Consider the following two scenarios:
James works in the accounting department of a large firm. While going over the books for the past several months, James notices that someone has altered the figures to increase earnings by several thousands of dollars. He suspects that the errors, which are in the company’s favor, are too consistent to have been honest mistakes. He knows that he should report his findings through the company’s ethics hotline. However, he worries that doing so will jeopardize his security and reputation with the company.
Mary owns a small toy manufacturing company. One of her employees has noticed that one of the pieces on the most popular toy can detach from the toy. This could pose a potential choking hazard to young children who play with the toy. No customers have yet reported problems with the toy. Mary wonders if she should report the potential hazard before anyone gets hurt. However, the recall would cost her company money and result in loss of sales during the busy Christmas season.
As the scenarios illustrate, making ethical decisions often requires a trade-off for an organization or individual. After a scandal results from ethical wrongdoing, the proper course of action seems clear. Even so, organizations continue to struggle with making ethical decisions on a day-to-day basis as they weigh the cost of making such decisions.
• Choose a positive example from the past ten years of a business organization whose leaders acted ethically when they encountered an ethical dilemma. Select, analyze, and describe the ethical decision making and actions in the organization.
Submit an analysis of the ethical situation. Your analysis must include the following:
• An explanation of the ethical framework applied by the organization to make its decision, including support for your analysis from scholarly research
• An examination of both the positive and negative consequences of the decision, including the tradeoffs that the leadership of the organization made in making their decision
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