• April 5th, 2016

Business Ethics Case Study

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Final Assignment
Ethical Assessment and Recommendation
Assess which option the company ought to choose and explain why
On basis of ethical theories, moral standards and principles, and normative CSR approaches discussed in the course,
In light of how each option affects various stakeholders
This is the most important part of the assignment and will have the greatest bearing on your grade.
Ethical Assessment
Your recommendation must be ethically defensible, not merely strategic.
Be selective about the standards, theories and principles you are invoking, and connect them in a detailed way to the facts.
Better to explore a few ideas in depth than to refer superficially to many.
Keep in mind that your interpretation is contestable and should be defended.

Focus on Reasoning and Writing
Key: how well can you use ideas learned in the course to analyze case
Don’t just regurgitate or summarize course materials
Good writing and clear reasoning are two sides of the same coin
Using the Assignment Vignette
DON’T rehash vignette point by point—assume reader is familiar with the (hypothetical) facts
DO connect your arguments to specific “facts” in the vignette
DO make sure to read and think about the facts and options carefully
Commonest path to low mark on this assignment is misunderstanding implications of the alternatives!
Systematic comparison and analysis
Be sure to apply ethical theories/criteria systematically across options
E.g. alternative X may be best from a consequentialist perspective and alternative Y from a rights or fairness perspective
But to say this you have to apply all the perspectives to all the options

Three Things to Avoid
1. Piling on descriptive facts from case materials without analysis
2. Piling on superficial references to ideas from the course without using them to analyze the case, or without showing you understand the complexities of doing so
3. Presenting your opinions of the case without making use of course content
Even if well written, doesn’t serve “test” function of assignment
Two More Things to Avoid
1) Cynical amoral advice
E.g. “X is in your interest and you can get away with it so you should do it. Business is business”
Note: This is NOT the same as a principled ethical argument for profit-seeking (e.g. Friedman)
Why? Not persuasive to impartial observer; not principled
2) Preachy, emotional moralizing, name-calling
Why? Not helpful in case of moral dilemma; not persuasive to advice-seeker

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