A Business Case Analysis based on Ethical Theories.


This is a case  involving fictional characters and companies. However, it draws on a variety of actual cases. Imagine yourself in the position of an ethics analyst who is asked to go work for the company and draft a report analysing the situations, identifying the main moral wrongdoings, justifying the conclusions why they are wrong, and providing management and policy advice on how the company should deal with these problems in the future.

In writing the report, identify the main issues and discuss each separately. There are four to six distinct situations (e.g. sexual harassment issue or health and safety issue)—its up to you to identify them correctly and analyze them. One or one and a half single-spaced pages per issue should be sufficient, but it can be a bit more or a bit less depending on the complexity of the issue. Although you have some freedom in how you can approach the analysis, I suggest that each section contains the following parts:

Identify the problem and assess it. This is a good place to ask yourself this question—where does this situation fit as far as legal and ethical responsibilities are concerned? For example, if there (hypothetically) were a workplace safety issue where the employer ignores the dangers to employees and their objections, you would evaluate the actions of employers and pass a judgement on whether and why they were wrong as far as regulations and expectations of responsibility are concerned. If there were a sexual harassment situation, you could determine what kind discrimination it was (quid pro quo or poisoned environment) and whether the actions of the individuals amount to sexual harassment. Here you could appeal to legislation or policy guides, if relevant, uploaded to Moodle (i.e. Health and Safety Guides or Sexual Harassment guidelines).
Justify your moral assessment in a normative theory (theories) we have discussed in class (this could be deontological rights approach; utilitarian analysis or other moral standards discussed.
If in the section above you passed a moral judgement, in this section you need to ground the moral judgements in moral principles and ultimately a moral standard. To ground your analysis of the situation, keep these questions in mind:

Who is harmed by the activity?

How serious is the harm?

Who is responsible for the harm?

Does it violate essential human interests or moral rights?

Can this harm be morally justified by conflicting moral values?

What are the real motivations of the parties involved (e.g. perpetrators and critics)?

Appealing to this normative foundation should justify your analysis and help to clarify moral values involved. You need to show how moral obligations identified in a) follow from the moral theories we have covered in class.

In this section, you should think about the problem from a managerial perspective—suggest policy changes to ensure that these problems do not arise. But do not spend too much time on this section: it should be relatively short.