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Ethics in Practice

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Ethics in Practice

Case Summary

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Beam, a cofounder of HealthSouth Corporation in Birmingham, made headlines on admitting that he was involved in the companys accounting fraud. The fraud worth $2.7 billion occurred between 1996 and 2002 and led to his detention. To settle the restitution and legal fees, Beam sold his $3 million home and started mowing lawns for a living.

Upon his release from prison, Beam ventured into a new career of enlightening companies and business administration college students on business ethics. From his book, The Wagon to Disaster, Beam is seen to realize the intensity of the crime he had committed. He regrets the pains he caused many, which changed their view of him from a co-founder of a successful company to a fraudster.

His teachings focus on enlightening college students about fraudulent employers whom they should be cautious of and the temptations faced in everyday running of businesses. With this prior understanding, he hopes that the college students will have it easy in business and be armed to face such challenges once they are employed.

Beam affirms that he has peace and is more zealous to face life from a positive dimension having realized his mistake. He has a two-year college certificate in turf management and operates a lawn maintenance business.

Q 1

Ethics are conducts learnt from any moral leader. According to Carroll, Beam has the qualities of a moral leader even though he has spent part of his life in prison. She describes the characteristics of a moral leader as one who has a passion for what is right. Beam regrets the fraudulent action and the heartaches he caused many to go through. He is not pleased with the damage he caused to himself after having been a cofounder of a healthcare company, which was famous and successful. He is now to be termed as a fraudster despite the efforts before the fraud.

Another characteristic she states of a moral leader is being proactive. Beam is proactive in that he enrolls for a two-year course in college after his release from prison and starts a lawn maintenance business as his source of income. The step he has taken is one contrary to fellow inmates who in most cases lack direction once they are out of prison. This happens due to lack of employment and rejection by their families and friends. Research shows that most of them end up in drug trafficking, theft or murders, which eventually lead them to imprisonment.

She also states that a moral leader should assume principled decision-making. Beam assumes this when he decides to start a legal business. He also takes the responsibility of enlightening college students and company employees of the dangers of fraudulent actions. He is determined that no one suffers ignorantly from a similar or related action.

According to Carroll, he uses a normative ethics perspective in his teaching by uncovering and distinguishing what is ethical business practice from what is unethical. This style of teaching is beneficial to companies. It enlightens companies on what ought to be done and what should not be done in regards to business ethics. This style helps in establishing norms and standards to guide a business.

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From Aaron Beam, issues outside the traditional ways of making money ought to be observed and put into consideration. Businesses are bound to fail if profit making comes before their customers satisfaction.Carroll stresses that integrity and ethics in business are crucial in order to influence people in the surroundings. These two play a significant role in a companys social and economic welfare and enable it to create jobs in the community.

Elimination of a high degree of honesty and transparency breaks customers trust and the company eventually loses them. High business ethical standards are essential in cultivating a long lasting relationship and portraying a good company picture to the public. She states that corporations with good ethical rules gain advantage over their competitors. They maintain their customers and customers are also ready to invest in them through shares.

Employees with a high standard of business ethics are assets to the business and an assurance of a long run operating company. Unethical behaviors among the employees or employers lead to scandals. These scandals mostly cause anxiety, low employee and employer morale, decline in stock prices, public scrutiny, and government inquest. By preparing future employees and employers, companies will yield the fruits having a strong legal and financial base.


Beams desire is genuine and his intentions are right. Teaching companies and college students business ethics before they enter into the job market is of great importance in the running of companies. Business is not entirely about moneymaking. He proves his genuineness by accepting his mistakes and turning a new page. He has a desire to live right and advise others on the dangers of following his path. He uses his experience as a training aid with the hope that the information will stick more.

Beams loss of possession, a successful job, and service in prison opens his mind to the extent of damage he had caused himself and the public. He is clear that unethical behaviors are temptations that occur every day in business and are avoidable. He suggests that employees should be courageous enough to report integrity cases to the concerned whenever detected. Reporting these cases early may prevent intense damage to the company in future.

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