What are ethics and who and what determines what is ethical or unethical?

1. Harry Stonecipher was more than the CEO at Boeing; he was the self-appointed ethics czar. He was ousted, however, after violating the code of conduct he himself developed. He had a (consensual) extramarital affair with a female executive at the company. The company saw some aspects of that relationship as being potentially embarrassing, and thought they compromised Harry’s ability to lead the company.

Boeing’s reaction to a moral issue has some people wondering if corporate America has a whole new morality altogether. In an age when a president of the United States can “get away with” a string of affairs of various degrees of “consent,” a CEO who is eliminated for a consensual, albeit extramarital affair, at first glance is admittedly unusual maybe impressive? What is particularly unusual about the Boeing Stonecipher case is that the affair was consensual, it only happened once, and there was no sexual harassment suit.

2. Leading by example, so do you believe that people will follow?

3. What are ethics and who and what determines what is ethical or unethical?

4. As you pointed out we have been discussing ethics in the context of our American culture and ethical standards but as we are a global economy and every business is affect by globalization, what if for the host country it is the norm and legal, i.e. standard business practice/culture, but it is considered illegal and/or unethical here, then what thoughts?

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