Faculty members Dr. Andrew Bargerstock and Ye Shi were awarded with the Best Case Study in the 2014 Carl Menconi Ethics Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The article about the case study will be published in the July issue of Strategic Finance, a monthly journal from IMA that focuses on professional practices in management accounting and finance.
The case developed by Bargerstock and Shi spotlights the dilemma of a fictitious Melissa Parks, an XBRL specialist at a company that manufactures large-scale water purification systems that are sold to government and private institutions, primarily in third-world countries. One day on her way to work, Parks hears a radio report about a large multinational corporation receiving a $250 million fine from the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a U.S. law that forbids financial payments to foreign officials for the purpose of procuring a business contract. This prompts Parks to recall a conversation she overheard recently at work, which at once makes her suspect that her company also might be engaged in practices that violate the Act. Parks must then decide what to do with her knowledge – perhaps at the risk of her own career advancement.
“The case really looks at the ethical decision an employee must make to ‘do the right thing’ when the easiest, and most convenient, path is to do and say nothing,” explained Bargerstock.
The overall goal of the Menconi Case Competition is to develop teaching cases around ethical issues affecting management accountants and finance professionals. The IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice acts as a valuable resource for guiding professional action. Through the Menconi recognized cases, published by the IMA, accounting educators get the opportunity to explore with students, the path to proper action in professional accounting activities.
According to Dr. Bargerstock, Director of MUM’s MBA Programs, “In this post-Enron era, both educators and accounting professionals understand the importance of a heightened level of discussion about when and what to do when they are faced with a moral dilemma. The Menconi case studies series provides a springboard for undergraduate and graduate-level thinking about ethical behaviors for our next generation of accountants. Instructor Shi and I feel fortunate to have contributed to this dialogue.”
This accomplishment continues a pattern of recognition from the IMA for the accounting faculty and Ph.D. students at MUM. In 2009, Dr. Bargerstock was named Excellence in Lean Accounting Professor at the Lean Accounting Summit. In 2011, Manjunath Rao was named Lean Accounting Student of the Year and shortly, thereafter, he received a research grant from the IMA for his PhD dissertation research completed in 2013. Bargerstock and Rao published two articles in the IMA’s quarterly academic journal, Management Accounting Quarterly in 2011 and 2013. In October, 2013, Ye Shi was named IMA’s Lean Accounting Student of the Year for her work in teaching and writing case studies while pursuing her Ph.D. at MUM.