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Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma - Coursework Example

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COURSE OVERVIEW: In contemporary politics, one of the hero's or most admired economists for people who believe that less government is better, is Milton Friedman. Friedman is considered the father of modern right-wing economics, and is responsible for the idea that the private sector can do what the public sector does, more efficiently…
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Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma
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Download file to see previous pages Since taking the course, I have begun to understand two important challenges to this Friedman idea of an 'ethics free' or 'ethics neutral' business approach. First, ethics and self interest are not necessarily at odds with one another. In other words, corporations all over the world are 'going green' or finding non-exploitive ways of extracting goods and services from the developing world. However, they are not doing so because they are singularly altruistic. Rather, they are doing so because the market is demanding this. The more consumers become more ethically aware, especially around global issues, the more they place those demands on the producers of goods and services that they consume [Asgary and Mitschow, 2002, 241]. Indeed, some individuals now consciously choose a product or service because of its ethical practices as compared with competitors for the very same service. Thus, one of the things that I have learned that really challenged some of my personal assumptions, was the idea that profit making and being ethical could be complimentary rather than antagonistic toward one-another. The other area that was learned in this course, concerns the actual evaluation of ethics and morals. If ethics concerns the right choice to make given a particular situation, then, 'meta-ethics' concerns the right ethical model for the problem or decision in question [Megone and Robinson, 2002, 2]. As a meta-ethical issue, there are three major models of ethics – namely, deontological, consequentialist/utilitarian and virtue ethics [Trevino and Nelson, 2010, 41ff.]. While it can be said that utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number) and deontological (golden mean or will only that which can be willed universally) are both formulas and almost quantifiable models, virtue ethics is different. Virtue ethics looks at the intrinsic worth of acting morally. Rather than applying a formula to a situation (utilitarianism and deontological), virtue ethics looks at what qualifies as an ethical individual, and in turn, looks at how an ethical or virtuous individual will evaluate a situation, and in turn, how they will decide on one option over and against an other. It is interesting to note that all three models can be applied to the very same case study or ethical problem, and the result or the outcome decision can be quite different. Thus, one of the areas that I was exposed to in this course, was the area of meta-ethics. That is, the view or analysis of different and competing models for understanding and interpreting ethical decisions or moral dilemmas. ETHICAL DILEMMA: In high-school, I had a job working in a retail store which had a low hourly wage, but a decent commission. My manager at that store, basically taught me that misleading the customer would produce better results. Further, while individuals were compensated for their particular sales, there was also a capital pool where profits were shared among employees for all sales. Thus, because of the commission situation, there was a profit incentive to be misleading and manipulative. The practice of misleading customers, however, never really sat well with me or that my “guts” [Trevino and Nelson, 2010, 58] were telling me that this was wrong. My dilemma was that I was doing something I knew was wrong, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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