Business Law and Ethics Case Study

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Virtue Pages: 3 (826 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Part A (a): Ethical dilemma

Should Tom tell Michael that Brenda is breaking the rules/law.

Ethical egoism

Under ethical egoism, Tom should tell Michael what Brenda is doing, as he is feeling worried and guilty and this would ease his mind. He could also gain benefits from Michael. Tom would do this because he is promoting his well being above everyone else’s (QUT, 2011).


Under Utilitarianism, Tom should tell Michael about Brenda and Mary’s arrangement, because Utilitarianism states that an action is right if it leads to the best possible balance of good consequences over bad consequences for all the parties affected (Lindemann, 2012). The most relevant feature of happiness identified by Bentham, in this situation would be purity. If Tom were to tell on Brenda, he would be hurting Brenda and Mary, but he would also be causing small increases in unknown happiness to the community (school leavers and their families, police, the community).

Kantian ethics

Under Kantian Ethics, Tom should be talking to Michael and explaining the situation to him, as he is focusing on his duty to do what is morally right, regardless of the consequences (QUT, 2011). Universal Acceptability is followed as telling Michael the truth could be made into a rule, followed by everyone without contradiction. Respect for persons is being shown as Tom is being honest and ensuring that rules are followed. Finally Reversibility, is where Tom would accept being on the receiving end of the way he is treating Brenda and would realise that making the moral choice. Virtue ethics

Virtue Ethics states that a virtuous person will always make the correct decision (QUT, 2011). Tom is facing a danger or a significant personal challenge, because Tom must decide between doing nothing and remaining safe or acting upon his boss’s and the community’s wishes. Tom must show Courage by talking to Michael, he would be putting aside his friendship with Brenda to do the right thing....
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