I do not know the exact definition of ethical but I believe it to be related to our behavior and the decisions we make and if they are considered right or wrong by society. I am sure there are times when a situation may be perfectly legal but we may not think it is okay. Keeping this in mind, Johns ethical issues include thoroughly researching IPOs and using this information to his advantage, pocketing profits from the shorting process, disregarding the non-compete clause and allowing mailings to be sent to his clients prior to resigning, indirectly letting his clients know he was personally paying for their expenses instead of charging them to the firm, buying and selling stocks without the clients knowledge, and not giving the time and attention needed to properly train new hires.
2. Are there any legal considerations for John?
I think he could be held legally liable for all of the actions mentioned above if they are illegal. I am not sure if indirectly letting clients know he paid for their expenses and buying and selling their stocks without their knowledge is illegal. Obviously he is doing something illegal if the SEC is investigating. I guess he could be fined and/or be taken to trial depending on the severity of his actions and the amount of money involved.
3. Discuss the implications of each decision John has made and will make.
I am not a risk taker and I know I would question his character based on the decisions he has made and I would not trust him. However, it sounds as if this type of behavior may be the norm with stock brokers who are willing to take risks. The Sharks would probably be more accepting of his behavior because they are risk takers but the Cessna and Turtles would be less accepting because of being more conservative. I think John should cooperate with the SEC with the hopes of reducing the severity of punishment for his actions.
Resolving Ethical Business Challenges Questions/Exercises
1. What are the potential ethical issues faced by Acme Corporation?
I think the potential ethical issues are giving the client season tickets and a vacation in return for purchasing additional inventory, taking the best accounts to Vegas for a thank you party with all expenses paid including adult entertainment and keeping it quiet.
2. What should Acme do if there is a desire to make ethics part of its core organizational values?
Acme needs to communicate core values to their employees. Ethics programs need be created and overseen by appointed ethics officers. The ethical component relates to the values, beliefs and established and enforced patterns of conduct that employees use to identify and respond to ethical issues.
3. Identify the ethical issues of which Frank needs to be aware.
He should be concerned about the fact he agreed to give the client season tickets and a vacation in return for an increase inventory which resulted in a personal bonus for Frank and achievement recognition. Amber offered the thank you trip but Frank would be telling the client adult entertainment is okay per Amber and it would not get out. Each time he goes to this client with a recommendation to increase inventory, the client is going to expect to get something in return. If other clients find out about this, they may expect the same treatment or they may take their business elsewhere.
4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each decision that Frank could make.
Each time he goes to this client with a recommendation to increase inventory, the client is going to expect to get something in return. If other clients find out about this, they may expect the same treatment or they may take their business elsewhere. I think every client is important to a business regardless of the size of their account and they should each be treated equally but it does not happen this way in the real world.