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Business Ethics

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You are made aware that the corporation is seriously considering closing the Raleigh operation in the near future...and that the local Raleigh city council is proposing a costly PR campaign promoting your firm's operations in the Raleigh area.

Stakeholder can be defined as "everyone with an interest (or "stake") in what the entity does. That includes not only its vendors, employees, and customers, but even members of a community where its offices or factory may affect the local economy or environment". This closing would most definitely affect the entire community as the plant has been a key economic factor in Raleigh.

You the "manager" are facing several rationalizations for unethical behavior:

a) Pretend the behavior is not really unethical or illegal

b) Excusing it as in the firm's best interest

c) Assuming no one will find out

d) Presuming superiors will protect and support you if something goes wrong

The optimal response to this ethical dilemma is:

a) Recognize and clarify the dilemma - should the Raleigh city council be made aware of the potential closing of this operation before they proceed with their planned PR campaign.

b) Gather all the facts - what other options were contemplated before deciding to close the plant.

c) List all the options - Is there some sort of "work around" that could be attempted. I would hope that choosing to close the operation was a choice of last resort.

d) Is it legal - right - beneficial - does anyone get hurt?

e) How will I feel if my decision were publicized?

f) If your conscience is clear, take the action

When a business has a good relationship with its community, the success of the community's quality of life is affected in a positive way. I feel that the corporation does have a social responsibility to the community. They need to build a strong relationship between the company and the groups that are represented in the community. Because community involvement has become a huge part of most business lifestyles, it is important that the business participates in the community affairs. With so much going on in the world today with layoffs/plant closings, I feel if the business were more active in the community, this could be prevented.

If on the other hand, the situation is examined from the point of view of a corporation's loyalty to its employees, which was the standard for American capitalistic corporations in past generations, then plant closings/massive layoffs is not moral. The question is: Should a capitalistic corporation retain employees as a gesture of loyalty even if this act would reduce profits?

I would feel morally obligated to provide at least 60 days notice. "The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act is a federal law requiring employers to provide workers, their unions, and state and local government officials sixty days advance notice of any plant closing or mass layoff". This law applies to any private sector employers with at least 100 employees and is either closing the plant or lay off at least 33% of the employees

Deontology is Greek for "it is necessary." Thus, deontological theories claim that the morality of an action depends on its intrinsic nature, or on its motives. It is concerned with being in accordance with some rule or principle, and either not at all or only partly on consequences. It is sometimes referred to as an ethic of duty.

United States supports a capitalist economic system. In fact, many American attribute the great success and wealth of this country to the fact that healthy competition brings out the best in workers as well as companies. Capitalism is a system in which all or most of the means of production and distribution of commodities, such as property and companies, are privately owned and operated for profit. When the United States adopted this system, fully competitive conditions were supported.

Therefore, from a deontological methodology, it is morally acceptable for corporate behavior to achieve and retain its profits regardless of how the company treats its employees. If profitability is accepted as the most important aspect of as a corporation, management has the right to retain all employees or lay them off, at their discretion.

I would have a meeting with my immediate manager and explain the situation. Then I would have my manager set up a meeting with all the department heads. At this point, my manager and I would personally explain the situation to each of the department heads. Then the department heads would schedule a meeting with each of their departments. After all of this is completed, I would then have a "all hands" meeting with everyone directly involved in order to clear up any rumors and supply answers to any questions.

I would then send out flyers requesting the community to meet at City Hall and discuss the impact



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