The virtue ethics of Aristotle consider action to be important as it assists to evaluate one’s character. However, consequentialist theory gives little importance to the conduct, but considers the result of the action to be the final basis for any judgement about the rightness and wrongfulness of the action. If the wrong conduct creates best results, then the conduct can be considered to be rightful. Unlike consequentialist, the non-consequentialist theory focuses on the intention of the actions and not the consequences or rather the action itself. If an individual carries out an action with the aim to do something good, then those actions are considered virtuous (Faculty.washington.edu, 2017). Non-consequentialism is based on the moral duty and responsibility of an individual to act as per the moral belief. Virtue ethics take account of the moral character rather than the duties or intention or the consequences.
Neglect of integrity capacity by Managers: This is the most important ethical ground for which Enron encountered the financial issues. Integrity capacity is the individual and collective capacity of moral awareness and conduct that led to moral decision making. The CEO Ken Lay and CFO Jeffery Skilling were engaged in security frauds and conspiracy in to increase profit. Both of them made use of ‘off-the-book’ partnership for hiding the debts and disastrous financial position of the company to the investor and employees. Violation of the accounting laws to fitful the desire of the short-term profit made the saturation grimmer (Sims and Brinkmann, 2003). The relationship between the leading directors and the executive grew arrogant as they considered themselves to be invincible and thus acted in an unethical manner. The unprofessional behaviour of Arthur Anderson also resulted in the shattering of integrity capacity.
b. Neglect of Process integrity: Process integrity is the alignment of the individuals towards moral awareness, deliberation and conduct to create reputational capital results. The executives of Enron failed to assess the relevant moral issues. They were over confident, became morally blind and deaf, and demeaned the capacity of ethical awareness. The debt was kept hidden in the balance sheet to prevent the investors from seeing them. When the burden of debt became known, the lenders demanded payment in terms of million dollars. The conflict of interest that arose was solved through centred policies and ignored the harm caused to the stakeholders. Moral conduct and characters of the managers were hampered for the greed for financial gain and absence of leadership wisdom (Dembinski et al., 2005).
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