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Resisting Corporate Corruption: Cases in Practical Ethics From Enron Through The Financial Crisis 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1118208557
ISBN-10: 1118208552
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Arbogast’s meticulously researched case studies coupled with informative thought-provoking essays provide a practical guide to resisting corporate corruption, making this book a must-read for security professionals looking to expand their applied ethics toolkit.”  (Security Management, 1 November 2014)

“I highly recommend the essential and landmark book Resisting Corporate Corruption: Cases in Practical Ethics From Enron Through The Financial Crisis by Stephen V. Arbogast, to any students and faculty in graduate or undergraduate business course, law schools, top corporate executives, business leaders at all levels and sizes of companies, public sector decision makers, and students and faculty at any other organizations or schools offering business ethics instruction seeking a comprehensive and decision making based book through the medium of case studies. This book provides the background and the skill set to guide students and business leaders toward more ethical decision making in any industry."  (Blog Business World, 29 May 2013)

From the Back Cover

Presents real-world case studies exploring the complex challenges that cause ethical failures and the means available to overcome them with integrity.

Resisting Corporate Corruption teaches business ethics in a manner very different from the conceptual and legal frameworks that dominate graduate schools. The book offers twenty-seven case studies and eleven essays that cover a full range of business practice, controls, and ethics issues. The cases are framed to instruct students in early identification of ethics issues, and how to work such problems effectively within corporate organizations. By pursuing these case studies, students should emerge with a practical toolkit that better enables them to follow their moral compass. The cases provide examples of how executives can embed more ethical approaches inside alternative business strategies, redirect pressure and intimidation to parties better positioned to resist, and use the firm's controls structure to counteract corrupt practices. Specific cases take up the circumstances of whistleblowers and the changing protections afforded by recent laws. Fourteen case studies examine Enron's crossing of various ethical lines from 1987–2001. Thirteen new cases examine key financial crisis moments at Countrywide, Fannie Mae, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Moody's, Lehman Brothers, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Interpretive essays discuss the nature of sound financial controls systems and the extent to which the financial crisis shows Enron's issues to be unresolved.

Changes made to the Second Edition

The first edition was published in 2008 and consisted of Enron case studies only. The Second Edition has fewer Enron case studies and includes new financial case studies. Moreover, the lessons learnt, or not learnt, from Enron as well as post-Enron regulations, can be scrutinized as to what effect, if any, they had on the unfolding of the Great Recession.

Readership

  • The book has many audiences, including:
  • Business schools and MBA students, especially those with finance concentration
  • Law schools and those doing Continuing Legal Education (CLE)
  • Corporate heads of audit, controllers, and legal compliance officers
  • Business leaders, especially those heading financial and large corporations
  • Seminaries and other institutions offering business ethics courses
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Scrivener; 2 edition (March 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118208552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118208557
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,286,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Stephen Arbogast served from 1997-2004 as the Treasurer of Exxon Chemical and ExxonMobil Chemical Company. His Exxon career spanned 32 years and included assignments as Finance Manager of Esso Brasileira, Treasurer of Exxon Capital Corporation and Finance Director of Esso Standard Thailand. While Treasurer of Chemicals, Mr. Arbogast was responsible for the financing of Exxon's $40 billion worldwide chemical business. Over the course of his career, Mr. Arbogast led or participated in more than $4 billion in capital market and project financing.
Currently serving as an Executive Professor of Finance at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, Professor Arbogast's teaching career has focused on International Finance, Project Finance and Business Ethics. In that capacity he has authored over 70 case studies which are core teaching materials for his courses. These cases include many transactions he led or participated in during his Exxon career. Many of these cases are publicly available on the Bauer College Case Study website, www.bauerenergycases.com.
Professor Arbogast has taught in graduate MBA programs since 1987. His initial teaching was at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business in New York. Later he also taught in Rice University Executive MBA program. He has been teaching at University of Houston since 1995. In 2008 he was awarded the Bauer College Payne Teaching Excellence Award.
Since 2008, Professor Arbogast has been a member of the National Renewable Fuels Laboratory (NREL) Biofuels Technical Review Panel. From 2008-2010 he was Principal Investigator on a study for NREL entitled Preferred Paths for Commercializing Pyrolysis Oil at Conventional Refineries.

Resisting Corporate Corruption

Resisting Corporate Corruption: Cases in Practical Ethics From Enron: Through The Financial Crisis's seeks to enhance the teaching of business ethics by adding challenging, real world case studies to the conceptual/legal course work found in graduate schools. After completing these case studies, students should possess a "practical toolkit" that better enables them to follow their moral compass. The book offers 25 case studies that cover a full range of business practice, controls and ethics issues. The cases are framed to instruct students in early identification of ethics issues. They then concentrate on the tactics and communications skills needed to work such problems effectively within corporate organizations. Several cases present executives embedding ethical approaches inside alternative business strategies, redirecting pressures from the boss to less vulnerable 3rd parties, and using the firm's controls structure to counteract corrupt practices. Other cases examine the circumstances faced by whistleblowers, along with the enhanced legal protections they now enjoy. The book's first fourteen cases examine Enron's crossing of various ethical lines from 1987-2001. Eleven new cases present key financial crisis moments at Countrywide, Fannie Mae, Citibank, Goldman Sachs and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Interpretive essays discuss the nature of sound financial controls systems, the lessons of Enron, and the extent to which the financial crisis shows Enron's issues to be unresolved.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book contains mildly fictionalized accounts of business decisions with ethical components. They are close enough to documented facts to be realistic, but compressed and made consistent with some imagined scenes and dialog. The cases are open-ended enough for diverse discussion and analysis.

My first criticism is the cases blur the distinction between clearly unethical conduct such as putting corporate funds in your personal bank account or lying while betraying the interest of people you have assumed a fiduciary duty to, with things that an aggressive prosecutor might be able to portray as violations of complex laws, laws that are not particularly ethical in the first place. Including both kinds of cases is a good idea, but only if information is given so readers can reason out the difference. Moreover, calling the book "Resisting Corporate Corruption," but including cases where the protagonist should be supporting the corporation and its stakeholders by resisting prosecutorial over-reach and political witch hunts, suggests an unbalanced view of the tension between the economic and legal systems.

With all due respect to the legal profession, I think this is a distinction that non-lawyers care about more than lawyers. Anyone with the misfortune to experience the justice system quickly realizes that no behavior is so despicable that some lawyer won't find a way to describe it innocuously, and no behavior is so innocent that some other lawyer won't find a way to suggest it is criminal. Arguably that is the job of lawyers and it contributes to a system that works pretty well.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Has corporate America learned its lessons since the Enron fiasco? Perhaps not. One of the main reasons for the second edition of this book is to take a look at what has happened since Enron, incorporating yet more case studies for students to examine, study, and discuss. Any course in business ethics will instill in young people the correct stance, the stance they must take before they find themselves in an "ethical dilemma" they cannot manage to dig themselves out of. In the introduction, Sherron S. Watkins states "I am shocked at the number of college students that firmly believe they'd quit; walk out the door, as soon as unethical behavior is asked of them." Of course the never encountered anyone who did just that.

Watkins was the Enron Whistle-blower and definitely believes a book such as this one is important ... because it is. Each case study is comprised in an easy-to-read conversational manner, while the essays strive to discuss issues that students can put in their "tactical toolkit." In short, the book strives to "equip young professionals with better means to resist corporate corruption." Yes, this book is "Enron," but what better jumping off point do we have when we look at corporate corruption? The other cases, which are new to the edition, simply show that such lessons may not have been learned. This is a well-written classroom textbook that should be used in MBA and law school classes.

Case Study 1: Enron Oil Trading (A): Untimely Problems from Valhalla (A)
Essay 1: How to do an Ethics Case Study: Key Steps in Tactical Planning
Case Study 2: Enron Oil Trading (B): The Future of Enron Internal Audit
Case Study 3: Enron Oil Trading (C): An Opening for Enron Audit?
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This text examines some of the most troubling corporate cases in recent times. Although there are twenty-five semi-fictionalized cases, the bulk of the book is devoted to the Enron debacle. There is also examination of citi, Countrywide, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Price Waterhouse Cooper and Goldman Sachs, among others. Each study is supplemented with graphs, attachments and author's notes. Despite some efforts to enliven, the text is fairly dry. This book provides a decent starting point for students to examine some of the factors that lead to the implosion of major corporations and triggered the financial crisis.

Corporations have become the modern day boogie man. This status is not totally unjustified but still the author dances around some of the other bacterium in the petri dish, to wit, the government and the legal system. He never fully confronts the problems with imposing morality on amoral systems intent on perpetuating themselves at any cost. Each system, corporate, legal and government, presumes it operates in a vacuum and functions in a manner designed to advance their interests. Their interaction is complex and not fully examined in this text. He seems to avoid dealing with how they feed and feed off of each other. He never answers the question of had the giants not fallen, would anyone care? Disgraced former NY governor Eliot Spitzer, the self-proclaimed sheriff of Wall Street, advanced his political career on perceptions of corporate greed that in some cases were not justified. Of course by the time that was publicized, the damage had been done and lives ruined. Other prosecutors are similarly ambitious and follow the Spitzer playbook. Attorneys are castigated for developing strategies for to advance their client's interests regardless.
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Resisting Corporate Corruption: Cases in Practical Ethics From Enron Through The Financial Crisis
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