SU Virtue Ethics in Corporate Leadership Financial Standing Discussion – Assignment Help

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Question 1: Do you think virtue in corporate leaders
is a more important criterion in selecting them than it was in the
past, or do you just hear more about it?

Question 2:
Should management focus only on maximizing firm profitability (this
assumes laws are obeyed), or are there broader concerns to take into
account? Provide arguments for both positions.

Choose the question 1 or 2 then discuss and response each posted # 1to 3 down below

Posted 1

2: Should management focus only on maximizing firm profitability (this
assumes laws are obeyed), or are there broader concerns to take into
account? Provide arguments for both positions.

No, although
companies need profit to survive and profit is very important for the
shareholders, they are not the only stakeholder of a corporation. There
are other important stakeholders like employees, customers, suppliers,
governments, lenders, and activists with other important concerns.

only on the maximization of firm profitability can bring some benefits
in short term, companies can immediately cut costs and increase their
margins but it would be difficult to keep high margins in a long term.
The tendency is a decline in their revenues and loss of value of the
company. According to Brooks & Dunn (2017) “usually, the public
takes a very dim view of companies that put profits ahead of life,
health, or the preservation of our habitat” (p197). If in the name of
profitability, management neglects the wellness and safety of their
employees, the environment of the communities around the company’s
facilities, and ethical and fair customer service, consumers would avoid
services and products of the company.

Posted 2

you think virtue in corporate leaders is a more important criterion in
selecting them than it was in the past, or do you just hear more about

In my opinion, virtue in corporate leaders is more
important than it has been in the past. One needs only to look at the
financial scandals at Enron and WorldCom to see what happens when CEOs
and CFOs are corrupt and act unethically. In both instances, the CFOs
misstated the company’s financial statements by booking deceptive
journal entries, omitting required information, and/or taking fraudulent
positions. The CEOs were complicit in this fraud. Had any of those
leaders involved been governed by their own morals or strong character,
the scandals could have likely been avoided. Arthur Andersen would also
still be a viable accounting firm. Clearly, a leader’s character shapes
his or her behavior and can have a huge impact on the company.

behavior starts at the top in a company. It is difficult to expect
virtuous behavior from employees if company executives are not
exhibiting similar behavior. A leader cannot expect employees to be
honest when he or she lacks integrity. Also, when there are decisions to
be made, a company needs a leader who will use morals and ethics to
help guide his or her sound decision making. Such morals would not allow
a leader to fudge numbers on financial statements, or engage in
unsavory conduct, for example. Virtues and morals are those character
traits that dispose a person to act ethically (Brooks & Dunn, 2018).

Virtuous leaders make good business sense and ultimately can
have a positive impact on the bottom line. Morale is improved, which
makes employees more productive. Conducting business in an ethical
manner can attract potential investors and keep current shareholders
satisfied and loyal. It can also build customer or client loyalty.
Additionally, conducting business in an ethical manner wards off bad
press, attracts better employees and promotes a better workplace
environment. All these items could result in bigger profits and better
sleep at night for a company’s hiring directors and its executives.

Posted 3

a more important criterion in selecting them than it was in the past, or do you just hear more about it?

I believe that virtue in corporate leaders has become more of an
important criterion as time has progressed. In the times before the
digital era and social media, firms did not have to worry as much about
the reputation of their leaders since there were not as many ways to
spread information about questionable morals and characteristics of
leaders to the population at large. Most of the news was communicated
via the newspaper and even then, there was no guarantee that the papers
had information on the actions of the leadership of a firm or that such
information would reach all the consumers of products made by the
company the leaders worked for. This limited the field of stakeholders
to mainly just the shareholders, like creditors and investors, that saw
reports or attended shareholder meetings to find out the profitability
of the firm. As long as the firm was profitable most shareholders would
not really pay attention to the leadership in their ethics and morals as
long as the money kept flowing in.

However, as time moved on,
we saw the innovation of the digital era and the arrival of social media
which allowed information to flow more freely and reach people at a
rate it had never before. This resulted in almost everyone carrying a
phone or digital device that allowed them to document and exchange
information about anyone, including the leadership of major companies.
So, if a leader was caught doing an illegal activity, like dogfighting,
and it was captured on video, then customers that despise such an act
might refuse to buy products from a company run by someone that would
partake in such a horrendous activity. This, more than ever, shifted the
power to customers who could make or break a firm if their leaders were
to act in a less than virtuous way. All it would take nowadays is a bad
report on a media station or a string of bad reviews from customers
about leadership to ruin a CEO and a company. This meant that companies
needed to make sure that their leadership, as the face of the company,
are viewed by the consumers as upstanding individuals who will do what
is right and would never end up in the spotlight in a bad way. This
resulted in companies focusing on hiring leaders that would increase
profits and possessed the virtuous qualities that consumers valued. As
an example, I enjoy buying Laughing Man coffee because it is a good
blend of coffee and is owned by Hugh Jackman, whom as a person I like
due to his virtuous qualities. If he were not a good individual, then I
would not buy his product because I, like many others, value companies
run by noteworthy individuals.

As for hearing about it more, I
believe that due to technology the actions of leaders are more widely
spread and talked about among the masses because it is so easy to send
out a text or write an email. So I would say that I can see both points
of the question and agree with both of them.

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