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Business Ethics

Business Ethics

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Business Ethics

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  1. Business Ethics

    Personal & Business Scenarios
  2. Personal Scenarios
  3. Cheating for a Purpose Virginia Academy High School is about to take annual standardized tests (SOLs).  A teacher, Ms. Carmen Morgan, returns  to school after being away for several months for cancer treatments. If her sophomore class does not test at a certain level, she is concerned about keeping her job.  All teachers have been told there is a new policy that each class' test scores must be at a certain level for the teacher to continue to teach at the school system. Ms. Morgan's classes have had no problem reaching the required level, previously. But she  is returning to school only a few weeks before the test, sand the students have not had advantage of her rigid and effective teaching style due to her prolonged illness. Last year two teachers were let go. One found a job in another school system; the other is still unemployed. Ms. Morgan's younger brother visits the school and has a chance to talk to a couple of the students, two of the highest scorers in the past. His printing company happened to get the contract to print the tests and the scoring sheet with the answers. His sister doesn't even know that because the company that wins the contract is not supposed to disclose that information. He tells the students about the school requirement and the he knows his sister is a popular teacher and the students would not want her to lose her job. When the brother finds out he is talking to the two highest achieves, he tells them they can help his sister secure her job, but he needs their help to make it happen.  He tells them they know they will already do well, but with the answers that he has gotten, they can help to boost the class average. No one would know because they score very high on the tests, generally. And since they will surely pass anyway, there is no harm in just getting a higher score to make sure his sister can keep her job. "Will you help my sister keep her job and health benefits by looking at the answer sheet and memorizing the answers," he asks. "You are not hurting anyone. In fact you are helping,” he adds.  What should the students do?
  4. Your Xbox or Mine? Your friend comes over to play X-box.  A week later, you realize that he leaves one of his X-box games at your house.  You love this game, and you know that your friend does, too.  Your friend hasn’t asked for the game back, so you don’t even know if your friend realizes that he left it at your house.  You’d really like to keep the game for yourself.  If your friend asks for the game back, you’ll give it to him.  But do you have an ethical obligation to tell your friend that you have the game in the first place?
  5. Once in a Lifetime Opportunity, Yours or Mine? It is Friday and you have a test on Monday in your math class. You have already studied some for the test, but you know that you are not fully prepared at this time. Doing well on this test is very important to you maintaining the grade point average that you need to keep the college scholarship that has been offered to you. Your friend just called you and he has an extra ticket to a concert tomorrow that you would really like to attend. Since the ticket has already been purchased you will get to go for free. Your all time favorite band is performing at the concert. However, the concert is in New York. So you will be gone most of the weekend if you attend the concert. What do you do?
  6. From Pranks to Illegal Behavior John and a handful of his friends are 15 years old and have been friends since elementary school. They live in the same area, played local recreational sports like soccer, basketball, baseball and football with and against each other since age 6. They have many of the same interests and spend a lot of time together. As they have gotten older and gained some independence, they have made some unwise decisions and done some things that could have had significant consequences. When they were younger, during sleepovers, they would play man hunt. This elevated to toilet papering yards, to cracking eggs on the door and stoop of houses. With the intentions of being funny and joking, these young men did not consider the consequences of their actions. The last time there was a sleepover at Nick’s house, the boys experimented with alcohol while the parents were asleep. When Nick’s parents discovered what had occurred, they immediately called all the parents to come pick up their boys. The boys’ actions were blatantly disrespectful to the parents and disregarded many of the parents’ rules; eroding the trust the parents had in the boys and their ability to make rightful, conscious decisions. As a result, John’s parents forbid him from future sleepovers at Nick’s house, and instituted more strict curfews and rules of what John could do with his groups of friends. Recently, a band all the boys liked announced they would be playing at the local arena. All the area teenagers would be going, and it was going to be held on a Saturday night when all the boys had open calendars. The boys decided they want to attend the concert. They made plans to attend the concert and sleepover at Nick’s house afterwards. John knows that his parents will not allow him to participate in the sleepover at Nick’s house based on the previous decisions the boys made. However, he is struggling with the decision. Does John:  Asks his parents if he and his friends can to go to the concert and stay over at Nick’s house? Asks his parents if he and his friends can to go to the concert and stay over at another friend’s house?
  7. Who Can You Tease and About What? Georgia and her seven friends are 16 years old. The girls have been close friends for over 12 years. They have attended elementary school, middle school and now high school together and have had some classes together. They enjoy many of the same interests such as shopping and other activities outside of school hours. Even though the girls are close friends, they have different social and cultural backgrounds. On several occasions, while the girls were at the mall, a few of the girls have made fun of other people. It wasn’t the whole group of girls, only a few of Georgia’s friends. The friends were making fun of how other people were dressed; older ill-fitting clothes, outdated fashions and worn out shoes. Georgia and a few of the other girlfriends felt uncomfortable, but did not say anything to those that were teasing others. At school, the subset of friends has started to make fun of younger girls in high school. It started as joking quietly among the friends, but has now expanded to openly teasing and harassing the younger students. The subset of friends is commenting on other students dress, appearance, culture, and social status. Georgia thinks it has gone too far and wants the subset of friends to stop the teasing.
  8. T-Shirts for Dollars Your school’s student council is doing a fundraiser by selling “Spirit Wear” (school shirts).  The club is planning on ordering 100 shirts and has budgeted a cost of $5/shirt with plans on selling the shirts for $10/shirt. This will meet the goal of raising $500 for a year-end party. As the president of the club, you are responsible for having the shirts printed and for picking them up from the shop.  When you place the order with the printer he offers you a price of $4/shirt because you are ordering such a large quantity.  What do you do? Go ahead and just order 100 shirts ($400) and pocket the additional $100? Spend the $500 on 125 shirts, but keep the extra shirts to yourself? Consult with your advisor/teacher to decide if you should order extra shirts?
  9. Business Scenarios
  10. Saving a Life or Saving a Job An electrical line crew of four has worked together for the past several months. They have noticed one of their coworkers has had some close calls, almost injuring himself and maybe others. Each time one of the crew members has seen the risky actions in time and prevented an accident.  The three have discussed the occurrences and finally talk to the coworker about the incidents. He told them he has been on medicine that affects his attention span and sometimes makes him drowsy. He explained that he has no more sick leave and without the medicine he is in too much pain and would not be able to work. The coworkers tell the errant worker he must either work through the pain or stay home without pay until his condition improves. The worker agrees.  Everything is fine for a couple weeks.  But then the close calls by the coworker resume. What should the coworkers do?
  11. Two Suppliers & Game Tickets You are the purchasing manager at Ace Electric. To prepare for the upcoming storm season you are negotiating the purchase of a large amount of equipment for your company. You need to be very mindful of the prices you negotiate because this has been a particularly challenge time for your company financially. There are two suppliers in the running for the business. Supplier A has a product of superior quality but also a higher price. Supplier B’s product has had a track record of having some quality defects, but the price is about 15% less than supplier A. Supplier B approached you and offered to provide you with two tickets to a NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship final four game. You are excited about the offer because the University that you attended has a good possibility of making it to the final four round. It is Friday and you need to have the supplier selected by Monday to keep the project on schedule. From which supplier do you purchase the equipment and why?
  12. Hurt One to Save Many Sarah works at Sunshine Auto Parts, where she supervises Daisy, Fred, and Frank.  Sunshine ships auto parts to customers all over the world.  Recently, Sarah’s team messed up an order for Sunshine’s biggest customer, and Sunshine’s owner is upset.  The owner asks Sarah who was responsible, and Sarah is worried that the owner will fire the person Sarah names.  When Sarah thinks about it, she realizes that each member of her team – Daisy, Fred, and Frank – each made mistakes that resulted botched order.  But Sarah thinks that Daisy and Fred really need this job to support their families; she’s worried what will happen to their children if they get fired.  Frank, on the other hand, is single with no children and Sarah thinks he can easily get a new job.  Sarah is inclined to tell the boss about Frank’s mistake and not mention the others.  She doesn’t see the point in hurting Fred and Daisy (and their families) if she can avoid it. 
  13. The Harmless Lie You work for an advertising agency.  You realize that you have a big meeting with a new client the next day.  You were supposed to have prepared a new advertising campaign for the client, but you forgot about the meeting.  You need to postpone the meeting with the new client, but you don’t want to embarrass yourself or your company by telling the client that you need more time to prepare.  You wonder if you should pretend to have a family emergency so that the client won’t be so upset with you for postponing the meeting.  You know that would be lying, and that lying is wrong, but it’s a really important client and you don’t want to let your company down.