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Business Ethics CACUBO

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					The Case of the Dirty, Rotten Windows
• Clancy Martin, PhD
  – Assistant Professor of Philosophy
• Wayne Vaught, PhD
  – Associate Professor of Philosophy and Medicine


• Professors Martin and Vaught teach courses in ethics for
  the College of Arts and Sciences, the Bloch School of
  Business (Martin) and the School of Medicine (Vaught) at
  UMKC. They worked together to create the Center for
  Applied and Professional Ethics at UMKC and appear
  monthly on the Walt Bodine Show (for UMKC’s local NPR
  station) as the Ethics Professors.
 Central Characters


   Ken: Director of Facilities
   Chris: Administrative Assistant, Facilities
   Gwen: Chief Financial Officer
   You: Financial Officer
• Midwestern University is an old, large, land-grant
  institution.
• The director of facilities is preparing to hire
  contractors to replace deteriorating wooden windows
  and flooring in several older academic buildings.
• The Chief Financial Officer is good friends with a local
  general contractor (W. R. Best Construction) and has
  asked the Director of Facilities to throw business
  toward the contractor for large projects.
 W.R. Best has been contracting with Midwestern
  University for several years.
 To ensure that W.R. Best receives the job, the director
  of facilities has on several occasions asked Chris fax a
  list of specs to W.R. Best.
 In the “open bidding” process, W.R. Best submits their
  bid with specs that ensure they receive the bid.
• Honesty/Transparency
  – Is the director of facilities engaging in dishonest
    business practices?
• Loyalty
  – W.R. Best long relationship with Midwestern
  – They have consistently performed well
• Conflicts of Interest
  – Is the relationship between Gwen and W.R. Best
    inappropriate?
  – Should she avoid making endorsements of contractors?
  – Is there ever a justification for nepotism?
             Morality and Ethics

Morality                 Ethics
   stems from latin:        stems from greek:
   mores                    ethos
   means character,         means character
   custom, habit
   frequently used in       frequently used in
   reference to shared      reference to the
   beliefs about the        systematic study of
   norms of right and       moral values and
   wrong.                   beliefs.
    Sources of Moral Reasoning

• Religion
  – Reflects the basic tenants of religious faith.
• Culture/Community
  – Reflects commonly shared moral values
• Codes of Professional Conduct
  – Reflects guidelines for professional conduct.
• Moral Theory
  – Basic Ethical Theories and Principles
        Basic Ethical Theories

• Utilitarianism
  – Greatest good for Greatest Number
• Deontology
  – Good defined in terms of moral duties
• Virtue theory
  – Emphasis on moral character
• Ethics of Care
  – Emphasis on preserving relationships
 Consequentialist/Utilitarianism

• Bentham/Mill
• Emphasis is on the consequences of an action
• Primacy given to maximizing
  pleasure/minimizing pain
• Greatest good for the greatest number
• Act v. Rule Utilitarianism
 Immanuel Kant


 Emphasis on Moral Duty/Obligation


 Good Will: Only thing good without qualification
 Categorical Imperative: Rational Direction of the
 Good Will
 Principle of Universal Legislation


   An individual must ask if a general rule can be derived
    such that every person similarly situation would be
    compelled to do the act in question.

 Treat others as ends, not as means only.
     Kant and Mill Contrasted

Mill                   Kant
good defined in        good defined in
terms of pleasures     terms of one’s moral
and pains              duties
seeks to maximize      seeks to follow
greatest good for      universal moral
greatest number        principles
Utilitarian Calculus   Categorical
                       Imperative
 Aristotle


 Emphasis on Moral Character


 Teleological Orientation


 Golden Mean
                  Virtue Theory
• Aristotle
  – Teleological in Orientation
        To understand good, one must understand purpose
   – Golden Mean

• Alasdair MacIntyre
  – A virtue is an acquired human quality the possession
    and exercise of which tends to enable us to achieve
    those goods which are internal to practices and the lack
    of which effectively prevents us from achieving any
    such good.
     Understanding Virtues
Aristotelian Virtue
– Golden Mean
    For Aristotle, a virtues are character traits that
    represent a median point between two vices, which
    are the extremes of the virtue in question.
– Virtue of Courage
    Courage is a virtue as it represents behavior at a
    median between the vices of cowardliness and
    foolhardiness.
      Examples of Courage
Firefighters and Police Officers
– Success in such fields as law enforcement and
  firefighting require courage.
    Cowardly behavior: Abandoning post.

    Foolhardy behavior: Rash behavior- running into a
    burning building without proper equipment or
    assessment of situation. Places others at risk.

    Courageous behavior: Facing danger while following
    protocol, following safety regulations.
 Honesty


 Integrity


 Courage


 Impartiality
         Ethical Considerations
• Honesty/Transparency
   – Is the director of facilities engaging in dishonest
     business practices?
• Loyalty
   – W.R. Best long relationship with Midwestern
   – They have consistently performed well
• Conflicts of Interest
   – Is the relationship between Gwen and W.R. Best
     inappropriate?
   – Should she avoid making endorsements of contractors?
   – Is there ever a justification for nepotism?
• Ensure Objectivity in Bidding Process.
  – Openness/Transparency


• Integrity


• Personal Responsibility


• Authenticity
 You and Chris (Administrative Assistant in Facilities)
  are good friends.
 As the financial officer in charge of accounts for
  Facilities, you notice that W.R. Best often receives the
  bid for large projects.
 In a conversation with Chris, she tells you about faxing
  specs to W.R. Best before the bidding process.
 Having attended an ethics lecture at a national
  meeting for financial officers, you come to the
  conclusion that such practices are morally dubious.
 You contact the director of Facilities to relay your
  concerns.
 You suggest that they refrain from such practices in the
  future.
 This is the way we have conducted business with W.R.
    Best for some time.
   We have never had a problem with this before.
   I trust W.R. Best to do a good job and his prices are fair.
   He is friends with the CFO.
   This isn’t any of your concern.
 After some consideration, you feel uncomfortable with
  the practice and feel you should do something further.
 You make an appointment to speak with the CFO.
 The CFO says that this is an issue best handled by the
  Director of Facilities.
 You need to see yourself as a team player.
 You are having drinks with a friend outside the
  university after work.

 You explain the conflict you are having over the
  bidding process.

 Your friend things this is a good story, and has a friend
  who is a reporter.
 One afternoon, a reporter contacts you and asks about
 the practice of open bidding for contractors at
 Midwestern University.

 The reporter asks if you know of contractors receiving
  privileged information to ensure that they receive the
  job.
 What do you do?
 Several Years have passed since the issue with the
  reporter.

 You have since received a promotion.


 You learn that there will be several lay-offs due to
  financial constraints but have been instructed not to
  disclose the information.
 Your good friend Chris holds one of the positions that
 will be lost.

 You could tell Chris the news to give her advance
 warning so that she could begin searching for another
 position.

 What would you do?

				
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