Business Ethics and Deontology

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ETH501 - Business Ethics Module 1 – Case Business Ethics and Deontology TUI University Keith Broomfield ETH501 Summer 2012 Professor: Mark Friske The collapse of Worldcom brought ethical concerns to the forefront of public scrutiny. The demise caused thousands of Worldcom employees to lose all of their retirement savings, and provided a wake-up call to investors across the country that held their entire retirement savings in a single stock. The failure to educate those employees about the importance of diversification was perhaps more than mere corporate or fiduciary oversight. In this case we will discuss what the ethical problems raised in the WorldCom cases are? I am going to critically evaluate WorldCom’s ethical problems using the deontological framework. Lastly, assess WorldCom’s ethics from Immanuel Kant’s point of view – specifically, using Kant’s Categorical Imperative. What are the ethical problems raised in the WorldCom case? In the 1990s, the principal business strategy of WorldCom’s Chief Executive Officer, Bernard J. Ebbers’ was growth through acquisitions. The currency for much of that strategy was WorldCom stock, and the success of the strategy depended on a consistently increasing stock prices. WorldCom pursued scores of increasingly large acquisitions. The strategy reached its apex with WorldCom’s acquisition in 1998 of MCI Communications Corporation (“MCI”), a company more than two-and-a-half times WorldCom’s size (by revenues). Ebbers’ acquisition strategy largely came to an end by early 2000 when WorldCom was forced to abandon a proposed merger with Sprint Corporation because of antitrust objections. At that point, WorldCom’ s continued success became dependent

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