Discussion Questions

  1. Shortly after the Wells Fargo bogus account scandal became public knowledge, CEO John Stumpf resigned. The value of his final compensation package was estimated to be approximately $200 million (http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/22/investing/wells-fargo-ceo-john-stumpf-200-million/index.html). (As this chapter noted, he did need to return about $41 million of this amount). Based on his financial position, do you consider John Stumpf a “successful” businessperson?
  2. According to an ethics expert, “We judge ourselves by our best intentions and most noble acts, but we’re judged by our last worst act.” Do you agree with this statement? Does it mean that in ethics there is an inherent “double standard”? Can you think of situations where a person responding to an ethical dilemma and interested observers had different evaluations of these person’s actions?
  3. The author cites a major research study, “The relationship between corporate social responsibility and corporate financial performance concluded that there was a positive causal relationship between the two.” If this is true, why might unethical behaviors exist in so many business organizations?
  4. Do you have different standards for the honesty of people in your life? For instance, do you expect higher levels of honesty from your friends than your coworkers? Do you expect top managers in your organizations to be more honest than immediate supervisors? Are there some instances when it is acceptable to lie “just to get the job done”?
  5. Actress Jessica Alba has helped establish a personal products company called “The Honest Company.” What do you think about this company’s name? Does it establish a difficult, maybe even impossible, set of expectations for its stakeholders?