How can an organization help employees make appropriate decisions when faced with ethical situations?

Business stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the general public, receive positive benefits from businesses that follow ethical principles and practices.  Ethical dilemmas, where there are conflicting interests and no easy answers, arise in all business.  When they do, people are called upon to make difficult decisions.  Students will write a paper focused on business ethics using information from the course material provided and from their own research.

By completing this assignment, students will meet the outcome(s):

  • identify the critical business functions and how they interact in order to position the organization to be effective in the current business environment;
  • explain the importance of the integration of individuals and systems to organizational effectiveness;
  • describe the ethical and social responsibilities that confront a business.

Required Elements of Short Paper #1:

  •  Read critically and analyze the scenario below;
  • In your paper, respond to the questions following the scenario.

Required Formatting of Paper:

  • This paper should be double-spaced, 12-point font, and two to three pages in length excluding the title page and reference page;
  • Follow this format for your paper:Summary paragraph
    • Title page
    • Introduction
    • Body, in paragraph form.  Use the following section headings:
      • Angela’s Ethical Dilemma
      • Employees’ Roles/responsibilities in Ethical Situations
      • The Organization’s Role/responsibility in Ensuring Ethical Practices
  • Reference page formatted according to APA requirements.  Include at least two reference page citations and their corresponding in-text citations.
  • The paper is to be written in the third person.  There should be no words in the paper such as “I” and “we;”
  • You are expected to paraphrase and not use quotes.  Deductions will be taken when quotes are used and found to be unnecessary;
  • Submit the paper in the Assignment Folder.

Scenario:  An Ethical Dilemma

It’s half-time and the neighbors who regularly get together to watch the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon begin to make their way to the kitchen to refill their snack plates.  While the others are out of the room, Evelyn lags behind to tell her neighbor, Jan, about Steve, her nephew, and his recent good fortune.  Steve and his wife are about to put down a deposit on their first house.  Steve works for JLT Cincinnati, a multi-state corporation with a campus in Cincinnati.  Evelyn describes how thrilled the two of them are about the house, especially its location, as it will mean a much shorter commute time for Steve.  Evelyn goes on to say how very much Steve appreciated Jan’s help last year in steering him to the open accounting position at JLT Cincinnati.  With Steve just finishing college and the job market the way it was, that accounting position was like a dream come true for him.

Jan, who works in the Human Resources Department at JLT Cincinnati, feels a knot in the middle of her stomach at the news.  She is aware that a decision has recently been made by the leadership at JLT Cincinnati to transfer the local accounting operation to JLT Wichita, corporate headquarters, a cost-saving move.  The decision won’t be announced for a few more weeks, but even so, Jan knows that Steve will most likely not be offered a comparable job at JLT Cincinnati or even be asked to move to Wichita to take one of the few accounting positions that will open up there.  He is the newest employee to join the group and seniority is always a major factor in downsizing activities at JLT.

1.  What is the ethical dilemma Jan is faced with now?  What should she do?  Explain your answer.

2.  What factors generally contribute to employees not operating ethically in business?  When faced with an ethical situation, what steps can an employee take to try to make the most appropriate decision?

3.  How can an organization help employees make appropriate decisions when faced with ethical situations?  What steps can an organization take to try to ensure that all parts of the organization operate ethically?

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