BP#2 How Far Does Integrity Go?

Despite your view of Monsanto and the products it offers, poor ethical decisions from the business side has caused the company a reappearance in the news recently.

A man from the finance department recently received $22 million dollars from the Securities and Exchange Commission for exposing the company’s dishonest financial reporting from 2009 and 2010. In order to avoid losing stockholders and more sales, Monsanto still reported its sales in its year, but shifted costs to the next. The following year, they again moved costs into a future year, which falsely raised their reported profits for the two years.

Outside of this discrepancy, the SEC did very little in response to those involved with Monsanto and its business practices. The whistle-blower, despite his monetary reward, does not feel fully compensated for risking his career to expose the company.

The whistle-blower clearly holds honesty as, what McFall would determine, a core commitment. However, his integrity ideal is probably most closely related to Calhoun’s argument of integrity.

The whistle-blower held himself to honesty to the best of his ability, but what about Monsanto or the SEC itself? Monsanto’s website has an entire list of ideals which they list under their definition of integrity. The SEC even has a specific program for whistle-blowing which they propose will “…hold accountable those responsible for unlawful conduct.”

Monsanto’s whistle-blower urges the SEC to hold the auditors accountable for their involvement, while they have still done very little in response.

So exactly how far does integrity need to go to be upheld as true integrity? The whistle-blower took as much action has he could to stand for his ideal of honesty, while both Monsanto and the SEC’s actions tell a much different story than what their websites would suggest.

Article

Monsanto Website

SEC Website

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