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Enron and Duty Ethics

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Unlike utility ethics, "duty" ethics hold that the duty to act (or not to act) is rooted in the goodness or evil of the act itself - and not in the outcome of the act. Said differently, certain acts are good or bad in and of themselves. Immanuel Kant was a duty-based philosopher, who argued that people must act out of duty.
Required Reading:
Duty-based ethics. (2014). BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/duty_1.shtml
Madsen, S., & Vance, C. (2009). Unlearned lessons from the past: An insider's view of Enron's downfall. Corporate Governance, 9(2), 216-227
Apply Duty Ethics to the Enron case study.
1. Briefly (1-2 paragraphs) describe what is meant by duty ethics.
2. Choose two ethical issues raised by the Enron case, e.g., Enron's accounting fraud, the company's reward systems, use of special purpose entities, "deal making" company culture, etc.
3. Apply duty ethics your two Step 2 choices. How does use of duty ethics as a lens inform the ethical nature of your two choices? Remember that duty ethics concerns duty and rights, so be sure to address both in your written analysis.
4. Be sure to include at least two other sources from the library to support your discussion and analysis.
5. Please Cite Sources

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Duty ethics--also known as deontological ethics--is chiefly concerned with the actions people take, rather than the consequences of those actions. Duty ethics is perceived as the concept of doing the right thing based on principles, and avoiding actions that lie outside of those principles. The consequences of the actions do not justify the act itself. Examples of duty ethics are that it is right to tell the truth, and it is wrong to steal, regardless of whatever good or bad consequences result from these actions (1).

Duty ethics provides humanity with a certainty of determining whether one's actions are right or wrong. This is in contrast with teleological ethics, where the focus is on a good or desirable end result; in teleological ethics, a good end result validates the action (2).

Consider Enron's accounting fraud, where the company used mark-to-market accounting to record projected profits of purchased assets, then created special purpose entities to surreptitiously receive the actual losses (3). Note that mark-to-market accounting by itself ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines Enron and duty ethics. Answered in 588 words. Six sources are cited.