Business Case #8: Headhunting and Job-Shopping

 

 You are contacted by an executive recruiter and told about another job with an excellent company that has an immediate need.  You occupy a key position in your present company, and you are presently involved with a major long-term project (it will take at least a month to complete) that will be seriously damaged and may have to be abandoned …

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 …

Ethics and Intentions

Ethics and Intentions

 

 During the Watergate probe, the question continually asked was, “What did President Nixon know and when did he know it?” Our judgment of his behavior depends on the answer to those questions. The more he knew and the earlier he knew it, the worse it was. The Iran-Contra investigation of the decision to sell arms to Iran and use the proceeds …

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 …