Commentary: Corporate Corruption: A Perspective from Academia

Article excerpt

The question most of us Americans are asking today is: Why is all of this corporate corruption coming?

What has happened that leads the executives of our nation's established and emerging companies to seek "creative" ways of misrepresenting the facts about their current business? Are the people doing this void of understanding of common business practices?

Not likely, the techniques are too clever. Do they not have a sense of honesty and integrity? Did their education not include ethics and an understanding of professionalism? Have we, the faculty in higher education, failed to speak clearly enough about the personal and professional importance of integrity?

It becomes even more disconcerting when the auditing checks/ balances put in place to catch errors, either honest or dishonest ones, fail because of a similar lack of professionalism and integrity. How does this come about?

Greed has been a traditional motivator for many to risk crossing the line of fair/honest practice. As President Theodore Roosevelt said during the early 1900s, "We are passing through a period of great commercial prosperity, and such a period is as sure as adversity itself to bring mutterings of discontent. At a time when most men prosper somewhat some men always prosper greatly; and it is as true now as when the tower of Siloam fell upon all alike, that good fortune does not come solely to the just, nor bad fortune solely to the unjust. When the weather is good for crops it is also good for weeds. …


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