Business Case #3: Customer vs. Company

 

 You learn that your company has overcharged a regular customer.  You bring the matter to the attention of your supervisor, and you are nicely told to mind your own business.  It is apparent that nothing will be done about the past overcharges and that there will be additional overcharges in the future.  What do you do?  

Business Case #2: Taking the Heat

 

 You are the manager of a regional office.  Your employees claim that it is too cold at their work stations.  A comprehensive heating system would be prohibitively expensive (about $25,000).  The president of the company is unsympathetic, so you make an unauthorized purchase of six space heaters to put around employees’ desks.  To place them correctly, you use extension cords …

Business Case #6: Silver-Plating and Cyanide

 

 The G.R. Bronson Company is a large publicly-owned conglomerate whose holdings are primarily in the retail sale of jewelry. Several years ago, it purchased for $10 million a plant that puts silver and gold plate on jewelry.  The seller, Hedda Wilson, stayed on to manage the company until last year. Behind the plating facility there are three underground tanks.  One …

Three Sources of Moral Obligations: The Root of Business Ethics

 

 Updated December 13, 2017 Duty: The Root of Ethics A duty is an obligation to act in a certain way. Though duties arise from various sources, all duties have a moral dimension. Duties create obligations and expectations. Companies, for example,  have many duties including an obligation to treat customers and employees fairly, to assure that their products and services are …

Business Case #5: Everybody’s Doing It

 

 You are a new employee.  After a few weeks, you discover that many people in your department take company supplies, make personal calls on company phones and pad expense reports.  Your supervisor is one of the persons involved and he claims that the company treats such minor acts as a kind of fringe benefit to make up for low salaries.  …

Role of the Ethics Officer

 

 The Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics posted a series of videos with Linda Trevino, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Ethics at Smeal College of Business, on their YouTube channel.  The videos cover topics such as: the intersection between CSR and ethics programs,  teaching business ethics, cheating in business schools, values-based vs. compliance-based ethics programs and dozens more.  The videos …

Virtue

Virtue

 

 Like other terminology of ethics, the term virtue can be used in non-moral and moral senses. Certain positive traits we call virtues such as prudence, cheerfulness, sense of humor, frugality, and cleanliness are prized not because they demonstrate morality but because they tend to lead to personal happiness and success. In the context of ethics, virtue refers to moral excellence …

Business Case #11: Abrasive Personality in the Workplace

 

 Jan is a clerk with a very abrasive personality. She is usually competent but at least once a month she says or does something that seriously offends co-workers or members of the public. Dan, her supervisor, has counseled her several times but concludes she is a negative influence and he wants to terminate her but this is her fourth year …

Business Case #4: Financial Crisis

 

 You are the chief financial officer of a 25-year-old manufacturing company that employs 75 people.  The company has been losing money for four years and its family owners have poured over $1 million dollars into it to save it.  In addition, the company has a $750,000 line of credit.  The bank has become increasingly nervous about the loan, especially since …