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Personal & Organizational Ethics

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1. Psychological Egoism
After reviewing Chapter 1 in your textbook and watching “Virtue Ethics,” find a contemporary article showing how the theory of psychological egoism in a corporation resulted in an ethical dilemma. Is there a way that the decision-making process within a large corporation can overcome this fact of human selfishness? What would be a solution in this scenario?

How does the theory of psychological egoism fit within your personal body of ethics and values? How does the theory of psychological egoism fit within the ethical structure of the company or organization you work for now or have worked for in the past? Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. 2. Self-Interest or Community Interest

As read in Chapter 2 of the course text, Adam Smith argued that self-interest is a critical element in a society’s economic development. Karl Marx, by contrast, argued that society functions better when each of us is more community oriented.

Pretend you are either Adam Smith or Karl Marx, and explain economic recession from these perspectives. Discuss when greed and selfishness in businesses go too far and become a hazard to society. Stepping back into your shoes again, contrast your system of values and ethics concerning greed and self-interest with the system of values of Smith or Marx. Discuss if the ethical perspective of a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged resembles the perspective of Adam Smith or Karl Marx? Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly Week One Journal

Objective
You will outline and explain ethical theories and then apply that knowledge to how organizations would function were they to adopt those ethical principles. In addition, you will also examine punishments for corporations and present your own ideas about the relationship between ethical demands on business entities vs. those on individuals in society. Instructions

In this assignment you will reflect on the topics of Week One and apply them to an analysis of ethical paradigms. You will be asked to respond to two prompts below. The first asks you to explain three of the ethical philosophies you encountered in Chapter 1 of Introduction to Business Ethics, and then determine how companies that abide by these policies would act. In the second prompt, you will be asked to explain various punishments that can be given to corporations and the behaviors that are ethically dangerous to corporations.

Please answer all questions in detail. Because this journal is worth 5% of your final grade, there is a high expectation for your participation. Grades for the journals are based on content, critical engagement, quality of reflection, and detail. Please submit the completed journal via the Assignment Basket found in the Week One Journal tab on the left navigation toolbar by Day 7.

Organizations
Select a Not-For Profit and a For Profit organization you would like to study. These will be the organizations that you will be focusing on throughout the course so be sure to choose organizations that you find interesting and that you think will be engaging as you learn about the ethical climates of these organizations.

Reflection Prompts
Please think about and answer the following prompts. These reflections will not be graded on grammar and syntax, but on the depth of critical reflection and the analysis that composes your answers. Utilize this space to gather information and notes that you think will aid in your analysis of business ethics.

Reflection Prompt #1
Summarize three of the ethical theories that are explained in Chapter 1 of Introduction to Business Ethics. Explain how people running businesses would construct their companies if they utilized these ethical theories. For example, you might personally think that people should act to increase the overall happiness for the greatest number of people (utilitarianism). You would explain utilitarianism and then explain how a company based in utilitarian ethics would function. In other words:

What products would they make?
How would they treat their employees? How would they treat their customers? How would they manufacture their products?
How would they utilize their resources and profits were they to become successful?

Reflection Prompt #2
Analyze three of the punishments that corporations undergo when they have acted unethically (i.e., name them, define them, explain what they are). In addition, explain three threats to running an ethical corporation. Finally, from your own perspective, explain whether or not a corporation should have to function by the same codes of morality that individual people in society have to abide by or if they should be allowed to get away with certain actions that people in society cannot get away with. Week 2 Discussions and Journal

1. Puffery and Deception

A critical point of distinction between deceptive advertising and mere puffery is whether a claim is a measurable statement of fact. Think of some contemporary examples of each and explain why they are or are not measurable statements of fact. When you notice deceptive advertising or puffery, how does your sense of personal ethical perspectives and values affect the way you make decisions about those advertised goods and services? How does the ethical program of a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged, treat the topic of misrepresentation or exaggeration of company goods and service?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Unintentional Discrimination

Unintentional discrimination occurs when a company’s policies uncritically reflect prejudicial stereotypes yet do not involve overt racial prejudices of its managers or executives. Does legislation to verify voter identification fall under the domain of unintentional or intentional discrimination? Explain your views.

Also, how does your personal ethical perspective on discrimination- intentional or unintentional- compare to the culture of a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.

Week Two Journal
Objective
You will create profiles for the for-profit and not-for-profit companies that you have chosen to examine in this course.
Instructions
This week, you will fill out the company profiles for both of the companies you chose to research. Follow the instructions and questions below for each company.

Please answer all questions in detail. Because this journal is worth 5% of your final grade, there is a high expectation for your participation. Grades for the journals are based on content, critical engagement, quality of reflection, and detail. Please submit the completed journal via the Assignment Basket found in the Week Two Journal tab on the left navigation toolbar by Day 7.

Company Profile (Not-for-Profit)
Profile of [Company Name] (Franz, 2005)

Write a paragraph here that describes the company. Identify the company’s:

1 Area of interest
2 History
3 Summary of activities
4 Funding sources
5 Mission statement
6 Values statement

Tip: Good sources of information to use are the company website and other credible non-profit web sites.

Include the company’s details:

1 Location
a List the headquarters.
b List any major branch offices.
2 Tax exempt status
a Is the company a 501c)(3)? If so, what date was it granted this status? If not, what is the name of the umbrella organization?

3 Personnel a How many employees does the company have?

Then, examine and discuss the following:
1 What obstacles does the company face in its sector, and does the company have any innovative approaches to overcoming those obstacles? 2 Describe a time in which the company faced a major crisis that threatened its business.
How did the company address and overcome this situation?

Reference
Frantz, P. (2005, February 13). Company profile template. Connexions. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/content/m12649/1.1/

Company Profile (For-Profit)
Profile of [Company Name] (Franz, 2005)
Write a paragraph here that describes the company. Identify the company’s:
1 Area of interest
2 History
3 Summary of activities
4 Funding sources
5 Mission statement
6 Values statement
Tip: Good sources of information to use are the company website and other credible non-profit web sites. Include the company’s details:
Location
a List the headquarters.
b List any major branch offices.
2 Financial facts – Provide information regarding the following: a The company’s most recent revenues.
b The company’s most recent profits.
c The company’s historical growth in relation to its revenue and profit.
d How the company compares to other companies in its sector.

3 Personnel
a How many employees does the company have?
Then, examine and discuss the following:
1 Competitiveness. How does the company compare to its main competitors? Consider both domestic and local markets.
2 What obstacles does the company face in its sector, and does the company have any innovative approaches to overcoming them?
3 Leadership. Research and describe a time in which the company faced a major crisis that threatened its business. How did the company address and overcome this situation?

Reference

Frantz, P. (2005, February 13). Company profile template. Connexions.
Retrieved from http://cnx.org/content/m12649/1.1/

Week 3 Discussions, Journal and Assignment
1. Managerial Incentives

Henry Manne believed that companies cannot become too incompetent or corrupt, as eventually their share price would fall and they could be taken over by another firm that would get rid of incompetent management. Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means believed that company managers have an incentive to feather their own nests and to undermine shareholder wealth.

Can elements or parts of these theoretical perspectives have governmental applications? If so, which theory do you think best describes the segment of American government known as the Congress and the Senate? Explain your answer.

Which theory best fits your ethical perspective? Which theory best fits a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.
2. Child Labor

Child labor is endemic in the poorer countries of the world, and for many children it is seen as way of keeping their families out of poverty. Critics point out that if the governments were to invest more in educating children, they could be more productive and create more wealth for their nation when they are older. In the meantime, multinational enterprises often secure suppliers who use children.

In your opinion, what is the best way to reduce child labor for multinational corporations? How is the phenomenon of child labor viewed from your ethical perspective? Given the ethical perspective of a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged, how would child labor be viewed?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Week Three Journal

Objective
You will analyze yourself in relation to your ethical dispositions and beliefs. You will then explicate the three primary ethical concepts that you would try to instill in your own workforce were you to run a company or manage people.

Instructions
There are two parts to this assignment. First, you will analyze yourself in relation to a number of questions about your personal ethical beliefs, values, and goals. This portion of the journal will be completed by answering the questions under “Personal Profile” below. In the second portion of the assignment, you will also explain the three fundamental principles you would use to guide a company that you owned or began, and then you will explain why you find those principles the most important for running a company.

Please answer all questions in detail. Because this journal is worth 5% of your final grade, there is a high expectation for your participation. Grades for the journals are based on content, critical engagement, quality of reflection, and detail. Please submit the completed journal via the Assignment Basket found in the Week Three Journal tab on the left navigation toolbar by Day 7.

Personal Profile
Describe and conduct research on yourself (Sachteleben, n.d.). Reflect on the following questions and explain your answers to these attributes and questions in paragraph form.

1 Describe your personality (choose 3 power words)
2 Explain your primary ethical perspectives.
a What are the ways that you try to live an ethically good life and why do you think that these ways are the best ways? b Feel free to include ethical theory and analysis that you have learned about in your study of the text and articles.

3 What are your primary values?

4 What specific activities reflect your primary values? (e.g., “saving money to help the needy” or “protecting the environment”) 5 What are your primary beliefs about life and the way that you interact in your place of business or work? 6 What causes do you participate or hope to participate in?

7 What are your pet peeves?
8 What are your goals, dreams, or plans for the future both professionally as well as personally? 9 Have you ever had any unusual experiences? (e.g., “Worked in the peace corps in the Sudan,” “Went to school in Germany,” “Survived a severe storm,” “Met a famous person,” “Home-schooled my kids.”) 10 Do you belong to any groups or have any affiliations that help to orient your life?

Reference
Sachteleben, M. (n.d.). How to write a profile: Online or off, write about your personal goals and skills. Retrieved from http://www.howtodothings.com/computers/how-to-write-a-personal-profile

Reflection Prompt for Personal Profile Activity
Once you have completed your personal analysis, please reflect on the following and provide your thoughts in paragraph form.

1 If you were running a business, what are the three ethical virtues or principles that you would use to create the optimally ethical environment for your company? 2 Please explain why you chose each virtue or principle and how it would foster good business. Feel free to be creative here and to not abide by common standards of morality if you do not think that it is important to abide by certain standards in business. For example, you might claim that honesty is the best policy. However, someone might claim that it would actually be best to foster deception in order to maximize profits. Either way, explain why you chose the various principles.

Week 3Assignment

The purpose of the annotated bibliography is to assist you in developing research analysis skills including critical thinking, writing, and literature research skills. The annotated bibliography should include a paragraph for each source containing the following information: Name of the article, including the complete bibliographic citation, using APA format. Summary/abstract of the article – annotation (sometimes it is helpful to ask yourself the following questions in synthesizing the information: Who? (author)

What was done? (e.g., an experimental study investigating the interaction of short term memory and attention) How? (was it done)
What were the findings? (identify the major ones)
Contributions? (new findings, applications, etc.)
Review the complete instructions for the Final Paper in Week Five. To conduct accurate research for the annotated bibliography, consider the following: Research in peer-reviewed journals or other journals that are considered to have reliable information (do not use sources from the secular press (e.g., Time, Newsweek, or Wikipedia). Review the guidelines for acceptable sources by reading the “Academic Research” section within the Student Responsibilities and Policies tab under Course Home on the left navigation toolbar in your online course. Identify at least ten academic sources at least six of which can be found in the Ashford Online Library. If you do find something on the World Wide Web, it must be authored and be a reliable source. In these journals, the research and information is either reviewed by an editorial team (such as for the Academy of Management Review) or a group of peers (such as in many journals you find through the Ashford Online Library).

Week 4 Discussions and Journal
1. Power Station Cost-Benefit Analysis

A power station is planned in your local area and you have been requested to submit a primary cost-benefit analysis of the potential economic and environmental impact that the station could have. Prepare a list of pros and cons and a preliminary judgment on whether it should go ahead.

If a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged, were to throw-out the list of pros and cons and rely on ethical predisposition of the business, what would be the preliminary judgment?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

2. Portfolio Analysis

Reviewing the investments in your portfolio, you realize that the carbon footprint connected to your investments is relatively large, but your oil company stock also pays for the family holidays each year. The company’s website also says that it uses a high proportion of its profits to invest in green and renewable fuels of the future. Do you keep the stock or sell? Why? What principles did you apply in making this decision? Also, how does one check the credibility of the company and its website?

Consider the ethical perspective of a particular group to which you currently belong or previously belonged, would the group keep or sell the stock? Why?

Week Four Journal
Objective
You will identify key ethical problems facing the company, create potential solutions to those problems, and explain why certain solutions are better than others.

Instructions
In this assignment, you will identify problems that face the two companies that you have chosen to study in this course. You will explain those problems, how they affect the company, and who or what is responsible for those problems. Then, you will attempt to provide solutions to those problems, also identifying the difficulties in implementing those solutions. Please answer all questions in detail. Because this journal is worth 5% of your final grade, there is a high expectation for your participation. Grades for the journals are based on content, critical engagement, quality of reflection, and detail. Please submit the completed journal via the Assignment Basket found in the Week Four Journal tab on the left navigation toolbar by Day 7.

Problems Facing Not-for-Profit Company
1 Identify two to five problems that face your chosen not-for-profit company. Explain those problems. a Why do these problems exist? Present the background on these problems. b How do these problems impact the organization?

c Who is responsible for these problems?
2 Identify potential solutions to those problems. Here, you can feel free to brainstorm and merely list various solutions to the problems that you identify. 3 Choose a best solution for each problem. Explain why that solution is the best solution. In addition, determine whether or not the solution is possible and what would need to be done to implement the solution.

Important note: Do your best to support your claims with evidence, facts, and information that you have learned about ethical theories and values throughout the course.

Problems Facing For-Profit Company
1 Identify two to five problems that face your chosen not-for-profit company. Explain those problems. a Why do these problems exist? Present the background on these problems. b How do these problems impact the organization?

c Who is responsible for these problems?
2 Identify potential solutions to those problems. Here you can feel free to brainstorm and merely list various solutions to the problems that you identify. 3 Choose a best solution for each problem. Explain why that solution is the best solution. In addition, determine whether or not the solution is possible and what would need to be done to implement the solution.

Important note: Do your best to support your claims with evidence, facts, and information that you have learned about ethical theories and values throughout the course.

Week 5 Discussions and Final Paper
1. Federal Domain

The Federal government manages millions of acres of forest land across the country, but there are increasing pressures on the agencies to permit varying levels of commercial access to the timber, other resources, and the water flows. Should the government have an absolute prohibition on commercial access or should there be a working compromise with companies?

From your ethical perspective, should government have an absolute prohibition on commercial access or should there be a working compromise with companies?

From the ethical perspective a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged, should government have an absolute prohibition on commercial access or should there be a working compromise with companies?

Instead of the Federal government, suppose you managed millions of acres of forest land. Given you own set of ethical perspectives and values, what would you do?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

2. New Stock Opportunity or Exposure

A friend is excited about a new stock opportunity with a medical company whose products could sell well around the world; having reviewed some of the stories in Chapter 10, you are no longer certain about the benefits that companies say will emerge from their products and you are concerned that the company’s history includes using animals and vulnerable people in experiments.

From your ethical perspective, do you ignore the company’s past and research the current product, digging around for alternative ethical viewpoints, or do you accept the possibility of earning a simple profit?

From the ethical perspective a particular group to which you currently belong, or previously belonged, does the group ignore the company’s past and research the current product, digging around for alternative ethical viewpoints, or does the group accept the possibility of earning a simple profit?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

Final Paper

To complete the following assignment, go to this week’s Final Paper links in the left navigation. Analysis of Personal and Organizational Ethics and Values between For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Organizations

Scenario:
You are an ethnographic researcher writing an article for a popular organizational behavior research journal. Your purpose is to identify key problems related to business ethics in a Not-for-Profit and For- Profit organization. In this potential article please complete the following activities: 1. Outline the company profile of the not for profit company you chose to analyze (consult the week #2 journal for the information you should include). Explain the ethical dilemma that it faced or is currently facing. Analyze the way that it responded to this ethical dilemma and outline the legal, social, or political outcomes that emerged after the actions were taken..

2. Outline the company profile of the for profit company you chose to analyze (consult the week #2 journal for the information you should include). Explain the ethical dilemma that it faced or is currently facing. Analyze the way that it responded to this ethical dilemma and outline the legal, social, or political outcomes that emerged after the actions were taken.

3. In part three of your paper, please provide your personal reflections on the ethical actions that were taken in relation to the problem. Evaluate those actions from your own ethical standpoint. Use these questions to inspire your analysis: Did the company respond in a morally responsible way? Did the company respond in a morally irresponsible way? Did the company create the ethical dilemma or was the dilemma the outcome of an unforeseen force? Could the company have done more? Who was responsible for the problem and how could it have been prevented? Remember that when you analyze something you should present logical reasoning and factual evidence to support your position. Do not merely answer these questions using simplistic yes and no answers. Instead, you should always support your position with logical argumentation and evidence that explains why you believe what you believe.

4. In part 4 of your paper please create a critique of the actions of these companies based on two of the philosophical theories that you studied earlier in the course (deontology, utilitarianism, egoism, virtue ethics, moral relativism). Determine which moral theory the company appears to be abiding by in relation to this issue. Explain the attributes of the decision that make you believe that this is the ethical perspective of the company. If you agree with the ethical theory of the company, explain why this is the best ethical position on the issue. If you do not, explain which ethical position would be better to utilize in this situation and why you believe that this position is better. Here are some sample questions to guide your thinking: Which ethical theory did the company use in making its decision? Was it the best? Why or why not? Which ethical theory should the company have used? Why?

What is the ideal relationship between bad or suffering and profit? What does it mean to run an ethical business?
What is the best way for a company to maintain its competitive edge and contribute to overall good or happiness in relation to its workers and customers?

Logistics and Length Requirements
Your paper needs to be 10 double-spaced pages, not counting the cover page and the reference list. You papers should abide by APA requirements. You must use at least ten scholarly sources, six of which can be found in the Ashford Online Library. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar. Here is a breakdown of the page length requirements you should abide by as you complete this project.

Part 1: 3 pages
Part 2: 3 pages
Part 3: 2 pages (one for each company)
Part 4: 2 pages (one for each company)
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
Must be at least ten double-spaced pages in length (not including title page and reference list), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Must include a title page with the following:

Title of paper
Student’s name
Course name and number
Instructor’s name
Date submitted
Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
Must use at least ten scholarly resources, including a minimum of six from the Ashford Online Library. Must document all sources in APA style

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