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mgt 3303_Mid-Term_Review

mgt 3303_Mid-Term_Review - Business Ethics Mid-Term Review...

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Business Ethics Mid-Term Review I. Basic Distinctions of Ethics A. Morality vs. Prudence 1. Prudence (self-interest or profitability) might conflict with morality (right and wrong) 2. Example: Elo TouchSystems Inc. a) The computer manufacturer relocated from Oak Ridge, TN to Freemont, CA. To be loyal to its 300 employees, the company tried to find new jobs for them in Oak Ridge by placing ads, sponsoring job fairs, and etc. They also offered generous bonuses for those who relocated to CA. Despite having a talented work force in CA, the company chose to continue these activities in TN. b) The company did not act prudentially, because it would have been much easier and cheaper to simply fire the TN employees without compensation and hire new ones in CA. Instead, the company chose to implement a morally appropriate policy. B. Morality vs. Law 1. What is moral can conflict with what is legal 2. Example: Charles Hurwitz and the Maxxam Group a) Hurwitz doubled the rate of tree cutting in a large privately- owned redwood forest to reduce the debt he incurred when his company took over Pacific Lumber Company. Before the take over, Pacific Lumber followed a sustainable cutting policy while still operating at a profit. b) Despite the fact that Hurwitz’s new clear-cutting policy was legal, many have criticized his actions as being morally wrong. C. Morality vs. Conscience 1. Morality can conflict with what one’s conscience dictates a) Consciences vary from person to person and time to time 2. Example: Stanley Kresge and K-Mart Corporation a) Kresge, the son of the founder of K-Mart, was a teetotaler for religious reasons. When the company started selling beer and wine, he sold all of his stock. b) He claimed that his conscience would not let him make a profit on alcohol. The company, however, dismissed his objections as “his own business” and said that there was nothing wrong with earning profits on alcohol.
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