Ethics and morale behavior is the topic of concern for many professions. “Ethical principles are universal standards of right and wrong prescribing the kind of behavior an ethical company or person should and should not engage in.” (Institute Nov 2013) Management and Accounting practices are not unlike most although in this study it is highlighted the varied opinions and practices conducted by many of these professionals as to what is within the bounds of ethical behavior. These professionals are held to several profession standards of practice, laws, and regulations created to assist them in making the right decision. Mary Guy (1990) stated that “Ethics can be a particular problem with financial reports. Accepted accounting principles leave ample room for arriving at different results in the short run. Highly subjective estimates can substantially influence earnings.” In an analysis of the survey there were several instantiations of management practices dangerous to ethical practice.
First generalization observation was that many of the manager where willing to look beyond what was ethical conduct in an effort to maintain a health bottom-line. Even if it was a short term win for the company, in the greater scenario the long term financial health of the organization would be impacted. If some of these short term morale compromises are left to continue the company, stockholders and employees could be seriously impacted by the actions of a management lack of long term focus.
Second generalization there were several examples of managers willing to compromise accurate and timely reports again seeking a positive bottom line at the end of a quarter. While most of the examples where not outside the law or regulations they were not practice deemed to be in the spirit of the SEC Code of ethics. Moving production cost in an effort to inflate favorable results only prolongs the inevitable. Managers are often judged on financial targets and thus they are in morale conflict when they do not have a positive result. Mangers with a higher moral code will ask themselves by doing this action is it making the company better or is it only helping me look good. As a management you are entrusted with the health of the company and employees that must be your first concern.
Third Generalization a manager willing to compromise a little ethically, for short-term goals, might also be willing to compromise the law too. Once you go down a path of bending your moral compass after a while it because routine. It was noted in several of the examples in the survey that managers knew that they were practicing dangerous business practices. They responded with, “this is how it’s always been done”, and other just didn’t know the law or regulations well enough to play this dangerous game of ethical compromise. Managers that rely on these excuses are not going to be successful and typically the...