Ethics: Fiction or Reality - The Case of Corporate America

Any company, large or small, profit or non –profit has a responsibility to act ethically and uphold the most fundamental moral standards. However, this is not the case in many companies in America. Cutthroat competition in business has forced these organizations to resort to questionable means to achieve an end. Their top executives have found themselves on the wrong side of the law for unethical and illegal behaviour. Such acts have made the ethics of corporate America a subject worth scrutinizing with an aim of establishing whether it is a fiction or a reality.

The ‘glass ceiling’ is a term used to describe the barrier that exists for women and minority groups when it comes to rising in the ranks of management in a company. Although it is deemed as “work in progress”, some companies have ploys and gimmicks that slow down the pace of women empowerment in the workplace. As one of the realities of unethical practices in corporate America, it does not augur well with liberal feminists who believe that oppression and inequality must be justified.

Currently, skills of appearance-based consultants are on high demand. This is due to the pressure put on appearance at workplaces. This makes workers to feel that looking good is a prerequisite for being promoted. While this is ethically wrong, judging the quality of one’s work based on their appearance, is a reality in the corporate world.

Consequently, businesses in corporate America are making it hard for people to trust them with all the ethical scandals surrounding them. Enron, Martha Stewart are examples of companies with highly publicised cases, where they failed to maintain an ethical working environment. Most of them have succeeded in dehumanizing and exploiting their workers. They have relegated to them bread crumbs, whose resting place is the floor below the table while the executive eat the real bread at the table.

No wonder many people describe the work culture of corporate America as difficult, which is true. Struggling to find happiness and success in the workplace is the norm and not the exception, in corporate America. Unethical means to profit making is the norm of the day. To avert these realities, ethics and responsibility should be at the top of any corporate agenda. All said and done, it should be noted that there are businesses that operate successfully and make gross millions in profits while observing acceptable ethical standards in their work places.

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