Project #37209 - Business Ethics

Over the past twenty years, there has been much press in regards to controversial working conditions in third world countries.  Through the course of United States history, workers migrated from fields to factories to air-conditioned offices.  Although today's work environment in the U.S. are among the best in world, the conditions were not always so comfortable.  Many people and children worked long hours in sub-par conditions for minimal pay during the first 150+ years of our country's development.

 
 

As developing countries in today's global environment seek to improve their economy by accepting heavy manufacturing and production work from more established countries such as the United States, work conditions are not always optimal.  Should we (the U.S.) demand that work conditions in developing countries be elevated to the standards that exist in the United States or do all developing countries go through a process in which conditions organically improve over time?
 

Below are several situations that present ethical questions in a business. Discuss EACH of the five situations from each of the five viewpoints listed below (a - e):  

(a) from the strictly legal viewpoint,  

(b) from a moral and ethical viewpoint  

(c) from the point of view of what is best in the long run for the company.  

(d) consider both short and long‑range consequences.  

(e) look at each situation from the perspective of all groups concerned: customers, stockholders, employees, government, and community. 

 

SITUATION #1 

You are the general manager of a regional chemical company. In the course of producing your bulk chemicals, large amounts of particles and smoke are emitted through your plant’s smokestack. The level of pollutants is below current EPA regulations, and you are violating no laws, but neighborhood groups are complaining about minor health problems caused by the smoke. After investigating numerous alternatives, you find the most effective solution would be to install a “scrubber” system, which will remove 90% of the pollutants and ash. Cost: $1 million. Do you install the system? 

 

SITUATION #2 

You have the opportunity to offer a job to a friend who really needs it. Although you believe that the friend could perform adequately, there are more qualified applicants. 

  

SITUATION #3 

Because of a loophole in federal laws you find that you could legally pay your workers less than the minimum wage. The cost savings you recommend may mean your getting a choice promotion.  

 

SITUATION #4 

A worker is repeatedly late for work. You know she has family problems and is going through a difficult period with an alcoholic husband. Her work is inconsistent—sometimes average, often excellent. She has been with the company for nine years. On Monday she was two hours late for work.  

 

SITUATION #5 

You believe that your (male) boss is overly friendly with a (female) member of your staff and that she is taking advantage of the situation. 

 
 

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 08/07/2014 03:00 pm
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