Many of our largest companies are often reported as “having more cash than the U.S. Treasury.” These words are spoken in a marveling and laudable voice, and most readers stand in awe that businesses could accumulate so very much cash. As of July 13, 2011, 29 companies had more cash than the U.S. Treasury.
Good ethical thinking is essential to modern leadership, the governance of business, and the formation of public policy. Rapidly changing organization come face to face with man ethical problem that require new thinking and action. While much of the wisdom of the past still holds today, many of the problems of business and enterprise involve entirely new ethical issues about the use of intellectual property, knowledge capital, and capitaliism.
Recent ethical, regulatory, and legal responses to enterprise wrong-doing is driving a sea change throughout organizations in the United States. There are many new regulatory guidelines in place, evidencing the imperative to drive ethical behavior and establish integrity across both public and private organizations.
Exaggerated marketing, false and overblown label claims, adulterated and misbranded products all violate the law, mislead or deceive consumers, and evidence a failure by manufacturers to fulfill the duty of care due consumers.
The shift from the familiar corporate asset base centered upon traditional physical and financial asset to an asset base centered upon intangible intellectual assets brings with it subtle new ethical challenges and problems.