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Introduction

A professional writing may be defined as an article, literature, work, text, or piece of writing that utilizes a specific form of contextual writing, which is able to bridge effective communication and resultant interaction between the author and the audience. Towards an achievement of effective communication, there is a need for continuous interaction between the two aforementioned interest groups, with the author expected to utilize effectively language and communication skills. This, as such, is implemented through the utility of various strategies, forms, and aspects of writing, which captivate the existent audiences through connection with everyday life case scenarios. Through ensuring the audiences’ complete attention, an author is able to amply transfer knowledge, information, data, news, and views/perspectives to a willing crowd interested enough to listen/read and follow.

Analysis

Rhetoric analysis pertains to a form of criticism, which utilizes effectively and adequately existent principles of rhetoric, with an aim of examining interactions between the aforementioned – author and audience(s) – by way of text, literature, or writing. This, as such, may be applicable to virtually any form of communication: from texts, essays, writings, poems, speeches, and advertisements, to images, web pages, and photographs among others. In its application to the literary work, as is aimed in this paper, the procedure regards such work as an artistically structured avenue of communication, as opposed to an aesthetic tangible item. Consequently, it is the meanings, perspectives, and actions enacted from the knowledge gained that is the focus of rhetoric analysis, as opposed to the literary text itself.

Toby Grooves and Thomas R. Weirich, in their article “A Discussion of American Ethics”, focus on cultivating a different thinking and perspective, as pertaining to the Psychological and Cultural basis of fraud and utilize varying contextual styles and themes. It, thus, portrays the existent ethical nature and standards prevalent in our contemporary social/corporate contexts. On the one hand, a greater aim is focused towards instilling good ethical grounding in corporate settings and educational/scholarly contexts, while on the other hand, massive cases of corruption and corporate misconduct continue to plague the same institutional setting. The purpose of this article is to further delve on the issue of corporate fraud, as existent in current contexts (Groves, 2012).

The article digs deeper into the question why corporate fraud continues to occur in increasing numbers, while augmented with its massive scale-effect (at times global in nature), when existent scholarship/academics, as well as corporate culture, continue showcasing an increased agitation for instilled good ethical conduct, by way of enhancing appropriate codes of standards. As such, another purpose is towards investigating why the above scenario holds true in the current contexts, even when strong judicial mechanisms exist with the main aim of mitigating the same. Towards the end, I will present personal opinion that aims at dispelling existent perspectives and viewpoints as held, pertaining to the aspect of corporate fraud.

Process analysis has been utilized towards explaining that causal factors and consequential effects of personal judgment, as pertaining to the individual choice, when faced with a situation portending to resultant acts of fraud, indeed, have significant influences on an individual’s final choice. Furtherance is the fact that existent social contexts entail significant influences on the affected individual’s rationale and choice-making capacities. In consequence is the aspect of institutional, as well as individual factors, that influence final choice-making processes, providing a better understanding of overall contextual environments conducive for instances and acts of not only corporate fraud but also fraud in general.

While high ethical standards and proper implementation of codes of conduct continue being addressed and standardized in the corporate arena, it is the shocking aspect of regularly occurring and highly publicized corporate misconduct that portrays a fundamental problem. Through both professional and personal experiences, the two above explore the question of American perspectives with regard to ethics and conduct of good ethical codes. This, as such, may be traceable to the assumption that individuals in the contemporary arena are able to adequately confront an unethical situation, with this being instilled in existent educational and ethical training environments. Furtherance is the assumption that with such training, individuals are able to make the right choices when confronted with such a situational context (Groves, 2012).

However, as later realized after the conduct of research, an individual’s varying steps, taken towards addressing/protecting against such occurrences, at times portend to negative/opposite effects, unlike expectations held. All this is traceable to the variants of past cases, i.e. Enron, Adelphia, and WorldCom amongst others, with Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme, alluding to the graveness of existent contemporary fraud cases. These, as such, drew a great public reaction, as to warrant the formulation and enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002, which threw a harsh spotlight on the ethical conduct of existent companies. These were consequently required to institute various forms of formal ethical codes of conduct, in addition to the placement of ethics officials.

Whilst legislation enacted, as well as sophisticated technology used, in the battle against corporate malfeasance, have continued emerging, as well as advancing, it is unfortunate that such measures have had little effect in occurring cases of fraud. Instead, cases continue flourishing, with the rich and powerful elite also being caught up in the mess. These individuals were considered as being ethically grounded; hence, resultantly display the uphill task facing the fight against corporate fraud. Consequently, the debate is focused on the aspect on the role played by ethical codes and standards, towards shaping existent professional judgment, in addition to making existent laws, rules, regulations, and policies more effective in this fight on fraud (Lowenstein, 1996).

Through a variety of numerous strategies utilized in the text, the authors are able to effectively communicate the gist of the article, as opposed to the surface meanings and/or perceptions. Accordingly, the authors have utilized a number of these, as exemplified throughout the article, from personal narration (narratives), to compare and contrast, illustration, persuasion, description, and classification, as well as cause and effect. Through this, they are able to persuasively and effectively communicate their intended messages to the public, through personalized/localized contexts. Complimentary, it is an aim of grounding the three existing forms of rhetorical appeals, i.e. Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in the authors’ work, focusing majorly on not only communicating but also transmitting one’s message to the larger audience.

The first – Ethos – as such, concerns the credibility of a work, through which the author makes the writing conveying; hence, convincing existent audiences of its trustworthiness. Pathos, on the other hand, refers to the translation of personal or group experiences and/or emotional sensibilities, by way of an author’s conveyance of his or her point of view/perspective. Adding to this is the need of the work eliciting an existent audience’s emotional response, by way of connecting to the existing social contexts. Lastly, is Logos, which majorly relies on logic or coherence being showcased in a given text/work, by way of entailing logical reasoning aimed at both proving and supporting existing evidence being presented. In the aforementioned article, the authors are able to display the above, in different measures, by way of penning personal experiences, witness accounts, and prevalent occurrences.

A strategy utilized is personal narration, by way of (narratives), where one of the authors, Toby Groves, is serving a jail sentence, for being convicted on fraud charges. This is symbolized in a meeting, where the other party is Dick Scruggs, a billionaire and former powerful trial attorney, convicted on bribery charges. Rhetoric is exemplified in the fact that the latter, having been America’s former most powerful fellow of the bench, was at the receiving end of the law that he had famously practiced. Furtherance is the fact that being a billionaire, he still went ahead in illegally engaging in acts compounding to bribery, with this showcasing the persuasive nature of money over ethical grounding, as referenced in current social contexts.

Through both personal narration and illustration, Toby Groves embarked on a personal research that displayed his life experiences on the issue of fraud. Having been witness to his older brother’s criminal offense of fraud, he had embarked on studying Accounting, further engaging in the fight against fraud. Through this journey of 20 years, he was a successful ethically grounded billionaire, who ultimately fell into the trap, with both his principled upbringing and training failing him in the end. This is because of the situational context, which faced him, was unfathomed according to the existent ethical codes of conduct. He was faced, on the one hand, with the choice of protecting his reputation, and on the other hand, with making the right choice. He inadvertently chose the former, which eventually landed him in prison.

A case in point, with reference to rhetoric, is the fact that his family having been rocked by his brother’s illegal actions, was to undergo a similar experience when he was convicted of the same crime. Symbolism is as such, derived from the fact that it was the same judge in the same courthouse, who eventually sentenced him, with his age coinciding with that of his brother’s during the latter’s trial. He, hence, embarked on finding out, if this was a coincidence, where genetics played a part in espousing criminal trends within lineages, later finding out that this was not the case, especially with reference to white-collar crime. Findings indicated the aforementioned genetic relation, majorly in violent crimes or antisocial behaviors. However, a majority of studies conducted have neither adequately isolated an existent criminal gene, nor found a reliable predictor of criminality (Walters, 1992).

What is significant is that white-collar crime offenders were usually first-timers having no prior run-ins with the law. Furtherance is the unique nature of a majority of such offenders, i.e. many had relative successful professional careers, were at their peaks in life (averaging 45 years and over), and had previously held senior offices, such as management or higher offices. The strategy of compare and contrast is utilized, when the author (Toby Groves) embarks on finding out if the aspect of psychology had any role-play in such case scenarios. While a majority of professionals relate clinically diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder as exemplified by callousness, self-centeredness, and arrogance (individual), resultant research portends to an existing contradiction.

As such, a majority of forensic auditors, as well as accountants, believe in the fact that most individuals engaging in white-collar crime are psychopaths, which is not the case. This gross overestimation of such dispositional traits by the larger public and especially by the existent professionals/experts portrays a lack of clear understanding of the root causes and/or causal effects, which eventually lead an individual to commit such crimes. General Americans viewpoints or perspectives were different from those of the examined Asian American, who was able to conceptualize his crimes in the context of existent moral aspects.  

Consequently, such studies display a resultant difference, where Asians focus more on the situational contexts, as opposed to disposition, resulting in lesser attribution errors, as opposed to their American counterparts. Through description and classification, the article is able to display the root causes and/or causal effects, which inadvertently result in fraud, with a majority of scandals starting small, at times imperceptible steps, with these little increments resulting in the affected individuals’ full involvement (entrapment). Unfortunately, it occurs gradually, until such individuals consciously realize their involvement’s resultant grave offenses (Walters, 1992).

The existing decision theory is challenged, when individuals act against inherent self-interests knowingly, with this resulting in an ‘out-of-control feeling.’ This pertains to the phenomenon of visceral factors, which often have hedonic impacts on the individuals, with these being majorly negative, as well as also affecting the existent relative desirability of various courses of action. According to Lowenstein (1996), these factors potentially have a great influence on an individual’s decision-making process, as well as directly relating to his/her motivation and resultant actions. These factors are most dominant when an individual is faced with serious decision-making choices, with most offenders admitting not having consciously weighed risks against gains aspired.

A difficulty is experienced, when such individuals having committed fraud, have difficulty in discussing their resultant crimes in reference to either ‘right or wrong’, as found in the existing legal frameworks. As such, they (fraudsters) majorly focused on the existing situational contexts, which resulted in their fraudulent actions/activities, in addition to what existent legal frameworks (the Law) said about such behavior. A difficulty was experienced with such individuals lacking a focus on the larger/broader contexts, with this being clouded, as pertaining to resultant social effects of their actions, as well as on what course of actions they had taken. The term fundamental attribution error has been utilized towards effectively explaining inherent self-serving bias.

As a result, individuals view their own actions as being in reaction to their existent surrounding environment vis-à-vis other individuals’ actions, as being reflective of their character. The article considerately explores the scenario, where a majority of Americans possess a principally damaging strain of this inherent bias. As such, most focus majorly on both individual responsibility and personality traits, as opposed to considering the vital importance of existent situational contexts, when determining the resultant causal effects of their behaviors. Rhetorically, the strategies of description and persuasion are utilized towards showcasing the prevalent nature existent, as pertaining to corporate fraud, where almost every discussion is focused on the individual criminal (and his/her behavior), rather than on the existing situational contexts and events that preceded the resultant crime.

In relation to the above, social contexts influence resultant individual behaviors, with studies portending to a correlation between individual actions when faced with two unique situational contexts. With reference to the above, a majority of Americans think that they are able to predict crime occurrence, as based on dispositional aspects in their generalization of the existent situational contexts. It is unfortunate that this perspective clearly deviates from the truth, as pertaining to the fact that situational contexts influence overall individual behavior and causes of action. Americans are mostly unable to recognize such contexts, let alone existing/pertinent contextual differences that form the basis of their inclination towards committing fraud (Lowenstein, 1996).

Conclusion

In conclusion, through the utility of the aforementioned rhetorical strategies, the authors are able to effectively communicate with their readers. This is through the enhanced conveyance of their intended messages, opinions, or perspectives in both comprehensive and effective manner. Furtherance is the utility of the above, in aiding in the organization of existent evidence, the connection of resultant facts, as well as the provision of information. Through direct interviews, personal experiences, and resultant research studies, the authors are able to comprehensively provide their main points of focus to both existent and potential readers.

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