporations. But the effects run far deeper than that.
When companies such as Enron, WorldCom, or ABF go under, those who stand to lose the most are the investors of that company. The investors are the true victims of Arthur Andersen’s accounting and auditing failures. In reference to Enron as one example, “By December 31, 2000, Enron’s stock was priced at $83.13…Yet within a year, Enron’s image was in tatters and its stock price had plummeted nearly to zero” (Healy, P. M., & Palepu, K. G, 2003, p. 3). Given these numbers a stock portfolio of 5,000 shares of stock which started with a value of $415,650 ended up with a value of nearly $0 after only one year. Many employees of Enron invested their retirement savings in company stock only to see it vanish. Similar results to this can be seen with all business failures. The collapse of WorldCom is another glaring example. Not only did the investors and employees of WorldCom lose vast amounts of money, rival companies also felt the
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