Andrew Fastow Should not be allowed to Speak on Ethics in Business Schools


AndrewFastow Should not be allowed to Speak on Ethics in Business Schools

AndrewFastow Should not be allowed to Speak on Ethics in Business Schools


As humans beings, how others perceive us matters greatly. This isespecially true when an individual commits an action that destroystheir reputation and, therefore, feel an urgent need to vindicatethemselves. Andrew Fastow is no exception. He insists he wants todeliver talks on ethics in schools because of the remorse and guilthe feels about his actions for which he has already served time.Consequently, this can be viewed as an event he seeks to use topresent his case and hopefully rebuild his damaged reputation. Theaudience is right to question his motives basing on the categoricalimperative theory since everyone is expected to act rationallyirrespective of their circumstances (Birsch, 2013). However, we canonly discern his true intentions with time and through analyzing hisactions with the help of the virtue ethics theory with time willreveal these intentions.


On self-evaluation and basing on the ethical egoism theory, he maytry to justify his actions saying he acted in his best interests.However, other ethical theories such as the deontological theoriesand the virtue ethics theory, underline the importance ofprioritizing the needs of others over our own (Birsch, 2013). This isa standard expected from any human being. However, I would attend atalk delivered by the convicted felon for the simple fact that he hasexperienced first-hand the consequences of poor ethical decisions. Sowhatever he will have to say concerning ethics will be from hispersonal experience and from that I can learn the kind of decisions Ineed to avoid or embrace when I’m fortunate enough to hold aleadership post.


While somestudents may admire the recklessness and thus perceive the punishmentas something they too could get away with, the consequences orimplications of their decisions could deter them from following inFastow’s footsteps. Other students, on the other hand, may view hisexample as one that they should strive to avoid throughout theircareers and lives. Therefore, the values an individual holds dearwill determine their response to this particular case.


The perceptionfrom allowing Fastow speak on ethics is that he may encouragestudents to pursue selfish goals with total disregard to the ethicalimplications or how their decisions affect others. This is accordingto the ethical egoism theory, which advocates for the prioritizationof an individual’s interest ahead of others (Birsch, 2013).Consequently, the perception is that no good can come from Fastow’stalk considering the impact his fraudulent actions had on thecompany, its employees, and the stakeholders. There was no fairnessin the decisions that caused the collapse of the company and,therefore, allowing Fastow to speak on ethics is perceived as riskingthe occurrence of a similar tragedy.


Andrew Fastow’scase is similar to that of others such as Jordan Belfort, whocommitted crimes, did time and now pursue their careers. Belfort nowworks as a motivational speaker and author. Perhaps anothersimilarity is that despite serving time for their criminal actions,their lives now are geared towards building their damagedreputations. The utilitarianism theory recognizes the importance ofperforming duties for the greater good of others rather thanourselves. Therefore, this also implies that not everyone willwelcome these individuals’ efforts in trying to redeem themselves.However, as demonstrated by the virtue ethics theory, practicalwisdom is key to making the right decisions while also recognizingthat any good person will strive to do right (Birsch, 2013).


There are three major types of ethical theories. These are theteleological or consequentialist theory, deontological theory, andvirtue-based theory. Under the teleological system, we find twotheories namely ethical egoism and utilitarianism.

Ethical egoism: This theory advocates for the prioritization of anindividual’s needs ahead of others. The individual, therefore, isguided by his or her interests, and their actions reflect thisperception. This theory, therefore, insulates an individual againstconcerns that benefit humanity.

Utilitarianism, on the other hand, focuses on the importance ofmaking decisions that benefit the majority. Various phenomena such asthe cost/benefit analysis, utility theory, and democracy can all belinked to this theory. With this in mind, it is debatable whether thedecisions that are carried out satisfy all people or a selectednumber. There is also the danger of economic imperialism, which mayresult from the application of this theory.

The Categorical Imperative theory is an example of a deontologicaltheory. This theory underlines a focus on the rules, principles, andduties expected of an individual in a given locality (Birsch, 2013).Individuals are thus expected to conduct themselves rationally justlike other human beings. Therefore, their behavior has to be couth.

The distributive justice theory is another example of thedeontological theory. This theory champions for fairness in relationto the equitable distribution of resources. Therefore, individualsapplying this theory are guided by the knowledge that their decisionsneed to reflect fairness to all.

Virtue ethics theory: This theory, on the other hand, advocates forthe importance of character in all human interactions. The individualneeds to have prior knowledge of what is good or bad. Consequently,the individual assesses various aspects of their life and strives toadopt virtues such as honesty, integrity, courage, among many others.These virtues are highly valued in society and. Therefore, theindividual uses them to build a good character. The individual willthus gain practical wisdom and through it, he or she will alwaysstrive to do what is best.


Birsch, D. (2013). Introduction to ethical theories: A procedural approach. Waveland Press.