Business Ethics and the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

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Ethics are very important in the business world and to the general public. Ethics is defined as a system of moral principles or the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group. Using a moral compass should be a requirement for every CEO and executive. Any person who will have some impact on society needs to understand the difference between right and wrong. Since businesses touch such a large segment of our society, codes of ethics must be established and followed to protect the general public. In the following pages we will discuss the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster and examine how it relates to (1) the state of business ethics since 2000, (2) examples of the classic schools of ethics - golden rule, golden mean, utilitarianism, and categorical imperative, (3) three challenges journalist face in various media today, (4) what encompasses the values of honesty and loyalty in the code of ethics developed and published in 2000 for members of the PRSA, (5) some of the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and (6) why public relations practitioners should be aware of various laws. Introduction As the years begin to progress Public Relations is being shaped and modified because it is known to have many meanings. According to our text “public relations is a planned process to influence public opinion, through sound character and proper performance, based on mutually satisfactory two-way communications” (Seitel, 2007). Using this definition as guidance has helped in the research process during the 1989 crisis of Exxon Valdez. There were many things that the researchers have found to be informative. Therefore a brief summary will be given in the areas of... ... middle of paper ... ...ust 8, 2010 from Ruquet, M. E. (2010, July 26). AIG Agrees To Pay $725 Million To Settle Securities Class- Action Suit. National Underwriter / Property & Casualty Risk & Benefits Management , pp. Vol. 114 Issue 26, p10-24, 2p. Securities Exchange Commission. (2010, August). Laws That Govern the Securities Industry. Retrieved August 10, 2010, from SEC.GOV: Seitel, F. P. (2010). The Practice Of Public Relations: 2010 custom edition (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall - Pearson. Spurzen, B. (2010, March 6). Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Retrieved August 11, 2010, from Search,,sid182_gci920030,00.html Thorpe, T. (2010, August 9). Retrieved August 13, 2010, from Strayer University:

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