Best Person for the Job

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In response to the case study The Best Person for the Job by Joanne B. Ciulla; it is important to examine the prima facie obligations of W. D. Ross, any of which can be defined as “an obligation that can be overridden by a more important obligation.” According to Ross, there are seven prima facie obligations, which we must consider in the process of moral decision making. These include: duties of fidelity, duties of reparation, duties of gratitude, duties of justice, duties of beneficence, duties of self-improvement, and duties not to injure others. This particular case study forms a hypothetical scenario aimed at the reader for the purpose of inciting critical thinking on a moral level; and a brief synopsis thereof reveals the moral dilemma contained therein. Assuming that the reader is a high-ranking executive at a major firm, the author provides the following set of occupational circumstances. First; an employee, Sam, who has been handling the firm’s top account, has handed in his resignation. Second; the client firm, Magnolia Corporation, is headed by CEO, J. W. Crawford who according to Sam, possesses an antiquated mindset and would probably be most receptive to financial suggestions from a male associate. In addition, J. W. has a reputation for objectifying women, including seasoned account executive, Elaine, who experienced his distasteful attitude first-hand in a meeting last year, where J. W. ignored her sound advice and made unprovoked verbal and physical advances toward her. Based on the given turn of events, one must consider the moral obligations toward the three major parties with vested interest in this business relationship: Magnolia CEO, J. W. Crawford, the firm itself, and Elaine. In order to understand the full moral implications of his decision, an executive faced with this situation must not forget that he still has prima facie obligations to J.W. Crawford, in spite of his boorish behavior. The first of these is the duty of fidelity....
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