8.2 – Discussion: Unethical Business Scenarios

Overview

Below are some real-life situations that present ethical questions in a business. Discuss at least two situations (of course you can discuss all of them) and look at it (a) from a strictly legal viewpoint, (b) from a moral and ethical viewpoint, and (c) from a point of view of what is best in the long run for the company.

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Look at each situation from the perspective of all groups concerned: customers, stockholders, employees, and community and not just your opinion of the situation.

Situations
You are a general manager of a cosmetics firm. The results of a study show that your major brand could cause skin cancer. From the different viewpoints stated above, is this legal and ethical or illegal and unethical, or a combination of the two, and what is the potential outcome of the company if it does nothing? What would be your recommendations and why?
You have the opportunity to offer a job to a friend who really needs it. Although you believe that the friend could perform adequately, there are more qualified applicants. From the different viewpoints stated above, would this be legal and ethical or illegal and unethical, or a combination of the two? How might you be viewed in the organization if you hire a less qualified person? What would you do? Explain your justification.
You are the vice president of a beer company in a state that sets the legal drinking age at 21. Your boss asks you to organize a lobbying effort to have the drinking age reduced to 18. From the different viewpoints stated above, would this be legal and ethical or illegal and unethical, or a combination of the two? Does this violate the company’s social responsibility to the state and/or surrounding towns? What would you do? Explain your justification.
Because of a loophole in federal laws, you find that you could legally pay your workers less than the minimum wage. The cost savings you recommend may mean you’re getting a choice promotion. From the different viewpoints stated above, would this be legal and ethical or illegal and unethical, or a combination of the two? What would you do? Explain your justification.

Discuss at least two situations. Be sure to consider both short‑ and long‑range consequences.

Post and Engage

Ensure in your initial post you have approximately 200 words and at least one reference supporting your response. Read the posts of your classmates and generate at least two quality replies. This is a graded activity. Review the discussion rubric, which will be used to evaluate each discussion forum posting for this course.

Finally, you are encouraged to post early in the week to allow others the opportunity to respond to your posting.

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