The case “Little Enough or Too Much” describes a company which produces a new industrial lubricant by the name of Chemical X. With approval from the government, the company dumps all excess chemical waste into a nearby river, commonly used by other producers, and in the production process chooses eliminate an addition step which would have led to reduced dumping of chemical waste. This is done in order to ensure cost efficiencies and competitiveness, however, a worker by the name of Bryan believes action should be taken in order to protect the environment and live up to the company’s promise of environmental consciousness, with the potential pollution and harm posed by this current process. Having already expressed his concerns to plant supervisor Bill Gates, it is clear that altering the current plan is not of any concern to the company (Heist, 1992). This case brings light to a very important moral issue: Does Bryan have any obligation or responsibility for taking action and informing others in order to ensure that this issue is resolved? Seeing as the company currently perceives no reason to make adjustments to the production process, with their investment currently thriving, this puts Bryan in a very difficult position. However, there are possible solutions. Bryan could try and gather enough data from the engineers and chemists involved in the production process which would provide evidence to Bryan’s concerns and reproach Bill Gates with his findings. Alternatively, he could approach individuals outside of the organization, such as the government, to see that action is taken to solve the problem (“Little Enough or”, 1992). Based on the ethical theory of virtue ethics, which emphasizes decisions to be made based upon one’s own moral character, Bryan does indeed have an obligation to inform others of the necessity of this issue to be resolved and therefor, should take action. Virtue ethics teaches us that individuals should make decisions based on their own...
References: Cline, A. (n.d.). Virtue Ethics: Morality and Character. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://atheism.about.com/od/ethicalsystems/a/virtueethics.htm
Furlow, N. (2010). Greenwashing in the New Millennium. The Journal of Applied Business and Economics, 10(6), 22-25. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from ABI/INFORM Global.
Gowdy, L. (2013, October 15). Virtue Ethics. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.ethicsmorals.com/ethicsvirtue.html
Heist, E. (1992, January 1). Little Enough or Too Much. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from https://learn.humber.ca/bbcswebdav/pid-1288113-dt-content-rid-6008416_1/courses/5773.201470/227_case1.pdf
Little Enough or Too Much Teaching Notes. (1992). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://wpweb2.tepper.cmu.edu/ethics/AA/mgmt04-notes.pdf
Utilitarianism. (2007). In Political philosophy A-Z. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com.rap.ocls.ca/content/entry/edinburghppaz/utilitarianism/0
Please join StudyMode to read the full document