Article Review: iPods, Business Ethics, and Sleeping Well at Night

Essay by ibkensterUniversity, Bachelor'sA, January 2007

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In the article iPods, business ethics, and sleeping well at night, author K. Ponton examines the lack of ethics in today's business world. The article starts with Ponton having to answer his teenage son's unethical request. Ponton's teenage son asked if Apple would give a newer model of the iPod if he returned his broken one. Actually, the only thing wrong with his son's iPod was that of age, the iPod was working perfectly. Ponton took this opportunity to talk with his son about fraud. In discussing the request with his son, Ponton pondered the headlines on the front page of the New York times. Three of the five headlines were dealing with the New York Stock Exchange salary scandal, the arrest of a former Ernst & Young audit partner, and the HealthSouth scandal. Ponton was not at all surprised by these headlines as financial mismanagement is becoming more frequent and reaching into a broader range of business areas.

Howard Schilit offers a theory on why unethical or fraudulent schemes continue in his book Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports. This theory is that the schemes are financially rewarding, easy to pull off, and the perpetrators are unlikely to get caught. It seems that people have forgotten to ask themselves some important questions before decisions are made. Ponton points out some things that you should do before decisions are made. For one, you should identify three or four questions about the issue that is most difficult to you and are the ones that you most fear being asked by someone else. Once you have identified these and written them down, answer them.

If you are having ethical qualms about a proposal, discuss it with an advisor that you really trust and will be...