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Research paper - Assignment Example

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Ethical decision-making Name Institution The ethical triangle and Ford Company case The core of the ethical theory of utilitarianism is the utility principle, which implies that we always act in order to promote the greatest amount of satisfaction and the least amount of dissatisfaction for the greatest number of people…
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Download file to see previous pages... The greatest happiness is fulfilled when acts that produce maximum happiness for those affected-the best results-are considered morally good acts. In utilitarianism, ethical behavior implies acting in the interests of the larger group, even if one must sacrifice one’s own interests to do so. The welfare of the group matters not the individual. Higher pleasures are logical or intellectual while lower pleasures are concerned with the physical needs. The role of pleasure is to provide happiness. Showing compassion for the society helps an individual care for the community in which he or she lives. Compassion is very significant to an individual in that it makes them realize the meaning and purpose of life, which is to be happy. This is because since every person wants to be happy, they will do anything to avoid misery and suffering. Virtues are important because they help human beings to derive pleasure in their actions, have uniformity in the way they act, and act promptly which in turn will result to peaceful co-existence, thus everybody will be happy about the life they live. Posner is following the principle of act utilitarianism in that he desires to die so that he does not cause financial constrain to his family. In the early 1960s, Ford’s market position was being heavily eroded by competition from domestic and foreign manufactures of subcompacts. Lee Iacocca, then President of Ford, was determined to regain Ford’s share of the market by having a new subcompact, the Pinto, in production by 1970. Then Ford engineers crash tested an early model of the Pinto. They found that when the automobile was struck from the rear at 20 miles per hour, the gas tank regularly ruptured. Stray sparks could then ignite the spraying gasoline, engulf the car in flames, and possibly burn the trapped occupants. Nonetheless, Ford management decided for several reasons to go ahead with production of the Pinto as designed. First, the design met all applicable federal laws and standards then in effect. Secondly, the Pinto was comparable in safety to other cars being produced by the auto industry. Third, an internal Ford study indicated that the social costs of improving the design outweighed the social benefits. According to the study, it was estimated that a maximum of 180 deaths might result if the Pinto design were not changed. For purposes of cost/benefit analysis, the Federal government at that time put a value of $200,000 on a human life. Consequently, the study reasoned, saving 180 lives was worth about a total of $36 million to society. On the other hand, improving the 11 million Pintos then being planned would cost about $11 per car for a total investment of $121 million. Since the social cost of $121 million outweighed the social benefit of $36 million, the study concluded that improving the Pinto design would not be cost-effective from a societal point of view. 1. Identify the relevant issues for decision-making In early 1960s, Ford’s market position was wearing down due to high competitions from domestic and international manufactures of subcompacts. Therefore, the Ford Motor Company, endorsed by the vice-president Lee Iacocca, came to a decision of manufacturing a new subcompact car called Pinto that was to be produced domestically at an affordable price. The decision of manufacturing Pinto was also aimed at gaining large market share for the company, the designing and development of Pinto car was therefore accelerated in order to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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