First define ethics from a professional source, not the dictionary or encyclopedia. HINT: use the definition from an organization with Ethics in the Title. Discuss your thoughts and feelings about ethics professionally and then personally in managerial decision-making. Then, discuss the principle of fairness remembering that what may be fair to you is unfair to someone else and vice versa. As organizations have not really changed over time, why do you think ethics and fairness are still problems?
Remember the term Ponzi scheme came when Charles Ponzi was arrested in 1920 for 86 counts of mail fraud. His predecessor, William Miller, bilked $1 million in funds in 1899 from investors. This would be equivalent to $25 million today! So while Bernie Madoff is the most recent example of a Ponzi scheme, there were others more than 100 years ago that did exactly the same thing using the exact same process.
Also, note that the Robber Barrons of the US reigned during what is termed the Gilded Age of the 1800s to amass wealth. They used child labor, did not give time off to workers, and created Monopolies that set prices so high that people had no choices. Today, we do not allow monopolies and companies must get approval from the Federal Government to join if they are two large companies. This is meant to protect US citizens and workers from a company becoming a monopoly.
Clearly, ethics have been a problem in the US since the 1800’s. While we discuss new problems, it has been a problem for more than 200 years. Why do you think, even with the laws we have that ethics and fairness have always been a problem?
Bazerman, M. H., & Moore, D. A. (2009). Judgment in managerial decision making (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley