Thursday, November 15, at class time.
Approximately 3 pages, double-spaced, normal margins
Select a case involving a controversial business practice and a variety of
stakeholders with divergent interests.
You can choose a case contained in the articles in
the Appendix to the Course Reader (excluding the one you wrote on in Paper 1), or you
can find some other case that fits the description here.
(If you use either reading 58 or 59,
you’ll want to read both of them.)
For other cases, page 1 of the
Wall Street Journal
especially good resource.
Also, as background for the paper, read the brief essay, “What
Do I Owe?” (below).
Then, in your paper, please address the following questions:
What exactly is the controversial practice, and who is pursuing it?
What are the aims of the practice, and how effective is it in achieving those aims?
Who are main stakeholders, and how are their interests affected by the practice (in
terms of the consequent benefits, costs, and/or risks)?
Given the various norms that may apply to the situation (see “What Do I Owe?”),
what does the decision-maker responsible for the practice owe the different
(That is, what are the decision-maker’s respective stakeholder
Where stakeholder obligations come into conflict in this case, what sorts of
factors should the decision-maker consider in deciding which obligation should
(Usually, the question here is whether it is ethical to continue the
practice—or whether, on moral grounds, it should be stopped or at least
I have not asked you to state what you think the decision-maker should do in
resolving the dilemma.
However, if you want, you can offer your opinion as to whether
or not the practice is ethically acceptable (all things considered).
WHAT DO I OWE?
If I borrow $20 from you, then I owe you $20.
If I recruit you for a lab experiment, I owe
you an explanation of the risks.
If you are an investor in my business, I owe you an
accurate accounting of its finances.
These and countless other examples we could cite
illustrate the mundane fact that everyone has many different
to other people.
someone something is to be
to give that person what he or she is
Some of these obligations are ones we place on ourselves, such as when we make
promises or enter into contracts or join formal organizations.
Others are ones we don’t