An Ethical Dilemna

.. will have to say that overlooking everything would benefit almost everyone involved. Sandy will have to doctor up the quality-control reports, but this is considered acceptable in the Utilitarianism viewpoint because she will save many peoples jobs. If Sandy does modify the quality-control reports, she will be supporting John who has helped and supported her career when no one else believed in her. This decision would also benefit the good of the company because they would not have to layoff their most productive workers around the Christmas holidays.

If they did lay off their most productive workers, the company would be left with the least productive and lazy workers because they have the most seniority. Sandy acted out this way because it benefited nearly everyone involved. Using the Teleology philosophy, I will now look at this dilemma from the Egoism perspective. An Egoist “believes that they should make decisions that maximize their own self-interest”; egoists are naturally unethical. (Ferrel & Fraedrich, 1997, p. 54) Sandy would again, overlook the increase in injuries, and the improper disposal of toxic wastes. She would also have no problem with changing the figures on quality-control reports, or with the fact there were teams using “procured” software from a competitor to reduce their production time.

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She would overlook all of these things, but for a different reasons; As an Egoist, Sandy is out for herself and is really not worried about John or the production workers jobs. She is worried that if she loses her job, she will not be able to find another one because of how hard it is to find work during a recession. Plus, with Sandy’s acute asthma problems, she does not want to leave Arizona to find work. Even if she were able to find a job in Arizona, it is possible she would not find medical insurance that would cover her asthma treatments. Even though Sandy has come to the same decision as the previous perspective, Sandy is acting out this way only because it is in her best interest.

Looking at this dilemma in an Enlightened Egoists perspective, Sandy would have to overlook the increase in injuries, and the improper disposal of toxic wastes. An Enlightened Egoist “takes a long-range perspective and allows for the well being of others, although their own self-interest remains paramount.” (Ferrel & Fraedrich, 1997, p. 54) As an Enlightened Egoist she does not want anyone to lose his or her job but more importantly she wants to keep hers. Plus, Sandy does not want to look bad. Up until now she has had an excellent performance record, and you heard John, he said “if she continued this type of performance, she would probably be a plant manager in three to six years.” (Ferrel & Fraedrich, 1997, p.

62) If she does not modify the figures on the quality-control reports she will look bad as a supervisor, and the last thing Sandy would want to do is ruin those chances for a promotion. So an Enlightened Egoist, Sandy will do what is good for everyone, but more importantly, she will do what will benefit her career. Looking at this dilemma in a Deontological philosophy, which focuses “on the rights of individuals and on the intentions associated with a particular behavior rather than on its consequences” (Ferrel & Fraedrich, 1997, p. 61); things would turn out much differently then in the previous three perspectives. Sandy being a Deontologist has very high moral standards, and cannot overlook the workers cutting corners, or the special project teams stealing the competitions software. She can’t overlook the fact that workers are disposing of toxic waste improperly, nor does she like the fact that the employees are producing an inferior product because they are cutting so many corners.

Even if this means that she will be one of many, loosing their jobs. As a Deontologist, she has to do what is morally right, even if it means that the outcome will hurt almost everyone involved including herself. Sandy will have to go against Johns wishes. She cannot forget about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She will report her findings to the proper authorities.

She will tell John that she cannot lie on company documents because it is unethical. Sandy will do what is morally right, even if it means she will loose her job and her health insurance. Looking at this dilemma in the Ethical Relativist perspective, Sandy would modify figures on the quality-control reports because this is considered common practice at her firm. “According to the Relativist perspective, definitions of ethical behavior are derived subjectively from the experiences of individuals and groups. Relativists use themselves or the people around them as their basis for defining ethical standards.” (Ferrel & Fraedrich, 1997, p.

59) In order for John to have saved the production workers jobs in the first place, someone had to change the figures on the sales reports to show that sales have not gone down. It is also common practice for company’s to take competitors software and use parts of it as their own. If this wasn’t true, do you think you would have ever heard of a company called Microsoft? As an Ethical Relativist, Sandy followed what she considered to be ethically acceptable behavior, since modifying figures is common practice at her firm, she did not find it to be immoral. The last theory I would like to discuss is Rule Utilitarianism. “Rule Utilitarianism determines behavior on the basis of principles, or rules, designed to promote the greatest utility, rather than on an examination of each particular situation.” (Ferrel & Fraedrich, 1997, p.

56) As a Rule Utilitarian, Sandy must follow the rules, which means she could not change the figures on the quality-control reports. Even though it may be considered common practice at Sandy’s firm, it is still considered unethical behavior. Sandy cannot modify the quality control statistics even if it means she will loose her job, and she cannot overlook the workers disposing of toxic waste improperly. Even if this means that she will be one of many, loosing their jobs. As a Rule Utilitarian Sandy cannot forget about OSHA or the EPA.

She will tell John that she cannot change the information on company documents because it is unethical. Sandy will do what is morally right, even if it means she will lose her job and her health insurance along with many other employees. Looking at these various outcomes from just one dilemma shows how differently a situation can turn out because of someone’s ethical and moral philosophies. We all must make ethical decisions, and some decisions are much harder to decide then others because of what is at stake. By looking at these different philosophies, I was not trying to judge or decide what is morally right or morally wrong, instead I was just trying to bring to light how a decision can have an effect on everyone around them. Farrell, O.

C., & Fraedrich, J. (1997). Business Ethics Ethical Decision Making and Cases. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company Business Essays.