Ethical Decision Making Case Study Paper

Introduction and Requirements:

There are two incidents from the Short Incidents for Ethical Reasoning that follow Ch. 8 of your textbook. After reading each incident, you must identify all relevant stakeholders and determine how they could be impacted by the decision that will be made, identify and apply at least one principle for ethical reasoning, and then consider alternative courses of action and choose the best course of action based on stakeholder impacts and the outcome of the application of the ethical principle.

Your textbook defines stakeholders as an entity that is benefitted or burdened by the actions of a corporation or whose actions may benefit or burden the corporation. Some common examples of stakeholders would include customers, employees, suppliers, stockholders, and the community.

Businesses will almost always have multiple stakeholders, and many times their interests will conflict. This means that a business decision-maker will frequently have to make a decision in the face of competing claims from different stakeholders. The question of whose interests should be prioritized requires the exercise of judgment. This skill—examining competing claims and deciding which one is the strongest—is called evaluation. You will want to consider the power, urgency, and legitimacy that each stakeholder presents.

You should put yourselves in each stakeholder’s position—Why do they care about the outcome of the decision? How will they be affected? What outcome would they prefer? What are their arguments in support of their preferred outcome? You will want to consider the power, urgency, and legitimacy that each stakeholder presents. Additionally, writing mechanics and grammar are graded as part of this assignment.

As a reminder, for each incident, be sure to identify all relevant stakeholders and determine how they could be impacted by the decision that will be made, identify and apply at least one principle for ethical reasoning, and then consider alternative courses of action and choose the best course of action based on stakeholder impacts and the outcome of the application of the ethical principle.

Please write at least 4 pages of text (each incident should have at least two pages)! If you use external sources, add the reference page! (I will upload the book contents of chapter 8 to you.)

Two Incidents:

1. MARY AND TOM

Mary P., an aerospace engineer, tells about a difficult career experience in which her friend Tom plays a central role. My friend Tom and I are employed by Republic Systems Corporation. We started about the same time after graduating from engineering school five years ago. The company does a lot of defense work, mostly for the Air Force, and it’s big. Tom and I worked on project teams doing tests to make sure that electronics shipped to customers met specifica- tions. We have very similar backgrounds and job records, and there has always been a little competi- tion between us. But neither one of us pulled ahead of the other on the corporate ladder. That is until last winter. At that time, we were assigned a special project to modify the testing protocol on certain radar com- ponents. The success of the projects was critical; it had to be done before Republic bid for two more years on its big radar systems contract. About 40 per- cent of our people work radar. We rolled up our sleeves and put in long hours. After a month, though, Tom volunteered to be on a companywide task force developing a new em- ployee privacy policy. Privacy is a big deal to Al Manchester, our CEO. Tom continued to work with me, but he gradu- ally put more and more of his energy into the pri- vacy project. I had to start taking up some of the slack. He enjoyed the task force meetings. They met in the dining room at the Kenthill Country Club and he could hobnob with Al and some of the other big shots. He worked overtime to impress them. We finally finished the testing project and it was a success. But toward the end I did the lion’s share of it. One day, Tom made me angry by ending a capacitor test at 94 hours instead of the 100 hours you really have to have for validity. He did it be- cause he was late for a privacy task force meeting. Overall, I guess Tom helped a lot, but he didn’t do his share all the way through.

Last month the assistant manager of the radar project left the company and Tom and I both applied for the position. It was a pay raise of several grades and meant getting a lot of recognition. They chose Tom. The announcement in the company newsletter said that he was a “strong team player” and men- tioned both the testing project and the privacy task force as major accomplishments. I don’t think it was fair.

Was Tom fair to Mary? Was Tom’s promotion fair to Mary? Was the company wrong to promote Tom?

2. AL

The CEO of a Midwestern manufacturing company tells the following story.

I was looking over recent performance reviews in the household products division and one thing that struck me was the review of a star sales rep named Al. I know Al because he handles our Walmart account. Al had the highest annual sales for the past five years and last year nearly doubled the next highest rep’s total. The sales manager’s written evaluation was highly laudatory as expected, but cautioned Al to adhere strictly to discount policy, shipping protocol, and billing protocol. I got curious. A conversation with the division manager re- vealed that Al ingratiated himself with workers on the loading dock, socializing with them, sending them birthday cards, and giving them small gifts such as tickets to minor-league ball games. The loading dock supervisor complained that Al was requesting and sometimes getting priority loading of trucks for his customers despite the formal first-in, first-out rules for shipping orders. Second, Al had given several customers slightly deeper discounts than authorized, although the resulting orders were highly profitable for the company. And finally, late in December, Al had informally requested that one big account delay payment on an order by a week so that the commission would be counted in the next year. This would have gotten him off to a running start had not an accountant for the purchaser paid promptly and written to Al’s manager in refusing the request. The division head stuck up for Al. I didn’t press or request that any action be taken.

Did I do the right thing? How would you answer the CEO’s question?

Here are the rubrics:

Criteria

Rating

(1)Identifies stakeholders

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(1)Considers stakeholder impacts

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(1)Identities at least one prescriptive principle of ethical conduct

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(1)Applies the chosen prescriptive principle of ethical conduct

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(1) Considers alternative courses of action

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(1) Chooses a course of action

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(2) Identifies stakeholders

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(2) Considers stakeholders impacts

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(2) Identifies at least one prescriptive principles of ethical conduct

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(2) Applies the chosen prescriptive principle of ethical conduct

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(2) Considers alternative courses of action

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations

(2) Chooses a course of action

Exceeds Expectations

Meets Expectations

Below Expectations