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Discussant's Response to "With Firmness in the Right" Theodore F. Bluey1 Deloitte & Touche I have an interesting assignment today in a number of respects. First, I am a practicing auditor being exposed to the hallowed halls of academe. This would not be so bad, except for my assignment - to discuss a paper prepared by a well-respected auditing professor. Again, I thought I could cope with that, until I heard the topic - professional ethics. Nonetheless, I prepared for this task by doing background reading on the subject. Then, on April 2, the paper on ethics arrived. Eagerly, I ripped open the envelope and began to read. My heart sank. Professor Neumann, from the University of Illinois, had made "Hon-est Abe" the cornerstone of his paper. And then for good measure, he brings the Bible into his discussion. I think you get the picture: I'm to try to stir up some controversy about Abe Lincoln and the Bible. Politics and religion - two subjects my mother told me I should never discuss in public. In my remarks, I plan to discuss the apparent decline of ethics first, fol-lowed by illustrations of what I believe constitutes ethical behavior and what does not. In some cases, my comments will contrast with those of Professor Neumann and, in other cases, will expand upon some of his thoughts. I will conclude by discussing what is being done to reclaim the high ground in the war on unethical behavior, especially the impacts on businessmen of "ethics by consequence!" And somewhere in all of this, we might find the time to discuss my work at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Decline of Ethics The decline of ethics - we hear it every day - is not just in business, but in sports, government, and religion. It seems that every aspect of society is in pursuit of the pot at the end of the rainbow at the expense of ethical values. In the sports arena, there are allegations of point shaving (North Carolina State), recruiting violations (Southern Methodist), drug use (Ben Johnson), and gambling (Pete Rose). In the government, there are the Iran-Contra hearings, investigations into the activities of several senators, the HUD scan-dals, and the seemingly endless rumors of bribes and kickbacks. In the re-ligious sector, we have had numerous controversies surrounding religious leaders. And of course, in the business world, there are the insider trading scandals and the savings & loan crisis, to name just a few. 1The author would like to acknowledge the significant contributions made to this paper by Teri List and George Phillips of the National Office of Deloitte & Touche.
Discussant's response to "With firmness in the right"
Bluey, Theodore F.
Srivastava, Rajendra P., ed.
Auditors -- Professional ethics
Auditing Symposium X: Proceedings of the 1990 Deloitte & Touche/University of Kansas Symposium on Auditing Problems, pp. 020-027
|Source||Published by: University of Kansas, School of Business|
|Rights||Contents have not been copyrighted|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|