Business and Ethics

Business and Ethics - UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE V VAFB,...

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UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE VAFB, CALIFORNIA V FINAL REPORT F ECBU 346 BUSINESS COMMUNICATION B BUSINESS AND ETHICS B FEBURARY 12, 1997 F BY B DOUG RONING D Business and Ethics B From a business perspective, working under government contracts can be very lucrative. In general, a steady stream of orders keep coming in, revenue increases and the company continues to grow. There are a few obvious downfalls to working with government contracts; a higher quality is to be expected as well as extensive research accompanied by accurate and complete documentation are usually required. If one part of the process fails to perform correctly it can cause minor flaws as well a problems that can carry some serious repercussions; For example the case of the failed computer chip at Company X. When both the employee and company are found at fault, the question arises of how extensive should the repercussions be? Is the company as a whole liable or do you look into individual employees within that company? From an ethical perspective one would have to look at the available information of both the employees and their superiors along with the role of others in the situation. Next you would have to analyze the final outcome from a corporate perspective and then examine the corporate responsibility as a whole in order to find a resolution for cases such as this.
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The first mitigating factor involved in the Company X case is the uncertainty, on the part of the employees, on their duties that they were assigned. It is possible that during the testing procedure, an employee couldn't distinguish between the parts they were to test under government standards and commercial standards. In some cases they might have even been misinformed on the final product that they tested. In fact, ignorance on the part of the employees would fully excuse them from any moral responsibility for any damage that may result from their work. Whether it is decided that an employee is fully excused, or is given some moral responsibility, would have to be looked at on an individual basis. The second mitigating factor is one of threats that an employee might suffer if they do not follow through with their assignment. After the bogus testing was completed in the Company X labs, the documentation department also had to falsify documents stating that the parts had more than met the governments testing standards. From a legal and ethical standpoint, both the testers and the writers of the reports were merely acting as agents on direct orders from upper management. The writers of the reports were well aware of the situation yet they acted in this manner on the instruction of a supervisor. Acting in an ethical manner becomes a secondary priority in this type of environment. As stated by Alan Reder, "if they [the employees] feel they will suffer retribution, if they report a problem, they aren't too likely to open their mouths." (113). The workers knew that if the reports were not falsified they would come under questioning and perhaps their job
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This note was uploaded on 12/19/2010 for the course PHIL 11 taught by Professor Jackman during the Spring '10 term at York University.

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Business and Ethics - UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE V VAFB,...

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