Considering ethics robert a cooke a noted ethicist

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Unformatted text preview: usiness and market participants to adhere to both the letter and the spirit of laws and regulations concerned with business and professional practice. Most business leaders believe businesses actually strengthen their competitive positions by maintaining high ethical standards. Considering Ethics Robert A. Cooke, a noted ethicist, suggests that the following questions be used to assess the ethical viability of a proposed action.4 1. Is the action arbitrary or capricious? Does it unfairly single out an individual or group? 2. Does the action violate the moral or legal rights of any individual or group? 3. Does the action conform to accepted moral standards? 4. Are there alternative courses of action that are less likely to cause actual or potential harm? 4. Robert A. Cooke, “Business Ethics: A Perspective,” in Arthur Andersen Cases on Business Ethics (Chicago: Arthur Andersen, September 1991), pp. 2 and 5. 18 PART 1 Introduction to Managerial Finance FOCUS ON ETHICS In Practice “Doing Well by Doing Good” Hewlett-Packard (H-P) was founded in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard on the basis of principles of fair dealing and respect—long before anyone coined the expression “corporate social responsibility.” H-P credits its ongoing commitment to “doing well by doing good” as a major reason why employees, suppliers, customers, and shareholders seek it out. H-P is clear on its obligation to increase the market value of its common stock, yet it strives to maintain the integrity of each employee in every country in which it does business. Its “Standards of Business Conduct” include a provision that triggers immediate dismissal of any employee who is found to have told a lie. Its internal auditors are expected to adhere to all of these standards, which set forth the “highest principles of business ethics and conduct,” according to H-P’s 2000 annual report. Maximizing shareholder wealth is what some call a “moral imperative,” in that stockholders ar...
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