Business Ethics and Sustainability –
MBA – University of Southern Queensland
Assignment 2 – Report
Description Marks out of Wtg(%) Due date
Report 100 25 19 August 2013
From your own experience, identify a business problem that you regard as being of ethical importance. State why it is an ethical problem by identifying its impact on various stakeholders and then explain what actually happened using the appropriate normative ethical theory. Then, using alternative theories, determine what should have happened and based on your analysis, make recommendations about how to best resolve the problem.
A word of warning:
Make sure that the case you choose for this assignment is an ethical dilemma because not all ‘wrong-doings’ fit this category. Businesses have legal responsibilities and when harm results from breaching the law, this is not an ethical dilemma; it is quite simply ‘breaking the law’ and becomes a legal, rather than ethical matter. Crane and Matten (2010, p. 7) state that business ethics is primarily concerned about those issues not covered by the law. Ethical dilemmas are characterized by the fact that there is a grey area or, as Trevino and Nelson (2007, in Crane and Matten, 2010, p. 7) suggest, ‘values are in conflict’. It is a good idea to read some of the case studies in the following chapters to appreciate the nature of ethical dilemmas. You will see evidence of harm despite the fact that the business actions are legal. This is most important because analysing an obviously illegal action will not yield a high mark.
From your own experience, identify a business problem that you regard as being of ethical importance. First, state why it is an ethical problem and then analyse the problem from a deontological perspective and then from a utilitarian perspective. Finally, critique what happened using the various normative theories and determine what should have happened from an ethical and sustainable perspective.
This response will require a report format.
Word length: 1,500 words
Graduate attributes tested and developed
GI – Demonstrate applied knowledge of business ethics and practice.
G2 – Identify and solve complex organizational problems creatively and practically to increase the effectiveness of management processes.
G7 – Comprehend and address complex ethical dilemmas.
G8 – Demonstrate an understanding of complex sustainable dilemmas and the need for responsible leadership.
G11 – Communicate professionally & effectively in both oral and written communication to various audiences to achieve targeted outcomes.
Criteria for Assignment 2
Criteria Unacceptable Acceptable Exemplary Score
Identifies Dilemma Fails to identify, or has only a vague idea of what an ethical dilemma is and is uncertain of the ethical issues involved Identifies the dilemma, including pertinent facts, and ascertains the main ethical issues involved Concisely describes the dilemma in detail being able to identify the pertinent facts and coherently ascertains the ethical issues involved
Considers Stakeholders Only vaguely identifies who is involved and how they are harmed in a limited way Accurately identifies the various stakeholders and the nature and impact of the dilemma using the language of the appropriate ethical theories Determines who is involved and accurately and thoroughly reflects of the impact of the dilemma from their perspective in the language of the ethical theories
Applies an appropriate normative ethical theory to explain what actually happened Fails to identify or apply the theory that best explains the dilemma. Identifies and applies the appropriate theory to explain the dilemma. s the consequences in good detail. Identifies and applies the appropriate theory and explains the impact on each stakeholder grouping in good detail.
Identifies and applies appropriate theories to provide alternative, more ethical courses of action. Fails to identify or apply the theory(ies) that would provide a more ethical outcome. Identifies and applies appropriate theories to provide a number of options for what should have happened. Uses numerous theories to demonstrate the complexity of ethical decision-making and provides a number of more ethical alternatives.