BA 3102 – Business, Society, & Ethics
Reaction Paper 1: Drawing the Ethical Line between Right and Wrong Business decision making is derived from our ethical duties. Ethics is referred to as a set of rules and principles that determine our behavior of right from wrong. Morality the subset of ethics is a set of standards that define our character. It is a personal belief that people abide by and practice accordingly. Each is used as a foundation when deciding which philosophical perspective to follow. As a new assistance to the VP in the marketing department I must decide whether or not to dump the shipment of contaminated gourmet candies to a chain of convenience stores. The philosophical perspective that I will stand by is utilitarianism and universalism approach. These theories will explain my reasoning not to ship the tainted goods. By proceeding to ship these goods, this will negatively affect stakeholders and the company may suffer financially in the long run. Utilitarianism is the notion of producing the greatest good for the maximum amount of people. When benefits outweigh harm, the outcome is justified -- even if individual rights are violated in the process. As it is stated in John R. Deckop’s article, “Theoretical Bases for Analyzing the Ethics of a Decision”, “potential outcomes of a decision should be analyzed to see who benefits and who is harmed. The decision that results in the most total benefit compared to harm is the best decision” (Deckop). From a utilitarian perspective, we must protect key stakeholders. This includes customers, shareholders, employees, community and the environment. Stakeholders are our greatest assets of the organization. By refusing to dump the goods, we are creating the greatest amount of good for stakeholders. However, the company will suffer financial loss if the goods are not shipped. The loss is minimal. If I adhere to my bosses request by shipping the goods everyone will face crippling ripple effects. The...
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