A Case in Business Ethics: She Stoops to Conquer

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A Case in Business Ethics: She Stoops to Conquer

By | October 2006
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If I were Jean Fanuchi, I would feel bad about my decision. I wouldn't want my every move and word being monitored so I assume my employees wouldn't either. After all people are prone to do a lot of things when they're alone which they wouldn't otherwise do. Knowing someone has witnessed you doing something in private is embarrassing for both parties. And if only the viewer knows, it can still create uncomfort and tension. Furthermore it is possible for words and actions to be misconstrued since although one can see and hear what people are doing, one can never know what they're thinking. For example one employee on his way out the door may say to another ‘I really hate that Fanuchi!' but once they're outside clarify it with ‘I don't really hate her, I'm just not happy about all the work she's dumping on us.' Unfortunately, Fanuchi would just assume that the person really hates her and will probably start treating him differently.

The first decision (not to install) would have been the right one. As Fanuchi mentioned, how would the public and employees react if they found out? Installing the viewing and listening devices brings up many ethical issues among which include privacy and informed consent. Privacy is held to be a fundamental human right and so it is immoral to violate anyone's privacy. Even when there seems to be a good reason, this does not justify it. Since the workers were unaware of being monitored, they couldn't have consented to their privacy being invaded. By not informing the workers and allowing them to choose whether to be monitored or not, Fanuchi robbed them of their freedom of choice. Her first choice was the right one but she bowed under pressure from Katwalski and the continued shrinkage.