Business Law and Ethics Essay

Pages: 6 (1781 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Ethical Dilemma

Recently I have just been hired as a consultant to work for Ethics RU.S., a law and ethics consulting firm dedicated to advising professionals about his or her legal and ethical obligations in the professional arena. The work I perform for Ethics RU.S. delves into legal and ethical matters in the corporate world. One of my responsibilities is keeping all information received confidential while working on client cases. The first case assigned to me was to advise an individual (George) about his dilemma of loyalty to the XYZ organization and pursuing his dream of becoming an entrepreneur and opening his own business.

Facts

George is the manager of XYZ Incorporated an organization that creates software to be used inside the medical community in places such as care homes, hospitals, doctor's offices, etc. George's chief responsibilities are to manage the sales of software to businesses located in Texas. George has done well in his current position, enjoys working as a manager for XYZ and is satisfied with his current salary.

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Lately, George has started to become frustrated with some intricacies of his job, thus making him have visions of creating his own software company to sell software applications for educational purposes. One day while enjoying some down time with his friends, one of George's closest friends, Sara, suggests that he should begin the process of becoming an entrepreneur, thus starting his own company. Sara believes he should begin slowly, in his down time in the evenings and on the weekends. Then once George believes in the fact that the business will be profitable, he could quit XYZ in a positive manner and move full time to pursue his dream.

Issue

Essay on Business Law and Ethics Assignment

George was offered a wonderful opportunity to consult and develop some training games for MedTrain, but they are a chief competitor of his current employer XYZ Incorporated. Should George do some private consulting work with MedTrain, a director competitor of XYZ Incorporated? In George's case legal and ethical issues arise immediately from the conflict between a set of good values: honesty and loyalty. George has done well with XYZ Incorporated and his individual skills have improved with the time and money spent on training him. George has to decide between loyalty to his company and demonstrating honesty to all stakeholders involved in the process. Is it ethically and legally correct to consult (albeit from a position of his own company) with his employer's main competitor?

Four Theories

Utilitarianism

Utilitarian theory is an idea that suggests the worth of action is measured by its capability to maximize utility. In laymen's terms it means morality of an action is determined by its outcomes. Based on this theory, we can justify the action if it brings greater good to the highest number of people in a community. In this case, George must make his decision after considering the relative benefits and harms of each choice for all stakeholders (himself, XYZ Incorporated, and MedTrain). Once considering the benefits and harms of his actions George can make a valid ethical decision. If George believes working on a project for his own business for the company MedTrain does not jeopardize his position at XYZ Incorporated and all the tools he uses for the job are his own (not XYZ's) it is both legally and ethically acceptable.

Universal Ethics

Another perspective is Kant's categorical imperative ethics theory or also known as Universal Ethics. This theory is centered on thinking and asks if the action is worth becoming a universal law that everyone can follow. The individual must take into account his or her own actions because everyone is different and a multitude of perspectives can only make the global world a better place.

In this case, George's actions may spur others in the same position to act accordingly. George must determine if his private consulting business is compromising his ability to perform his job duties. When George looks into consulting and creating a game for MedTrain, he must consider whether this action will limit his ability to perform his job at XYZ, Inc. If George feels like his business and job are overlapping he must choose one or the other, but his job at XYZ Incorporated is performed at the highest standards and there is no conflict of interest the consulting after work hours is both legally and ethically acceptable.

The Golden Rule

A third perspective in this case is the golden rule. The golden rule is an ethical code that individuals should treat others as you would like other to treat yourself. The philosophy behind the golden rule is that there can be justice for everyone and when living under this rule would treat all human beings with thoughtfulness.

The importance of this case makes analyzing it with golden rule important. George has been working for XYZ Incorporated for a long time, and the company put a large amount of training and improvement assets to enhance George's ability to perform the necessary job duties for the company. George gained a bevy of experience and knowledge with the expense of the company, and he is a tremendous asset for XYZ Incorporated. In addition, as a top ranking manager George has access to a great deal of vital company information. If George would decide to do consulting for another company, he will be facing a conflict of interest since MedTrain is a competitor of XYZ Incorporated. George's access to pertinent information should not be used for his own interest and personal gain. George's dreams of owning his own business will include hiring a number of employees to work for him, and based on the golden theory, he has to ask himself; how he would like to be treated in this situation. George wants his future employees to demonstrate loyalty to him and his business. According to the golden rule, George has to practice same ideals as he wishes others to perform; so in this case the golden rule will point George in the direction of passing on an opportunity to work for MedTrain.

Virtue Ethics

A fourth perspective in this case is virtue ethics. The theory of virtue ethics focus on the integrity of the person and are based on making moral decisions. Virtue ethics considers a person's character, motivation, and intention when making moral choices. As a society a person is judged less harshly if his or her immoral acts were accidental and has no malcontent behind it.

In George's case, is loyalty to his employer a valid ethical consideration? If it is, George will not accept the offer without considering his employer and talking the situation over with his superiors. George will not perform this consulting job if he believes using the company resources is an unacceptable acceptable action. Furthermore, he should consider his motivation and intention of accepting this job. If the purpose is just personal gain and benefit, it is possible that we can educate him about the consequences and present reason why it would be unethical to accept the off.

Analysis

Utilitarianism

One method George should consider in making his decision on whether it is ethically and legally correct to consult with his employer's main competitor is the utilitarianism approach. The Utilitarian approach requires a person to evaluate the consequences to each stakeholder, and decide which choice will produce the net greatest good for the largest number of stakeholders. In this case, George must make his decision after weighing the relative benefits and harms of each individual stakeholder. In this unique case the stakeholders are XYZ Incorporated., MedTrain, and George's individual consulting company.

Choosing between himself, his employer, and their biggest competitor will certainly affect his standing in the company, or in the worst case scenario cost George his job. However, George must consider what impact his decision will make not only on his own private business, but also the consequences of him consulting with MedTrain. For example, if George chooses to consult with MedTrain, his job productivity may suffer negative consequences, such as lost hours at work and more paid time off due to time restraints spent consulting for MedTrain. Also, XYZ Incorporated may be harmed by George's lack of productivity and all his coworkers (staff) on the Texas project could suffer without proper guidance from their manager (George). The company could be forced to fire George, and as a result, even more employees may lose their jobs because of a lack of sales and support in the Texas division. George's individual decision may affect many people in the process.

Ethical Lenses

One other theory may help provide a possible alternative for George in his dilemma of making his decision on whether it is ethically and legally correct to consult with his employer's main competitor. The theory that may provide more guidance to George is the golden rule. Under the golden rule you want to treat others as how you would want to be treated yourself. After taking into account what the personal gain might be, George must consider the needs… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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