Assessment Summary Alternatives Analysis Application Action Notes Ethical Assessment #1 This exercise was about right and wrong answers. You either knew the material or you did not I didn’t do as well as I hoped but that is to be expect given this is week one of the course Form the reading it was clear that ethics and business is not as simple as making right, wrong, good, or bad choices based on one’s personal belief. The reason this is so is because in personal life, profit of a company is not a consideration. There are no shareholders but, in some cases, there are stakeholders dependent on the decision. being made. But it was clear that you can’t just be a good person and be an ethical business leader. I will need to consider the appropriateness and how to apply my personal morals and values when making business related decisions. I hope that we will see a good example of a company that does this during this course. Ethical Assessment #2 In the Values Inventory I rated assistance, character, honesty, integrity, sacrifice, and truthfulness very high as these are principles that I value in making ethical decisions. My response was based on not knowing the situation or scenario. An alternative would have been to rate some of the other areas high, but I found this difficult because those I selected are always non-negotiables for me. On the The pros for the Values Inventory are limited to the fact that I was comfortable with them because they are what I consider non-negotiables. The con is that I didn’t give the others appropriate consideration because I didn’t feel like I had the information to do so. Form the reading it was clear that ethics and business is not as simple as making right, wrong, good, or bad choices based on one’s personal belief. The reason this is so is because in personal life, profit of a company is not a consideration. There are no shareholders but, in some cases, there are stakeholders dependent on the decision being made. But it was clear that you can’t just be a good person and be an ethical business leader. I will need to consider the appropriateness and how to apply my personal morals and values when making business related decisions. I hope that we will see a good example of a company that does this during this course. Ethical Assessment #3 Moral Philosophy Assessment, I scored 25 overall which was 10 points higher than my classmates. An alternative would have been to put aside my personal morals and values to elect to assist a loved one end their life. The pros for my choices on the Moral Philosophy exercise were limited to the fact that it aligned with my personal morals and values. The Con is that I was not willing to consider an alternative because to do so would have been a significant departure from my personal beliefs Form the reading it was clear that ethics and business is not as simple as making right, wrong, good, or bad choices based on one’s personal belief. The reason this is so is because in personal life, profit of a company is not a consideration. There are no shareholders but, in some cases, there are stakeholders dependent on the decision being made. But it was clear that you can’t just be a good person and be an ethical business leader. I will need to consider the appropriateness and how to apply my personal morals and values when making business related decisions. I hope that we will see a good example of a company that does this during this course. Week One Summary See Above See Above See above See above Week Two Summary The case study on Mark showcased a good approach to corporate citizenship while the microchip case study left me with a sense of uncertainty on how that citizenship should be applied to the fielding of new technologies. The only alternative would have been for Mark to not shift his mindset and engagement to one of sustainment and for the fielding of the microchip to be mandatory without the proper oversight and regulatory environment. The pros of Mark’s decision clearly enabled relationships with companies like Dow Chemical and create opportunities to look at their business practices to identify areas of improvement that would facilitate sustainment. Conversely, if he would not have made the shift, I am not sure these things wouldn’t have happened anyways as Mark was doing it for Goldman Sachs prior to his departure. The pros of fielding new technology and allowing the oversight and regulatory environment to catch up after the fact really revolve around convenience and the change of organizational practices to benefit from their use. Conversely, this would allow it to be exploited in a way that could cause irreparable damage From the reading corporate citizenship is very important and often will determine a company’s success or failure depending on their willingness to change as a result of the changing needs landscape. An article by Donovan McFarlane was important because it said “By having a social vision, a company becomes clear about what it needs to do to become an important corporate citizen and how it will carry out its plan to build an image and reputation as part of community progress and growth.” It was apparent that a solid approach to corporate governance is required to “keep the wheels turning” but also holds leaders and workers accountable for unethical conduct. This is interesting because I did some follow-up research on Mark Tercerk and found that he stepped down in June 2019 amid complaints about the culture at the environmental group and his handling of complaints about gender inequality and discrimination (Colman 2019). In the business world, perceived bad behavior or inability to resolve ethics-based issues in the organization can have disastrous consequences. Week Three Summary The first alternative had to do with our discussion post and how to handle a situation that teetered on the edge of ethical decision making. The situation had to do with relationships that led to the perception of an advantage. I decided that the issue wasn’t the relationship and thus would not ban relationships in the work area. An alternative would be to ban the relationship in the work area. The other thing we looked at was peer-reviewed articles covering a topic related to our reading on the essential Elements of Ethical Decision-making. I chose an article based on cause-related marketing and Rawl’s Difference principle. The alternative to cause-related marketing is to make and sell a product that only benefits the consumer and turns a profit for the business. The alternative to Rawls Principle is to not consider the disadvantages associated with social mobility and therefore not provide any incentives or programs that help those in society who are least advantage overcome their status to become successful The pros to prohibiting romantic relationships in an organization are that it creates a necessary separation between business and personal. The con is that it doesn’t address the problem. As the problem is why the perception exists on the advantage in question. That advantage can exist whether there is a romantic relationship or not. The pros to not employing cause-related marketing are that it streamlines the considerations required by the business. In a lot of ways, they could ignore things like supply chain ethics and management. The con is that you lose a market sector of stakeholders who are willing to pay a higher price for a cause-based product and miss out on the social responsibility outcomes as well. The reading made it clear that businesses must institutionalize ethics in their business practices and make ethical decisions based on a variety of factors that may not always apply to the service they hope to provide. For cause-related marketing, the articles by Hamby & Brinberg as well as Eikenberry illuminated the benefits of cause-related marketing practices but left me with the notion that as a consumer I don’t really care about the social benefits of a product and care more about fit, form, and function. For Rawl’s principle, I read an article by Machin that talked about the complexities associate with the issue of social mobility. There is no easy solution to this problem and penalizing those who are successful to benefit those who would perhaps never be successful seems unfair. In my opinion this is a combination government and business problem to solve. I need to be more open minded to the benefits of cause-related marketing strategies and be less fit, form, and function focused. While I want a product that meets my needs, I guess I am willing to pay more if it benefits a cause that I can relate too. In short it makes me feel like a good human being to do so. Week Four Summary There were two case studies this week that focused on Theo Chocolate and CVS. My thoughts on Theo Chocolate is that it is admirable that they sell a chocolate bare that doubly benefits the farmers in the DRC. The alternative would be to sell a normal chocolate bar or continue to buy the beans from DRC farmers without the investment to protect the supply chain or partner with NPOs to benefit the community after the sale. CVS placed more emphasis on profit, and it cost them. Their many ethical challenges really resulted from poor oversight and programs. They eventually turned it around and even decided to eliminate the sale of tobacco products in their store because its sale did not align with their core values.
The alternative would be to do like many others and continue to sale it. The pros of Theo changing would be simplicity of operations and maximize the profit returned to the company provided they made a good product if all they did was make a regular priced chocolate bar. The con would be they would be just like everyone else and the benefits of their existing CSR practices would be lost. The pros of simply buying the beans at a higher cost would be limited additional overhead driven by supply chain oversight, etc. For CVS the pros to continue selling tobacco would be the profits associated with those products. The con would be it would slow their reputation gains as refusing to sell that product clearly shows their commitment to their core values and the changes necessary after so many ethical issues. This week reading covered a lot of topics related to moral philosophies and values, the role of culture and relationships, and developing an effective ethics program. There were several articles I read to help me understand the impacts of business practices and their effectiveness on eliciting change based on their investments. One of those articles was The Effectiveness of Rural Versus Urban Nonprofit Organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo which showcased that there is limited data to prove that these company’s efforts truly benefit the cultures they are interacting with. After this week, I am committed to take a closer look at things versus jumping to conclusions that a company’s unethical behavior automatically equals nefarious conduct. While I am sure there are plenty of examples of where this has occurred, what is also clear is that complacency can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than bad behavior. Week Five Summary This week was all about managing and controlling ethic programs. The case study on BP showed how failing to maintain a functioning ethics program can result in disastrous consequences that can last for years. I chose to criticism BP for there action following the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill because of how they responded to the crisis and how it continues to affect other industries today. I could have chosen to applaud their cleanup efforts and consider the bulk of their actions from a different perspective but fell short in coming up with a good reason to do so. I also looked at the implications of shareholder activism on influencing corporate decisions and governance. The only pro to how BP responded is in the fact that the spill was contained, and practices were implemented to mitigate the impacts on other industries. The con list is lengthy beginning with how the CEO of BP responded say “I wish I had my life back.” Also, of note is even today fishing and tourism industries are impacted by the lasting impacts of an event that should have been avoidable.
For shareholder activism the pros were clear. Allowing shareholders to truly influence the decisions made by corporations would lead to undeniable accountability for the practices of those businesses as well as the results of those practices on stakeholders. The con to this approach would be the persistence regulatory that would be required to manage it and the cost associated with conducting it. These week’s reading focused on maintaining functioning ethics programs with heavy emphasis on the various ways a program can be audited to ensure in stays healthy. During the case study we were asked a what if question regarding shareholder ability to influence BP to change its business practices in the future which would, in leaderships opinion, have significant negative implications. I read several articles on shareholder activism and arrived at the conclusion that shareholder activism is an almost impossible task to accomplish I think going forward I would want to ensure the businesses I choose to use employ practices that not only maintain an ethical climate but also give equal footing to both shareholders as well as stakeholders affected by a company’s practices. Week Six Summary Week Seven Summary Week Eight Summary