Midterm Notes

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COMM 315 Business Law and Ethics
07-Jan-08

|Law: |Ethics: | |if it’s not written it’s not law |norms | | |cultural values | | |if behaviour results in the greater good then it’s ethical |

Class exercise: Trying to define legal versus ethical (class asked to provide examples of where legal/illegal/ethical/unethical meets): | |Ethical |Unethical | |Legal |Stopping at a red light |War | | |Paying taxes |Adultery* | | |Paying > minimum wage | | |Illegal |Abortion (still on the books as illegal, but many exceptions |Drug dealing (~half of class didn’t think it was bad, re/ | | |as to when it may be performed) |marijuana) | | | |Murder (another debate re/ mercy killings, e.g. Robert | | | |Latimer) | | | |Capital punishment (again, ~half the class was pro death | | | |penalty, the other half anti-death penalty) |

Ethical norms create codification in the form of laws
i.e. laws grow out of ethics
norms develop over time

Law is the written codification[1] of ethical norm[2]

Class exercise: described company, Plasma International:
Collects blood from African donors (pays 15 cents per pint)
Screens and stores blood
Ships to catastrophes when needed (sells for $25/pint)
Debated “ethics” of company
paying members of impoverished nation minimal amount for product debate of appropriate price for product when company has monopoly on product in catastrophic scenario Moral of the story? As business managers our responsibility is to maximize shareholder value, and how this can conflict with our ethics. Try to reconcile the two. Business ethics conflicts with personal ethics throughout years

Prejudice & Stereotypes

Class exercise: describe the opposite gender in terms of stereotypes:

|Females |Males | |Emotional |Lazy | |Needy |Selfish | |Sensitive |Gross | |Nurturing |Insensitive | |Irrational |Macho/ pigs |

Stereotyping results from prejudice (pre-judging, judging without knowing)

Prejudice: assign a characteristic to a person that you don’t know because of a person’s ... age, race, gender, etc. “fill in the...
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