One of the main ethical dilemmas that a store manager working for Wal-Mart might be faced with is a conflict of interest. He/she has been placed into a situation where there is no right or wrong answer, but rather a right, and right answer. Does he choose the role of being a good manager, and risk the managerial position? Or does he act upon the “unethical” commands of his superiors in favor of keeping his job? Three underlying elements further complicating his decision to make ethical choices are discussed in this essay. These are identified as self interest, greed, and obedience to authority, and will be discussed using Ghillyer’s three-step process of analyzing the consequences, analyzing the actions, and making a decision where the ethical dilemma can be resolved, or at least diminished (Ghillyer, 2008, p.11).
Self interest could have been a contributing factor to his decision making, which resulted in a class-action lawsuit, costing the company $50 million. Self interest can be categorized under one of the three ethical theories, virtuous ethics, which places its value in living life according to the commitment to the achievement of a clear ideal. For example, “What sort of person would I like to become?” (Ghillyer, 2008, p.7). An ideal goal for the manager could be to provide a shelter, clothing, and food for himself and/or his family. These are the basic innate impulses or drives in human beings, that explain the well known evolutionary theory of Survival of the Fittest. In the Wal-Mart example, this is demonstrated by the manager attempting to benefit himself by taking as many incentives (money) offered by the corporation, despite the unethical methods involved. These incentives are annual bonuses for the managers of the stores that remain within the Total Payroll Expense. The methods used to stay within this report included; “Off-the-Clock Work” where employees were forced to work after clocking out, and “one-minute clock-out” when employees failed...
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Ghillyer, A. (2008). Business ethics: A real world approach. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
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