The paper “ The AWB Scandal - Violation of Ethical Principles, Morality, and Leadership” is a thrilling example of a case study on ethics. The AWB scandal is regarded as a scandal of global magnitude, for instance, the company paid heavy monetary bribes to Iraq Government something that was in contradiction to the regulations set out in the Oil-for-Food Program established by the UN. The establishments of the Cole Royal Commission that comprehensively investigated this scandal have it that AWB and the Australian government gravely violated the business ethical code of conduct in their operations.
The company’ s ventures were masked with numerous malpractices including bribes, deceit, and inhumane acts. There was a regulatory failure on the part of the government that allowed and facilitated corruption and fraudulent acts at AWB. This section discusses the acts of ethical violations with regard to the Australian Wheat Board and the Australian government in the event of the Oil-for-Food Program. Australian Wheat BoardWinning of contracts: the Cole commission established that the Australian wheat Board paid large amounts of kickbacks to Iraq government representatives in order to ensure continued wheat supply, notwithstanding that they were acting contrary to the Australian government legislation and United Nation’ s Oil-for-Food program regulations (Parker, and Evans, 2007).
The use of bribery in order to win the wheat export contract was automatically unethical. This is clear evidence that the company executives were involved in winning contracts carelessly without carefully determining the legality and morality of what they were paying for (Overington, 2007). Similarly, among the approximately over 3000 companies that had contracts with the Oil-for-Food program to supply food commodities to Iraq, none of them had paid bribes like AWB.
Accordingly, AWB executives dealt directly or indirectly with the Iraq government officials; for example, when AWB paid US$500,000 into the Jordanian account owned by Alia; a transport company, the Canadian Wheat Board was told to pay US$700,000 into the same account by the Iraq government officials. This clearly shows that despite the UN regulations that food suppliers should not involve the Iraq government in their business; AWB still went ahead and breached this initial requirement thus violating the UN trade sanctions on Iraq. The AWB’ s executives together with government officials heading large government organizations conspired to fraud the company shareholders.
They were deceitful in their undertakings, only focusing on obtaining fraudulent benefits from shoddy deals. They wholly failed all tenets of corporate governance of AWB while at the same time falsifying every detail of their corrupt deals in order to escape personal accountability (Overington, 2007). In the same line of argument, their deals tarnished the image of the company in the national and global arena. The company was displayed as one that is not socially responsible transgressing all requirements of business ethics and business morality.
This corporate scandal similarly, cost the Australian image from a global perspective; for instance, the country’ s rank on the Transparency International Corruption Index falls from 9 to 11. The actions of AWB’ s executives were significantly unethical. Given the fact that AWB was the sole company responsible for marketing and exporting Australia’ s wheat: the major export commodity for the country, it gravely deeds more harm than good. AWB’ s structure allowed the manifestation of corruption, for instance, all the Australian wheat exports were channeled through AWB in what was termed as a single-desk export authority, which gave the company bureaucratic power that helped it in perpetuating its illegal and corrupt deals (Parker, and Evans, 2007).
Accordingly, the company used these extreme powers to defraud its shareholders out of their financial investments together with profits as well as tarnishing Australia’ s trade reputation across the world (Overington, 2007). This was immoral and unethical on the part of the company; it should have acted in the best interest of the shareholders and the country at large.