Defining Values and Ethics The topic of ethical values and professional ethics is tremendously important to contemporary society. Without respect for fundamental rules and definitions of acceptable and unacceptable business practices, the general public [Redundancy: “public” means the general population. Remove “general”] would be at great [Clearer writing suggestion–“great” is an overworked word, too frequently seen, and too vague. It has too many meanings: huge, superior, numerous, etc. Besides “much,” a “great deal” can mean an excellent transaction.Use a more specific adjective] risk from selfish business decisions and actions initiated by for-profit organizations to maximize their revenue regardless of the potential harm caused to others in the process. Newspaper headlines seem to be perpetually full of major ethical violations at almost any given time. Currently, the Gulf of Mexico is being devastated [The passive voice is a form of “be” (being) and a participle (devastated).
Over-use of the passive voice can make paragraphs officious and tedious to read. Try to use the active voice most often, e. g.
, the student completed the paper on time.The passive voice version–The paper was completed on time by the student–See eCampus > Center for Writing Excellence > Tutorials & Guides > Grammar & Writing Guides > Active & passive voice] by the uncontrollable release of crude oil specifically because BP, a giant oil conglomerate, chose not to install a relatively cheap piece of equipment to guard against such disasters. Moreover, it seems that the company also purposely misrepresented its technical ability to deal with this type of uncontrolled release to government regulators to avoid tighter regulation that could have threatened it profit margin.That is only the most recent and largest example of the consequences of ethical violations in modern business among many. Sources of Values and Ethics Generally, ethical values are sets of moral beliefs and expectations that are [Clearer writing suggestion–see if the sentence can be rewritten to remove “that are” or “who are”] transmitted [Passive voice] by society to its members through the socialization process (Zimbardo, 2007). In that regard, there is a large degree of variation from society to society simply because social norms and fundamental beliefs are substantially different in different parts of the world.
Nevertheless, ethical values form the same general function in every society: they establish codes of personal behavior. In the conduct of business, they differentiate acceptable business practices from unacceptable and impermissible practices. The other principle sources of ethical values are the family system, codified laws and government regulations, and industry-specific rules governing particular industries (Halbert & Ingulli, 2008).
Contemporary Examples of Large-Scale Business Ethics ViolationsThe United States is currently in the process of recovering from the most significant economic recession since [Check word choice–“Since” is more precise in referring to time (“after that”); otherwise use “because”] the Great Depression that followed the infamous Stock Market Crash of 1929. The cause of that economic recession can be traced [Passive voice] directly to a systemic [Check spelling–“systemic” is a medical term referring to biological systems (respiration, circulation, digestion, etc. ; “systematic” refers to elements or applications of a system] ethical problem that originated in the housing market and in the financial sector, particularly with respect to the intersection of those two industries in the first decade of the 21st century (Phillips, 2009).
Specifically, the deregulation of investment banking toward the end of the Clinton administration essentially eliminated the natural incentive of banks and other lending institutions to make sure that their mortgage loan applicants were qualified for their mortgages.Previously, mortgage lenders could not afford to issue loans to borrowers who could not pay back their mortgage loans because every default remained on the books of the lending institutions. However, deregulation allowed lenders to sell of their outstanding debt obligations to investment institutions which [Use “that” for a restrictive phrase (or place a comma before “which”)] purchased them for the purpose of converting large umbers of them into complex commodities that could be traded [Passive voice] for profit. Unfortunately, this meant that mortgage lenders no longer had to worry at all [Try to eliminate “all” or “all of”; often the meaning is the same without these words] about whether or not their borrowers were good or bad risks, since [Check word choice–“Since” is more precise in referring to time (“after that”); otherwise use “because”] their mortgage debts were sold off to other institutions.That situation triggered widespread ethical violations throughout the mortgage lending industry because lenders now profited whether or not borrowers defaulted on their loans and because property brokers began colluding with unqualified borrowers by helping them apply for mortgages they could never afford to pay off.
Eventually, many of them defaulted triggering the collapse of all of the mortgage-backed securities that had been sold and invested into large pension funds and other complex securities (Phillips, 2008).Another example of unethical conduct pertains to the continual ability of health insurance industry lobbyists to promote political opposition to necessary healthcare [The preferred spelling is two words: health care] reform throughout the period preceding its eventual passing in 2009 (Kennedy, 2006; Reid, 2009). Specifically, large health insurance companies funded tremendous campaigns involving five or six lobbyists for every single Washington [“single” can be removed. “every Washington” means the same (and besides, what about the married ones? ] legislator for the sole purpose of derailing crucial healthcare reform in the U. S. [In academic writing, this abbreviation should be used solely as an adjective; otherwise, write out United States] Because so many politicians (particularly Republicans) were beholden to those interests, they engaged in outright lies and deliberate misrepresentations designed to make meaningful healthcare impossible to achieve so that health insurance companies could continue to make large profits (Kennedy, 2006; Reid, 2009).
Those tactics included publicizing ridiculous lies about “death panels” and “socialist government takeover” of healthcare. In principle, this is only one example of the fundamental ethical problem of allowing lobbyists to contribute to political campaigns and demonstrates why that entire system demands reform (Kennedy, 2006). The Influence of Values and Ethics on Professional SuccessUnfortunately, business ethics will probably always be violated, [Passive voice] especially by large powerful business organizations simply because adhering to ethical values and legislative rules interferes with maximum profit. That is the reason that [Wordiness–replace “is the reason” or “is the reason that” with “is why”] societies need formal laws and legal systems to punish violators: unethical business practices usually increase profit.From the perspective of the individual, adhering to legal requirements and industry-specific ethical rules may limit the maximum possible “success” in the narrowest (and short-term) respect. Dishonest salesmen can earn more profit in the short term, but they do so at the expense of society and also at considerable professional risk. Ultimately, adhering to