Application of ethical theory to a case study vignette
• Choose ONE of the following cases
• Identify key stakeholders in this case. Identify and discuss main (ethical) issues of this case in relation to the stakeholders.
• Evaluate the case using TWO ethical theories (you must use the theories that were taught in the lectures (Ethics Theory – basics, Environmental Ethics, Descriptive Ethics, Ethics of Duty and Justice, Kantianism, Corporate Governance and Ethics, Managing Business Ethics, Discourse Ethics, Utilitarism, Whistleblowing and corporate culture, Social Accounting, Regulations of Business, Social Enterprise, Business Poverty, Information Ethics) apart from Ethical Egoism:
• Explain how you would act / you would have acted in this situation, and why.
The essay will be marked using the following criteria:
• Identification of stakeholders and issues. Covers all essential issues and relevant stakeholders and explains them in an illuminate, eloquent way.
• Outlining of main features of ethical theories and application of theories to case and explains them in an illuminate, eloquent way.
• Style and Presentation (including authenticity and accurate referencing)
Ahmed, a Middlesex University student, is working on his placement at a small marketing company GreatBrands.com. Ahmed has a formal contract of employment with the company for his placement year, and a verbal agreement was made during his interview that he respect confidentiality and that all intellectual property of the company should remain with GreatBrands.com.
Ahmed has a really enjoyable time at the company and gains the trust and confidence of his colleagues. In particular, the Managing Director Michelle Jordan takes an interest in Ahmed’s learning and has talked to him about the possibility of him working for GreatBrands.com when he has graduated.
As he approaches the end of his placement, Ahmed considers what his options will be for his future employment. He has enjoyed working for Michelle at GreatBrands.com, but would also like to set up his own marketing company after he has graduated. Undecided, he suggests to Michelle that he may be interested in coming back to the company but that he wants to keep his options open.
Aware that setting up a customer base and purchasing the software that he will need for his own company would be time consuming and costly, Ahmed electronically copies the GreatBrands.com customer database and some of the GreatBrands.com customised software in case he sets up his own company in the future. Ahmed’s company, if it becomes established, would be a direct competitor of GreatBrands.com.
How do you evaluate Ahmed’s actions?
Faruk approves leases for Riverdale Properties, a company specialising in selling and letting commercial premises. One day, Samira, a property valuer, approaches Faruk to inquire about leasing office space in one of the company’s buildings. Samira has previously rented space in one of Riverdale’s buildings, but that building has been sold; Samira needs to find new space at the end of her lease.
Faruk would like to rent to Samira—she is not only an ideal tenant with an excellent credit record with the company, but Faruk knows that Samira is in the position to speak favourably to others about the company’s good service and careful maintenance of their buildings. In addition, Samira is a close family friend.
Faruk has the perfect space for Samira coming available just when she needs it. The problem is rental rates have increased quite a bit since Samira signed her last lease with Riverdale, and it is more than she wants to pay. Samira asks Faruk for a break on the rent.
What should Faruk do?
Sam joined Moyuka, a global car manufacturer, about a year ago to work in a team responsible for monitoring product quality of one of Moyuka’s best-selling models. Recently, Sam has received reports about a few isolated incidents involving problems with the model’s acceleration pedal, which lead the cars to speed dangerously out of control.
Sam decides that this is a serious safety concern that needs urgent attention. He raises this with Kathy, his line manager, who listens carefully, takes copious notes and promises to escalate his concerns to senior management.
A few days later, Sam receives a briefing from the Head of Product quality, which strongly recommends that, because there were only a few isolated incidents, that the issue be treated as a ‘quality’ and not a ‘safety’ issue. The briefing points out the high cost involved in a global product recall and its financial consequences for the company and its employees, and strongly discourages any further investigation.
Sam feels uncomfortable with this but, because of his junior position, decides to let the matter drop.
Has Sam done the right thing?
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