Discussion

Prepare: In your first post in this discussion, you will identify and apply one ethical theory of your choosing to a current problem in business, also of your choosing. Start by reviewing your notes on the Week One course material and your completed work for Week One. Then, choose one of the three ethical theories—i.e., utilitarianism, deontology, or virtue ethics—on the basis of your thoughtfully considered preference in general and independent of the business problem that you will select here. Keep in mind that you will employ this ethical theory for supporting your position not only for this discussion, but also for this week’s assignment and the Final Project.

To prepare for your selection of the current problem in business, look at the list of required articles and multimedia which are divided in the six case-categories as follows:

  • Banking (Lehman Brothers)
  • Environment (BP)
  • GMOs (Monsanto)
  • Pharmaceuticals (Merck)
  • Gender Discrimination (Goodyear)
  • Factory Farms (Perdue)

Choose the case-category that you find the most interesting and note that each category also corresponds to one particular case. Please choose carefully because your choice for this discussion will establish the case that will be central to your argumentative essay this week as well as your Final Project in Week Five. It is recommended that you leaf through all the required resources indicated for the possible case-categories that you identify as possible contenders before making your final choice.

Reflect: Once you have selected your ethical theory and your case category, articulate the characteristics of the economic system (or combination of both systems) that serves as the setting for the case presented in the case category sources. Given this context, examine how the nation’s laws affect the operations of the business.

Next, identify the characteristics of your chosen ethical theory and its notion of the moral good. For the latter, you will need to review again the PowerPoint that was introduced in Week One, which is also listed in this week’s Required Resources and it is titled The Moral Good in Three Traditional Ethical Theories. Then, think how you would apply the ethical theory to the specific problem presented in the case category sources.

Write: Start your post by (a) identifying the issue or problem that you want to address in the case that you have selected and providing an impartial presentation of the controversy, (b) articulating briefly the characteristics of the economic system that serves as the setting, and (c) examining the laws that affect the operations of the business.

The following illustration should help. Consider, for example, the case of Uber that we examined in Week Two. If the California decision establishes a precedent for similar claims, then Uber would have to do business as an employer and not merely as a service that pairs consumers with ride sharing services by means of a unique phone app. Accordingly, the law would require Uber to reimburse its drivers for certain costs and perhaps offer benefits. Take in consideration, then, the legal setting for the case that you have chosen. Does the case take place in the United States or another country? What are the laws that are relevant to the problem under examination? Keep in mind that all laws are constraints on our actions, whether those by individuals or corporations. The relevant laws, then, will be (a) any laws that present not only a constraint on the company’s operations, (b) any laws that are being violated by the corporation, or (c) any laws that unfairly limit the goods and services that can be offered to and are demanded by consumers.

In a second paragraph, formulate a sentence that presents the moral position that you want to defend in regard to the issue or problem introduced in the previous paragraph.

In the same paragraph, present the ethical theory that you choose to employ. Your choices are utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics, and the necessary material is included in the required readings and media. Make sure to identify the characteristics of the ethical theory, and include in-text citations and full references in APA form at the end of the post. Once you have done this, apply the ethical theory to your selected case by explaining how it lends itself to the moral position that you are defending.

Revise: Read the feedback provided by your professor to your initial post, either directly to you or to your fellow students. Use this as an opportunity to learn from your professor, especially with regard to the best ways to apply the course material and your research to your analysis. On the basis of what you have learned in this process, post a revision of your initial post that applies the additional knowledge that you have gained.

Remember that your grade depends on the quality of your initial and revised responses, not just on the submission of an attempt at improvement. It is thus to your advantage to post the best initial post you can and then to also improve that best effort as much as you can through revision. Taking this process seriously will help you develop the skills you need to do well on the final project

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