Business Ethics

 

 

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Unit 2

INTRODUCTION

In Unit 1, you assessed the broadest parameters of the whole topic of business ethics. In this unit, you will begin to define the characteristics of stakeholders and issues in a manner that allows you to analyze ethical dilemmas. Understanding stakeholder needs as well as threats to the organization are key components of the entire process of managing ethical issues. Equally important is learning to identify issues and put them in a context or framework to facilitate management decision making. In this unit, you will review different approaches to both stakeholder and issues management.  No single approach is considered best for all situations, but studying the approaches and learning how to apply them to different ethical problems ultimately makes you a valuable voice at the table when participating in the solution.

 

OBJECTIVES

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

 

  • Describe a current ethical issue according to its effects on various stakeholders.
  • Identify an ethical dilemma in which an organizational policy is the best response.
  • Describe how a specific ethical dilemma corresponds with larger issues on a regional, national, or global level.
  • Evaluate the importance of resolving ethical issues.
  • Analyze organizational stakeholder strategies.

 

Company Issue Identification

This is the first component of your course project. Identify an Ethical Issue: In the Unit 1 assignment, you were asked to discuss your personal ethical views. In this assignment, you should consider what a company-wide ethical dilemma looks like.  You will first need to identify a current or potential ethical dilemma at a real company. This could be a company where you are now employed, your former employer, a friend’s company, or another company with which you are familiar. The issue should also be something that needs to be addressed with an organizational policy inside the company. In other words, you believe that a policy change would be better than other courses of action (such as disciplinary action toward an individual employee, or external action by the government or a nonprofit). You do not have to create a policy at this time but be prepared to explain why implementing a policy would be the right choice. Note: The issue you select for this assignment will be used in the Unit 7 assignment and your final project in Unit 10.  For example, a company may choose to videotape the office and read employee e-mails. The conflict here may be that employees feel these practices are a violation of privacy and feel they have a right to a certain level of the privacy. However, stakeholders defend these practices because their concerns are whether the employees are getting their work done.

 

Assignment Instructions: Identify the ethical issue. Using best practices for academic writing, write an essay that covers all of the following:  Small business CEO thinks he/she can make up and run their company any way they want to, disregarding business practices, policies and procedures

 

  • Explain why you chose this particular issue and why you believe it is important.
  • Describe other stakeholders for this ethical issue, and what concerns they are likely to have.
  • Explain why you believe that an organizational policy is the right way to resolve the issue.
  • Describe how this particular issue might be related to larger problems that affect your community, the country, or the world. Is the issue currently in the media spotlight? Are there any recent incidents or reasons why this issue has come to the public’s attention?
  • Support your choices with cited concepts from reliable professional sources.
  • Review the Company Issue Identification Scoring Guide to learn how to understand the grading criteria for this assignment.
  • Submission Requirements: Your paper should meet the following requirements:
  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: References and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting guidelines.
  • Font and Font Size: Arial, 10 point.

 

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
Evaluate the importance of resolving an ethical issue, supporting the evaluation with concepts from a reliable professional source.
25%
Does not engage the topic of the importance of resolving an ethical issue. States that resolving the ethical issue will be important, but does not provide sufficient evidence to support this claim. Evaluates the importance of resolving an ethical issue, supporting the evaluation with concepts from a reliable professional source. Impartially evaluates the importance of resolving an ethical issue, supporting the evaluation with concepts from a reliable professional source.
Describe a current ethical issue according to its effects on various stakeholders, supporting the description with concepts from a reliable professional source.
25%
Does not engage the topic of current ethical issues or their stakeholders. Discusses a current ethical issue, but does not describe its effects on stakeholders. Describes a current ethical issue according to its effects on various stakeholders, supporting the description with concepts from a reliable professional source. Impartially describes a current ethical issue according to its effects on various stakeholders, supporting the description with concepts from a reliable professional source.
Identify an ethical dilemma in which an organizational policy is the best response, and provide proof for this conclusion.
25%
Does not indicate what type of response would be best to resolve the ethical dilemma. States that an organizational policy is best for the ethical dilemma, but does not provide convincing reasons for the recommendation. Identifies an ethical dilemma in which an organizational policy is the best response, and provides proof for this conclusion. Identifies an ethical dilemma in which an organizational policy is the best response, provides proof for this conclusion, and considers conflicting evidence.
Describe how a specific ethical dilemma corresponds with larger issues on a regional, national, or global level.
25%
Does not describe how a specific ethical dilemma corresponds with larger issues on a regional, national, or global level. Describes the connection between ethical dilemma and larger issues but the description is weak or cursory, and the paper does not support this conclusion with evidence. Describes how a specific ethical dilemma corresponds with larger issues on a regional, national, or global level. Demonstrates critical insight in describing how a specific ethical dilemma corresponds with larger issues on a regional, national, or global level.

 

Unit 3 Ethical Reasoning: Theory and Practice

INTRODUCTION

In Units 1 and 2, you analyzed the trends that have made ethics a key issue in the business world, and you tried some approaches to analyzing ethical dilemmas. This unit introduces you to the theories behind the issues and challenges you to assess your reasoning within prevailing theories.  The unit reading describes the differences in preferred modes of operating, but the learning for you is most rewarding if you take the time to assess your previous ethical decisions and reassess whether you would have acted differently given a second opportunity.  In Unit 5, you will be asked to use one of the models discussed in this unit to make a decision regarding the ethical issue you chose for your final project, due in Unit 10. This unit is a first step in familiarizing yourself with these models and using them.

 

OBJECTIVES

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

 

  • Describe the reasoning process behind an ethical decision.
  • Describe ethical decision-making principles and actions.
  • Describe cultural and environmental influences on ethical decision making.
  • Evaluate a personal decision based on ethical decision-making principles.
  • Evaluate various belief systems.

 

Note: Pay particular attention to the various models and rationales used to make decisions on ethical dilemmas. Start to work on finding one or developing one that suits you. This is important because the most crucial thing you can learn from this course is how to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical dilemmas. In addition, you are asked to evaluate different decision-making models and to use them to analyze dilemmas throughout the rest of the course, particularly in the Unit 5 project component and for the final project in Unit 10.

 

Ethical Motives

With this assignment, please direct your attention again to personal-level (not company-wide) ethical choices in the workplace. Motives are a key consideration in ethical decision making.  On page 96 in Chapter 2 of your course text, the author offers a four-step approach to analyzing your own ethical motives in a specific situation.

 

In this assignment, apply this four-step process as a tool to determine your own motives. Applying this knowledge is a good first step toward building the skills necessary to complete this same type of process when analyzing your motives at work or your organization’s motives in ethical decision making, designing social responsibility programs, and formulating organizational policy. Support your choices with cited concepts from course readings and reliable professional sources.

 

Review the Ethical Motives Scoring Guide to understand the grading criteria for this assignment.

 

Submission Requirements

Your paper should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: References and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting guidelines.
  • Font and Font Size: Arial, 10 point.
CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
Describe the reasoning process behind an ethical decision and provide examples of the reasoning process.
25%
Does not engage the topic of the reasoning process behind an ethical decision. Offers generalizations about the reasoning behind an ethical decision, but does not support these with examples. Describes the reasoning process behind an ethical decision and provides examples of the reasoning process. Impartially describes the reasoning process behind an ethical decision and provides examples of the reasoning process.
Describe ethical decision-making principles and actions, supporting the description with concepts from course readings.
25%
Does not engage the topic of ethical decision-making principles and actions. Offers generalizations about ethical decision-making principles and actions, but does not support these with concepts from course readings. Describes ethical decision-making principles and actions, supporting the description with concepts from course readings. Describes ethical decision-making principles and actions, supporting the description with concepts from course readings, and identifies own personal assumptions in this understanding of ethics.
Describe cultural and environmental influences on ethical decision making, supporting the description with concepts from a reliable professional source.
25%
Does not engage the topic of cultural and environmental influences on ethical decision making. Offers generalizations about cultural and environmental influences on ethical decision making, but does not support these with evidence. Describes cultural and environmental influences on ethical decision making, supporting the description with concepts from a reliable professional source. Describes cultural and environmental influences on ethical decision making, supporting the description with concepts from a reliable professional source, and identifies own ethical or cultural assumptions behind this description.
Evaluate a personal decision based on ethical decision-making principles.
25%
Does not engage the topic of personal decisions based on ethical decision-making principles. Offers the ethical principle on which a personal decision was based, but does not evaluate the personal decision on this basis. Evaluates a personal decision based on ethical decision-making principles. Impartially evaluates a personal decision based on ethical decision-making principles.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

External stakeholders are not limited to directly involved individuals and groups who benefit from the corporation. Often the entire community is affected by a company’s actions or lack of reactions. In this unit, you will examine the relationship between the corporation and the community in which it does business.

 

OBJECTIVES

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

 

  • Evaluate the benefits and limitations of various ethical decision-making approaches.
  • Create a solution to an ethical dilemma using an ethical decision-making approach.
  • Assess the validity of the resolution suggested by a particular ethical approach.
  • Communicate your ideas in a style suitable to academic readers.
  • Apply the concepts provided by relevant philosophers or theorists to a current issue.

 

Readings

Use your Business Ethics e-book to read Chapter 5, “Corporate Responsibilities, Consumer Stakeholders, and the Environment”. This chapter investigates topics such as corporate responsibility toward consumer stakeholders, corporate responsibility in advertising, and managing project safety and liability responsibility.

 

Optional – Readings

You may watch the video Political Theory – John Rawls from the School of Life in preparation for this unit’s first discussion.

 

A Different Approach to Ethical Decision Making

Chapter 2 of your course text discusses several different approaches for ethical decision making. For the Unit 3 assignment, you decided which of these ethical approaches most closely matched your own method for approaching an ethical dilemma.

 

2.2 Ethical Principles and Decision Making In this section, five fundamental principles used in ethical reasoning that are both classic and timely are discussed to solve dilemmas in everyday life as well as in complex business situations. Observe Figure 2.1 as you read this section. Since we are examining stakeholders in this text, and we all are stakeholders in different situations, we illustrate how the following principles apply to stakeholders using classic principles. The principles are: (1) utilitarianism, (2) universalism, (3) rights, (4) justice, and (5) ethical virtue. After reviewing these principles,

 

For this assignment, you will test out a different ethical approach. Consider the options presented in Chapter 2 once again, and choose an approach which you did not explore in the Unit 3 assignment. Then, write a paper that responds to the following questions:

 

  • State the ethical approach you selected. Explain why.
  • Imagine someone had worked to resolve the ethical issue (the same one you discussed in the Unit 3 assignment), this time using the approach you have just described. What would be involved in using this approach?
  • Compare this to what you described in the Unit 3 assignment. What might have happened differently if a person used this approach?
  • Explain how this alternate approach might have been beneficial. To whom? In what ways might it have caused problems?
  • Support your choices with cited concepts from course readings.

 

Review the A Different Approach to Ethical Decision Making Scoring Guide to understand the grading criteria for this assignment. Submission Requirements: Your paper should meet the following requirements: Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message. APA formatting: References and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting guidelines. Font and Font Size: Arial, 10 point.

 

 

 

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
Articulate reasons why a certain ethical decision-making approach might be useful in a dilemma situation, providing supporting evidence from course readings.
25%
Does not identify any reasons why a certain ethical decision-making approach might be useful in a dilemma situation. Identifies reasons why a certain ethical decision-making approach might be useful in a dilemma situation, but does not provide supporting evidence from course readings. Articulates reasons why a certain ethical decision-making approach might be useful in a dilemma situation, providing supporting evidence from course readings. Impartially articulates reasons why a certain ethical decision-making approach might be useful in a dilemma situation, providing supporting evidence from course readings.
Apply an alternative ethical decision-making approach to a dilemma and describe likely outcomes of the approach.
25%
Does not apply an alternative decision-making approach to a dilemma. Applies an alternative ethical decision-making approach to a dilemma, but does not describe likely outcomes of the approach. Applies an alternative ethical decision-making approach to a dilemma and describes likely outcomes of the approach. Impartially applies an alternative ethical decision-making approach to a dilemma and describes likely outcomes of the approach.
Assess the validity of the resolution suggested by a particular ethical approach, providing supporting evidence from course readings.
25%
Does not engage the topic of validity of the resolution suggested by a particular ethical approach. Provides an evaluative statement about the validity of the resolution, but does not provide evidence to support this assessment. Assesses the validity of the resolution suggested by a particular ethical approach, providing supporting evidence from course readings. Impartially assesses the validity of the resolution suggested by a particular ethical approach, providing supporting evidence from course readings.
Communicate one’s ideas in a style suitable to academic readers.
25%
Communicates in a manner that is neither clear nor effective. Communicates in a manner that is not consistently clear and effective. Communicates one’s ideas in a style suitable to academic readers. Communicates in an exemplary and professional manner through clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct writing, and there are no style or formatting errors.

 

Unit 7

OBJECTIVES

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

 

  • Describe ways that corporate social responsibility policies can both complement and conflict with profit-maximizing goals.
  • Select an ethical approach to an organization-wide dilemma, explaining why it will lead to a suitable resolution.
  • Invent a corporate policy that can help resolve an ethical issue.
  • Assess the impact of a corporate social responsibility policy upon employees, stakeholders, clients, and other outside parties.
  • Explain how and in what situations government regulations help maintain an ethical environment.

 

Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

This is the second component of your course project. In this assignment, you will return to the company-wide dilemma that you wrote about in the Unit 2 assignment.  Small business CEO think he/she can run the company in any way they like, disregarding practices, policies and procedures.

 

Please note that you will incorporate this paper into your final project, due in Unit 10. For this assignment, consider how a company’s social responsibility can affect the workplace, stakeholders, clients, and other outside parties.

 

In your paper, complete the following:

 

  • Explain in general terms how a company’s social responsibility policy can complement its obligation to maximize profits for shareholders. Where might these goals conflict?
  • Explain how you think the ethical issue itself might be affecting employees, considering the specific company dilemma you discussed in the Unit 2 assignment. How about shareholders? Clients? Outside parties?
  • State the approaches to ethical decision making (as discussed in Chapter 2 of your text) you would recommend for creating a policy to solve the issue. Explain.
  • Write an overview of a company policy that could be created, based on this decision-making approach, to address the ethical dilemma.
  • Explain the effects your policy might have on employees, if the company actually used the policy you just described. What would be the effects on shareholders? On clients? On other outside parties? Please consider both the potential positive and negative outcomes.

 

 

Unit 10  – Reference Previous Papers (unit 2 and unit 7)

 

In today’s business world, we can see that a policy can be an ideal vision of behavior. In this unit, you will draft your corporate policy to remedy an ethical issue that you find relevant. You have studied many ethical issues from many different perspectives and have evaluated the tools with which to make decisions concerning those issues. Now, it is time to act on that knowledge and recommend a corporate policy that will make a meaningful change concerning an issue you feel is important.

 

OBJECTIVES

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

 

  • Recommend a corporate policy for resolving an ethical issue.
  • Assess how a recommended corporate policy is socially responsible.
  • Support corporate policy recommendation for business ethics policies and standards.
  • Recommend a strategy for communicating a policy to an organization in a manner that meets the needs of the audience.
  • Describe potential limitations of a policy and strategies for monitoring and compliance.

 

Use the Internet to read Burcea and Croitoru’s 2014 article, “Business Ethics,” from Journal of Public Administration, Finance and Law, volume 3, issue 6, pages 139–143.

 

Addressing an Ethical Issue

For this final project, imagine that the CEO has asked human resources department to review the company’s policies. You have been personally asked to identify an issue you feel needs addressing, to evaluate different parameters for ethically deciding on how to address the issue, and then to evaluate various polices and propose a policy that the company can implement to addresses the chosen issue.

 

In your paper:  The issue chosen is: Small business CEO thinks he/she can run the company in any way they like, disregarding practices, policies and procedures.

 

  • Describe an ethical dilemma and its importance and relevance.
  • Identify the various stakeholders and their positions.
  • Evaluate an ethical decision-making model, apply it to the chosen issue, and analyze options for resolving this ethical dilemma.
  • Recommend a corporate policy for resolving the issue and support the recommendation with well-reasoned analysis and specific examples, including the impact on various stakeholders.
  • Analyze and recommend a strategy for communicating the policy to the organization in a manner that meets the needs of the audience.
  • Specify potential limitations of the policy and strategies for monitoring and compliance.
  • As you can see, you have already accomplished many of these points in the previous components of the project (in Units 2 and 7). In this assignment, consolidate those pieces and add additional information to complete the evaluation and recommendation to the CEO.

 

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