Business Law and Ethics Case Study

Ethical dilemma Should Tom tell Michael that Brenda is breaking the rules/law. Ethical egoism Under ethical egoism, Tom should tell Michael what Brenda is doing, as he is feeling worried and guilty and this would ease his mind. He could also gain benefits from Michael. Tom would do this because he is promoting his well being above everyone else’s (QUT, 2011). UtilitarianismUnder Utilitarianism, Tom should tell Michael about Brenda and Mary’s arrangement, because Utilitarianism states that an action is right if it leads to the best possible balance of good consequences over bad consequences for all the parties affected (Lindemann, 2012). The most relevant feature of happiness identified by Bentham, in this situation would be purity. If Tom were to tell on Brenda, he would be hurting Brenda and Mary, but he would also be causing small increases in unknown happiness to the community (school leavers and their families, police, the community).

Kantian ethicsUnder Kantian Ethics, Tom should be talking to Michael and explaining the situation to him, as he is focusing on his duty to do what is morally right, regardless of the consequences (QUT, 2011). Universal Acceptability is followed as telling Michael the truth could be made into a rule, followed by everyone without contradiction. Respect for persons is being shown as Tom is being honest and ensuring that rules are followed. Finally Reversibility, is where Tom would accept being on the receiving end of the way he is treating Brenda and would realise that making the moral choice.

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Virtue ethics Virtue Ethics states that a virtuous person will always make the correct decision (QUT, 2011). Tom is facing a danger or a significant personal challenge, because Tom must decide between doing nothing and remaining safe or acting upon his boss’s and the community’s wishes. Tom must show Courage by talking to Michael, he would be putting aside his friendship with Brenda to do the right thing. Part A (b) Are there any university policies (rules) against using Samantha’s assignment? I was in Level 2, Stage 4 of Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development.I was in this stage because I understand that a good citizen is supposed to follow the law. Part A (c) Would I get 100% if I used Samantha’s assignment? I was in Level 1, Stage 2 of Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development. I was in this stage because I only cared if there was a benefit for me.

Part A(d) How would my fellow students think if I used Samantha’s assignment? I was in Level 2, Stage 3 of Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development. I was in this stage because I was thinking about following the rules to please (or avoid being frowned upon) by the other students. Part B (a) StakeholdersThe board of directors are stakeholders of James Softly because they work for the company and n return expect to get paid. The second group of stakeholders are members of the building industry because they spend money and expect to get a product in return, which in turn allows them to make a living. The third group of stakeholders are the shareholders of James Softly because they have invested capital and in return expect profits or dividends. The fourth stakeholder group is homeowners (or the community) as they want the goods and jobs produced by James Softly in return for their support and money.Part B (b) Decision using Friedman’s arguments I would agree with the decision James Softly made by removing the affected products.

Using the theory of Milton Friedman this decision can be justified by using the argument of agency, as the Board was acting in the best long-term interests of its shareholders and employees (QUT, 2011). The decision is also justified under Friedman’s argument of social taxes, by removing the affected products early future litigation and compensation claims are avoided, thus allowing individual shareholders to decide what to do with their money rather than the company (QUT, 2011).Part B (c) Decision using Freeman’s arguments I would make the same decision as James Softly’s Board in removing the affected products under Edward Freeman’s theory. The managing for stakeholders theory is about managing and shaping the relationships between people involved in the business and the surrounding communities by interacting and creating value (QUT, 2011). Using The Argument from Character, it would be better for the company to stand for and implement virtuous and ethical practices.

This would create value for all stakeholders.Using ‘The Argument from Rights’, which states that all stakeholders have rights and recognising this will achieve better outcomes for everyone (QUT, 2012). By removing the affected products from sale the community, customers and employees of the company are all shown respect and protected from the future health risks. Reference List Lindemann, N. (2012). BSB111 Business Law and Ethics: Week 1 [Lecture Notes]. QUT.

(2011). Business Law and Ethics (5th ed. ). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia



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