Lecture 3 v2

Lecture 3 v2 - eHandout Business Professional Ethics...

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e Handout Lecture 3 v.2 1 Dr. David E. McClean This Lecture Discusses the Footprint of Large Corporations on Society and Considers Issues Connected with Whistle Blowing Corporations, especially large ones, leave a large footprint on society. A small mom and pop hardware store, or a community garden supply store, does not – at least not all by itself. The reasons for this are plain. A small community store that employs only a few people is really more like a small club, consisting of a few members pitching in to carry out a very particular and very “close” interest. If the little store hires a new employee there is not an earth shaking impact on the community, the city, the state or the country, although it may make the store and the employee happy. The same goes for when an employee is fired – no earth shattering impact on the community at large. But that is not true of large corporations (and by corporations we really mean businesses, since a business can be established as a corporation , a partnership , a limited liability company , or even a trust ). Large corporations (let’s just call them LCs ), and large corporations with international operations (we will call these MNC s, for Multi National Corporations), can have a profound impact on very large populations and very large geographical regions (as you will gather from the movies, e.g. Bhopal Express ). The social impact of LCs and MNCs and small community businesses is disparate. A useful, if not brilliant, analogy is comparing types of pets – a poodle for example, versus a bear. Poodles can be kept in the home, and the damage that they may inflict on the home is rather typical and manageable – a few soiled carpets, a few chewed up shoes. Now, think of a bear as a pet. If, for some reason, you decide to bring a bear into the home as a pet (and there are certain curious people who do this sort of thing), you can rest assured that the damage will be neither typical nor manageable. Bears can bite holes in steel pots, and their paws can deliver a blow of hundreds of pounds per square inch. Their very movement through the house will cause damage, if they are not tamed and guided properly. If you want to keep a bear in your home, you will need a special home indeed! Society creates the “special home” for the big bears that are LCs and MNCs. An LC or MNC is like a bear in certain respects. Its movements, too, can cause great harm. These entities have great financial and human resources, and both respond to the directives of executives and managers. And that is precisely why they must be constrained in ways that small businesses need not be. Generally speaking, there is very little harm to society that a small business may cause because of its activities. But, as we will see throughout this course, LCs and MNCs can cause widespread devastation , just as their goods and services usually fulfill a myriad of human needs and wants.
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e Handout
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2012 for the course PHIL 201 taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Lecture 3 v2 - eHandout Business Professional Ethics...

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