Business ethics has been in the spotlight because of past corporate scandals such as Enron. Companies in an attempt to prevent such scandals and fraudulent behavior have intertwined ethics with the company’s management and core values. Companies have put in place ethics committees, ethics audits, ethics training, and even designate someone to oversee ethics such an Ethics Officer (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2012). With business ethics being a hot topic, is it wise to employ ex-cons to teach business ethics? Is this a resource that should be used?
After reading Pavlo’s story, I’m still on the fence about employing ex-cons to speak about white-collar crime and business ethics. On the positive side, companies and business schools can learn from the ...view middle of the document...
Also, can we trust the story of an ex-con to be truthful or is it just another story to engage the audience and make money? As Knapp points out, how can professors not verify the stories of the ex-cons before inviting them to speak (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2012, p. 627)?
There are always three sides to a story; in this case, MCI’s side, Pavlo’s side, and the truth. According to Pavlo, he was pressured to “cook the books” by upper management and he learned how to do it at MCI (Weinberg, 2002). He was expected to manipulate accounts receivables to look as good accounts, when in reality a lot of the accounts were considered bad and weren’t ever going to be paid back to the company. Pavlo goes on to say he took what MCI taught him and used it to commit fraud on the company (Weinberg, 2002). Maybe the company is partly responsible of the unethical actions of Pavlo.
Pavlo did act unethically and committed crimes, and for that he served his punishment in prison. Maybe the 41 month sentence wasn’t what people thought he should have received, but he did lose his family and badly damaged his reputation. As a person that believes in second chances, I think Pavlo deserves a chance to rebuild his life. However, if he truly wants to warn others of the dangers of bad ethics, his message would have greater impact if he didn’t get paid for it.
Carroll, A. B., & Buchholtz, A. K. (2012). Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management (8th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Weinberg, N. (2002, June 10). Ring of thieves. Retrieved 2013, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2002/0610/064.html