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Ethics and Business


To many, the old adage that business and ethics never mix, has been reinforced by the constant revelations of the various tribunals set up since the early 1990’s. Laura Nash, Associate Professor at Boston University Graduate School of Management has stated “Many an executive today voices cynicism at the relevance of moral inquiry to managerial practice. For many reasons from the external fact of greed to the very different ways in which we tend to think about managing and morality, ethics and business have often seemed if not downright contradictory, at least several worlds apart” Commentators on Irish business practice might tend to agree with Nash as Irish company law has been characterised, by a culture of non compliance with only 13% of companies filing returns on time in 1997 to the Companies Office. Persistent breaches of the Companies Act, banking scandals, alleged payments to politicians, and company non compliance with many regulatory bodies, would lead most observers to believe that the question of business ethics has never been high on the agenda of certain Irish companies and entrepreneurs.