Imagine the senior partners and managers of Arthur Anderson, LLP Houston office setting in the meeting room strategically planning how to obstruct justice. (Zellner & Carney, 2002). Listen as David B. Duncan, the lead partner on the Enron account, instructs the 100 plus staff members working on the Enron account to destroy all their email messages relating to the audit of Enron (Business Week, Jan 28, 2002, p39).
It sounds ludicrous that any business, large or small, would plan, let alone strategically plan, to do anything unethical or illegal. Bateman and Snells (2007) defines planning as the conscious, systematic process of making decisions about goals and activities that an individual, group, work unit, or organization will pursue in the future. Those in the Houston office certainly did not plan to obstruct justice or violate any laws. Those in the Houston office did not plan to violate any code of ethics. To say they did not plan would not be accurate, for they did. The execs and managers strategically planned often in an attempt to serve Enron better (Business Week, Jan 28, 2002, p39). Apostle Paul said it best in his epistle explaining the Plan of Salvation to the Christians at Rome, “. . . for where no law is, there is no transgression.” If there was a code of ethics in place at the Arthur Andersen Houston office it was not implemented.
It is not enough to just have a code of ethics written somewhere. A code of ethics must be implemented to be affective. A company must put in place incentives and encouragements to follow the code or the company will find itself in violation and losing money. In today’s climate it is not enough simply to fire and prosecute the guilty person because the general public and the company’s customers, not to mention the federal government, will want to know why there was not a code of ethics in place and implemented (Bateman & Snells, 2007).
As a result of the actions of corporations and firms like Enron and...