VW Case - What is the decision that Alvaro Richter faces...

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What is the decision that Alvaro Richter faces? Why is it a moral dilemma? The decision that Alvaro Richter faces is deciding his next steps after discovering from Jacob Fuchs that Volkswagen AG illegally bypassed US Environmental Protection Agency regulations through ‘cheat devices’ that made thousands of vehicles appear cleaner than they actually are. He does not know whether he should inform senior management, government regulators or leak the news to a journalist. All competing decisions would have great implications for the firm, society and him personally. According to Keith Head, this situation is definitely a moral dilemma. Head claims that when deciding whether a decision has an ethical dimension, the first question to ask is whether the selection imposes harm on someone else. The argument can be made that if Alvaro keeps quiet, society would continue to bear the costs as their exposure to high levels of NOx gases would be sustained. NOx gases are considered very harmful and have been scientifically proven to lead to thousands of premature deaths every year. On the other hand, if he leaks the news to the government or a journalist, there would be extreme consequences for the firm that recently hired him as they could be in great trouble with regulatory authorities. If he informs senior management, he risks the jobs of his coworkers or his own career, especially if senior management already knew of the cheat devices. The second question that Head says we should consider is whether any of the selections involve breaking any important moral rules. Although the standards imposed by the EPA are legal in nature, they represent extremely important ideals since they protect the environment and society. Keeping quiet would definitely involve breaking important rules since it implies that Alvaro is content with Volkswagen AG polluting the environment and damaging the health of innocent civilians around the world. As a result, the decision faced by Alvaro is definitely a moral dilemma. Who are the stakeholders affected by the decision? How do Alvaro’s options affect each stakeholder?
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