I need four responses of at least 150 words each for the below students discussions for this week. Also in the bold below are the questions the students at answering.
PROMPT: During this course you have reviewed many areas of law and ethical frameworks and applied them to both real companies and hypothetical situations. These have illustrated the ethical challenges of doing business in today’s society in the U.S. and globally. Regardless of size, a business faces governmental regulations and a myriad of issues that are often in direct conflict with the notion of making a profit. You are engaged in obtaining an MBA. These are all real issues for your consideration in the future. In this week’s forum, reflect on these business challenges and share what you believe to be the best ethical framework for a business operating in today’s world. What is your recommendation for a business to be both ethical and successful? How will your recommended framework work in decision making? In response to each other, do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember to use sources from your readings and other research that are relevant to and support your ideas.
I believe that there are three ethical frameworks that would best help a business operating in todayâ€™s world. First, I would use the Utilitarian Approach. I chose this ethical framework first, because many companies have a large number of employees. Especially when considering how our society is changing and becoming more global, I feel that many businesses will continue to grow and go along with the globalization trend, which means that their size and number of employees will expand. The Utilitarian Approach works well when dealing with decisions whose consequences will affect large groups of people, as it helps whoever is in charge to weigh the amounts of good and bad that may be the outcome of whichever decision they make (Bonde & Firenze, 2013). In business, unless you are the sole employee (highly unlikely), management may have to make decisions that will positively affect some and negatively affect others. For example, some companies end up having to lay off workers. This is a decision that is hard for management to make as they have to decide which employees they have to let go, although those individualsâ€™ jobs would have been safe under normal circumstances. The Utilitarian Approach would be relevant in such a situation. The next framework I have chosen is the Duty-Based Approach, because our jobs are all about our duties at work and managementâ€™s duty towards their employees. The Duty-Based Approach outlines the very nature of acting ethically, which are rules that I believe should be applied in all areas of business as well as our daily lives. Finally, I also chose the Virtue Approach. I chose this framework because it encompasses good character and acting justly, and also stresses the importance of role models (Bonde & Firenze, 2013). In one of my first graduate courses, my instructor had us evaluate what we consider to be ethical corporate behavior and to provide an example of an ethical leader. Ethical leaders are one of the cornerstones of having an ethical business, because they â€œlead the packâ€ so to speak, and act as role models for the rest of the company. A virtuous leader(s) will enact and implement ethical company guidelines, and put like-minded individuals in places of authority who are more likely to act in a similar fashion.
All three of these ethical frameworks would help in decision making by considering the masses (all employees within the business), and also by working towards fairness in decision making. In addition, I feel that the Virtue Approach, would greatly assist in making the best decision that would have the most positive affect on outside factors as well. For example, Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, tried to use this approach in his leadership of the company by changing how they sourced their coffee beans, so that the companyâ€™s business would have a lesser negative affect on the environment.
Bonde, S. & Firenze, P. (2013). Making Choices: A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions. Retrieved from https://www.brown.edu/academics/science-and-technology-studies/framework-making-ethical-decisions
Ethics needs to be front and center in todayâ€™s business world. The reason being is while something can be perfectly legal it can be completely unethical. For instance a company can pay their people the minimum wage which would be legal but if the going rate for that position is twice as much as the minimum then it would be unethical. Also it would be a bad business practice because of employee turnover not to mention how hard it would be to get someone to even apply in the first place. Of course a business is â€œin businessâ€ to make a profit so the company canâ€™t just pay astronomical wages but having the wages be in line with the going rate needs to be in the budget. Now the employees need to be productive enough to justify the wages also.
There are more decisions to be made than just wages, such as the sustainability of the company in this ever changing economy. If the company is creating a product, it needs to be made with minimal waste and as little impact (or none) on the environment as possible. This is a point where many companies fail the public by making unethical choices by not even considering the sustainability of the packaging or products they create.
There are a few ethical theories which companies use but I personally like the stakeholder theory which states that corporations have an obligation which goes beyond profits and how it benefits everyone (Lieberman, Siedel, Mayer, & Warner, 2012). When we consider ethics and how it should be used in business, having the interests of the whole instead of just the top few can help you make good decision. Everything is about decisions and what we do when no one is looking that will define us. This does not mean we will make mistakes or do something wrong along the way but when we do, we need to fess up and make things better. Donâ€™t double down and make matters worse.
Last week in our forums we read about all these companies that didnâ€™t just report when something was wrong, they would try to hide it or some just lied about it. Actually this morning I read a story about the Sackler family of Purdue Pharma fame. For those of you who used the Purdue Pharma opioid crisis in last weekâ€™s PowerPoint you will find this interesting. Reported by Bloomberg News, the Sackler family transferred $10.4 billion from Purdue Pharma into offshore trusts and holding companies since 2008 (Feeley & Larson, 2019). For those taking note, Purdue Pharma had settled a lawsuit in 2007 for over $600 million so it definitely looks fishy. Not only did they make a product that was killing people but they now have been caught funneling money from that company and the recently filed for bankruptcy. On a side note in that same newspaper was an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association stating 90% of all US opioid-related deaths are accidental (Tanner, 2019). Not only does this company manufacture a product that is killing people but the owners are then hiding money, talk about a messed up set of ethics. No one is perfect but when you try to cover up mistakes and lie about them it shows how unethical you really are.
Professor Wynne and Class, thanks for all the productive discussions we have had this class.
Feeley, J., & Larson, E. (2019, December 18). Report: Sacklers withdrew $10 billion from Purdue. Retrieved from https://digitaledition.orlandosentinel.com/html5/d…
Lieberman, J., Siedel, G., Mayer, D., & Warner, D. (2012). Partnerships: General characteristics and formation. In Business law and the legal environment.
Tanner, L. (2019, December 18). Most U.S. opioid overdose deaths accidental, 4% are suicide. Retrieved from https://www.sltrib.com/news/nation-world/2019/12/1…
This week I will be looking at what I believe is the best ethical framework for a business to operate in. I will look at how it can influence the decision making process of the business, and how it may help the business to be successful.
In todayâ€™s business climate, I believe that Virtue Theory is the framework by which a business should operate. I think that a business should focus on the six key values that have been identified by the Josephson Institute of Ethics: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship (Mayer, Warner, Siedel, Lieberman, & Martina, n.d.).
Although all of the values listed above will help the business to succeed, these three key values will help in guiding a business to make the correct decision in many different situations:
- Trustworthiness â€“ if a business focuses on being honest in all of their dealings, then they will establish trust that will help them in many different areas. This trust will help to build loyalty with a companyâ€™s employees, as they will trust the company to do what is best for them. This trust will also help a company when negotiating contracts and making deals with suppliers and clients. These individuals will know that all deals they are entering into will be honored, and bills and deliveries will be dealt with on time;
- Fairness â€“ a business is only as good as the people who work for it. If a business makes treating their employees fairly a priority, then these employees will be willing to work much harder for their employer. Acting fairly will also help when dealing with external entities such as suppliers and clients. Clients will know that your company is setting fair prices for your products, and making fair offers to suppliers; and
- Citizenship â€“ I feel that this value is very important. If your company makes decisions that focus on being a part of, and supporting the development of, the society it is a part of then it will be successful. If a business provides support to its community (e.g. charity work, or sponsoring a youth sports team) it will help to build a strong and prosperous community. A stronger community will, in turn, provide better employees for the company and a stronger economy.
I believe that Virtue Theory will provide a business with a solid foundation upon which to base their decisions. These decisions will help to build strong and honest relationships with all stakeholders in the company for many years.
Mayer, D., Warner, D., Siedel, G., Lieberman, J., & Martina, A. (n.d.). Business law and legal environment. Washington, D.C.: Saylor Foundation. Retrieved from https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_business-law-a…
This course has discussed and developed many concepts. Business laws are plentiful and require a business owner to be aware of them. While surly not a full guarantee to avoid getting in trouble with the law, one step to mitigate it is to operate ethically. The framework that I believe functions best is a deontology approach. This approach stems from Kantian thinking that all people are equal under God. Decision making under this belief should be universal and reversible and to always look to consider good for all persons all the time. More simply put, people should be treated as an end, not as a means to an end (Saylor Academy, 2012). By using this approach, a business can be both ethical and successful. This is because reputation matters in business, people matter in business. Managers that fail to care about their employees are treating individuals as a means to an end. This results in disgruntled workers, which leads to non-productive workers and thus an unsuccessful business. Word will spread that a company does not care about employees, and it will become harder to attract better individuals to work there. On the opposite end of the spectrum, eight in ten employees said they would take a pay cut if they felt the company was just (Huhman, 2018). Dave Ramsey says employers need to â€œGet your team to buy into a cause greater than their motives. Care for your people to the point where they’re willing to give up personal glory or gain for the good of each other and the good of the causeâ€ (Huhman, 2018). Another business leader that uses this approach is Chris Rothstein of Groove who helps his employees reach their own professional goals even if that means losing the employee later on (Huhman, 2018). What these leaders are showcasing is that they care about the well-being of their employees. Ramsey shows it in a way where they will give up glory and gain to move forward the cause, and Rothstein encourages that glory and gain even if it means he loses them.
The decision-making trees for deontology seek to ensure all ends are taken care of. An example of this could be taking on a new project. If employees are already fully tasked, then adding more on their plate would not be a duty-bound decision. Employees may enjoy the wages gained from the longer hours of work, however will feel their well being is not cared about, they will be overworked, tired and less productive. The company would be pushing projects for profits at the expense of the employees. Additionally, there may not be enough resources within the company to produce the product, it could then take longer to distribute than expected because workers are less productive. This could result in the company actually losing money. Instead under a duty-bound approach a business leader should wait until the expiration of one project and replace it with the new one. This maximizes company resources, does not over work employees, generates profit for the company, maintains the working hours for employees, and creates a good for the public that is useful. In this case, there is good all around.
Huhman, H. R. (2018, January 25). Putting Employees First Will Be Your Best Business Move for 2018. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/307776
Saylor Academy. (2012). Major Ethical Perspectives. In Business Law and the Legal Environment (p. 2.2). Saylor Academy.