Virtue Ethics – Andrew Fastow


Virtue ethics is an ethical theory that declares an action morallycorrect if by doing something, the agent demonstrates morally honestcharacter. An action is morally wrong when the agent depicts anethically dishonest character (Jennings,2012). Therefore,virtue ethics focuses more on the actions of an individual. Forinstance, a leader is expected to act in manners that are morallyright at all times, as per virtue ethics.

Andrew Fastow, as Enron’s CFO was perfectly aware of his ethicalexpectations as a leader. He was expected to act in manners that aremorally appropriate in any activities involving the company. Howeverhe knowingly resulted in the inflation of profits. It is clear thatFastow was aware that he was acting unethically because he usedcreative accounting to hide debt in Enron from its investors, and atthe same time he choreographed incorrect prosperity. Followinginvestigations in the company, Fastow collaboratively worked withother company officials to destroy files that would disclose thetruth (Elkind, 2013). As a leader, Fastow knowingly failed to actethically as proposed by virtue ethics.

Fastow has without a doubt acted in unethical manners despite beingaware of his expectations as a leader. As a former felon, he is a badrole model to students. Hence, he should not be permitted to talkabout ethics. As a leader, one should never engage in actions thatjeopardize their position and other people’s view of leadership insociety (Price, 2008). By talking to students, makes unethicalbehavior appear tolerable and subject to minimal sentencing once anindividual confesses. Students may begin to think that at times it ispossible and right to act unethically, especially when Fastowjustifies his actions. Contrary, virtue ethics makes it clear thatactions must always be ethically right. Corruption by leaders shouldbe considered as a serious offence. Hence, opportunity to lecturestudents should be offered to leaders that have depicted impeccableleadership.


Elkind, P. (2013). The confessions of Andy Fastow. Fortune.Retrieved from

Jennings, M. (2012).&nbspBusinessethics: Case studies and selected readings.Australia: South- Western,Cengage Learning.

Price, T. L. (2008). Leadershipethics: An introduction.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.