Answer to each student’s discussion learning activities (LA). ( 4 answers total: 2 answers for each of LA#1 and LA#2 ).

The first element of the grading rubric requires students to thoroughly comment the student’s answer the learning of activities provided. You are expected comment the answer provided and what you present must be supported with the readings ( see attached files) and research (if applicable)• When you support your ideas, reasoning or conclusion, you will need to cite the source document. • The goal is to demonstrate your understanding of the course readings so be prepared to demonstrate a prolific use of the course readings, which means that more than one author or article is used. • Personal experience is fine but be sure to relate to the course readings, which again requires an in-text citation. • Responses to your classmates requires use of the course readings • If an agree statement is provided, the grade for that post is a zero. • Element Four: Writing is a competency of The Undergraduate School. You are also expected to demonstrate good writing skills so make sure that what is presented is well written and in complete sentences. • The last element of the grading rubric has been discussed above but note the requirement to always cite and reference source material.
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Learning Activity #1 Student’s responses ( Please respond to both
student’s answers separately)
Student Response 1:
Upon reading this question I couldn’t help but think of Mark Zuckerberg and
Facebook. Although there were clear third-party app terms and conditions,
Cambridge Analytica collected not only user information but also their friends
information (Bloomberg, 2018). Now the U.S. government has launched a full
investigation into the platform’s practices and politicians are proposing increased
law and regulation to social media. Specifically speaking about social media, I do not
think that laws and regulation will facilitate ethical behavior because, the Internet
and technological developments create endless opportunities to be unethical and
regulation and laws take so long to be developed and passed that there will be an
endless game of catchup. When lawmakers finally think that they have finally passed
something that will protect users there will already be another threat out there.
Bloomberg. (2018, April 10). Facebook cambridge analytica scandal: 10 questions
answered. Retrieved from Fortune.com: http://fortune.com/2018/04/10/facebookcambridge-analytica-what-happened/
Student Response 2:
I take the position that government regulation and law do facilitate
ethical behavior than the absence of regulations and laws. Without
regulation, firms would be setting their own parameters and
requirements for what they identify with as ethical behavior, which
constitutes an unfair playing ground. What is ethical to one person, is
not necessarily ethical to another person.
Conor Breslin (n.d., para. 2)
points out that without rules, many unethical businesses would engage
in unethical practices and those that don’t are at a competitive
disadvantage.
However, I also agree with Michael L Michael (2006, p. 10) in his
position that the establishment of a set of
rules/requirements/regulations often results in companies identifying
what they need to do to avoid unlawful behavior within the context of
the specific rules, rather than what they should do to remain ethical,
and this can, in itself, lead to unethical behavior. It can also lead to
constantly changing government laws designed to prevent businesses
from finding “loop-holes.”
As an example, Maryland recently passed a Sick and Safe Leave Act
requiring employers to provide paid leave to employees when absent
for certain reasons. The effective date was almost immediate, February
11th; however, the Department of Labor has already made four revisions
to the law since its effective date. The constant change of the rules
makes it impossible for businesses to fully comply unless they are
glued to the government’s website. However, as Michael (2006, p. 11)
points out, it is impossible to identify all the contingencies that could
possibly surface.
Government is trying to remove all the decisions for
the employer by trying to cover, resulting in employers complying only
with what is dictated, rather than perhaps being more generous with
the amount of leave granted.
In summary, I believe that rules and laws are necessary to enforce
lawful and ethical behavior and ethical businesses will inherently go
beyond what is written and dictated in their ethical conduct. On the
other hand, unethical businesses will at least remain lawful, though not
go beyond in their ethical conduct.
Sources:
Breslin, Conor. (n.d.). Role of Government in Business Ethics. Small
Business – Chron.com. Retrieved April 19, 2018 from
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/role-government-business-ethics65128.html
Michael, M. L. (2006). Business ethics: The law of rules. Corporate
social responsibility initiative working paper no. 19. Cambridge
MA: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard
University. Retrieved from https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/mrcbg/CSRI/publications/workingpaper_19_michael.pdf
Learning Activity # 2 Student’s responses ( Please respond to both
student’s answers separately)
Student Response 1
By the colleague statement about the Senior VP concerns would be a sign of that there are
ethical issues with the new position. The issues that are identified are exploiting inexpensive
labor, operating in unsanitary conditions, bribery, and waste contamination. Before making
any decision on the identified issues below, determine the fact for each one; see if there are
any better or ethical solution to perform the task; and research Malaysian and internal laws
and regulations (Buchanon). Once the issues are determined, reported the finding to CEO, the
responses has to be developed. The ethical relativism must be considered whether an action is
right or wrong based on the Malaysian culture (Velasquez et al. n, d). The argument against
that is that there can be a universal moral view and still be respectful of the moral beliefs of
the country (Velasquez et al. n, d).
1. Exploit inexpensive labor: Initially I would not raise the salary as it is comparable to the jobs
in the country.
2. Operating in unsanitary conditions: Depending on the condition of the building, repairs
should be considered. If major issue, look for a better facility.
3. Waste disposal: Ensure that the waste is disposed properly according to local policy.
Implement a clean air and water program that benefits the citizens.
4. Bribery: Anti-corruption laws is a crime however, Malaysian judiciary carries a medium risk
for business.
While tackling the ethical issues, the VP should also develop a Corporate Social
Responsibility program. The program can produce better brand recognition internationally,
positive business reputation, increased sales, and customer loyalty. The benefits are economic,
social and environmental for the country, and make the company sustainable in the long term.
References:
Buchanon, A. (n.d.). Ethical Decision Making – some basics. Retrieved
from http://www.ccic.ca/resources/archives_coe_ethical_decision_making_basics_e.php
Velasquez, M. Andre, C. Stank, T. Meyer, M. (n, d) “Ethical Relativism.” Retrieved
From: https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/ethicalrelativism/
Student Response 2:
Since the prevailing wages offered by the company are consistent with
those of Malaysia’s, and the company’s operations are all in accordance
with the laws of Malaysia, it seems as if the theory of ethical relativism
is put into play. This theory states that determining the morality of
something is based on the cultural norms in the area in which it takes
place (Velasquez et al., 1992). However, since the company is a multinational company, originating in the U.S., it is clear that these current
wages and operations are not at an ethical level equal to their U.S.
counterparts. Even the reaction of the colleague in the U.S. shows that
the current operations would be seen as unethical if brought to the
attention of senior management. Within this company, a global set of
ethical standards should apply as these actions are seen as unethical in
the company’s originating culture and society (Velasquez et al., 1992).
In an international environment, the temptation to participate in
unethical behavior is very tempting due to the loose and less-apparent
laws compared to those in the U.S. (“Integrity, on a global scale,” 2003).
The company has given into this temptation and has produced a couple
ethical issues as a result. First, the company has hired hundreds of
workers at a rate well below that of the rates offered to workers in the
U.S. Second, comfortable working conditions are not up to par of those
offered by the company in the U.S. Third, waste is being disposed of in
a manner that is harmful to the environment. Finally, the company is
bribing local officials in order to receive favorable inspection reports in
order to avoid any inconveniences.
Implementing the company’s code of conduct in the company’s
international divisions will help to define the company’s values outside
of their U.S. divisions. The company’s values are what they stand for, no
matter where they are conducting business (Solomon, 1996). The code
of conduct explains which behaviors are and are not permitted by the
company, in addition to enforcing company standards and issuing
consequences when the they are not followed (Bianca, n.d.).
Multinational companies may also benefit by sending their employees
through business ethics training before sending them to another
country. This training can help employees understand cultural
differences while still enforcing their company’s code of conduct and
ethical standards (“Integrity, on a global scale,” 2003). As for the
environmentally detrimental waste disposal occurring, the company
should provide waste dumping solutions in which are safe for the
environment and meet the U.S. standards of dumping.
References
Bianca, Audra. (n.d.). Employee Behavior Standards in the Workplace.
Retrieved from http://work.chron.com/employee-behavior-standardsworkplace-8745.html
Integrity, on a global scale. (2003, February 10). Retrieved
from https://www.economist.com/node/1562708
Solomon, C. (1996, January 1). Put Your Ethics To A Global Test.
Retrieved from http://www.workforce.com/1996/01/01/put-yourethics-to-a-global-test/
Velasquez, M., Andre, C., Shanks, T., & Meyer, M. (1992, August
1). Ethical Relativism. Retrieved
from https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decisionmaking/ethical-relativism/
Review Weekly Learning Activities/Participation and related topics, and the Learning
Activities – and Support What You Write in preparing your responses.
Learning Activity #1
Show Me the Regulation?
There are at least two different positions taken on the question of whether
government regulation or laws can facilitate ethical behavior. Some take the
position that you cannot trust businesses on their own to do what is ethical;
therefore, some government intervention in the form of laws and regulations is
necessary. On the other hand, some argue that overreaching laws and regulations
do not facilitate ethical behavior, and indeed might have the opposite effect. What
do you think about the debate and what is your position? Why do you believe your
position is sustainable or defensible?
Learning Activity #2
When in Malaysia
W.B. Milestone, Inc., a manufacturer of sophisticated computer parts, recently moved
the operations of one of its divisions to Malaysia. The Company has hired several
hundred workers at wages considerably below their U.S. counterparts, but consistent
with the prevailing wages in Malaysia. Not only is the Company benefiting from the
lower wages, it is also able to reduce its costs further because of the deplorable
factories used for its operations (no air conditioning and poor ventilation), it can
dispose of waste without any government oversight, and government inspectors are
routinely given gratuities for favorable inspection reports or to otherwise grease the
skids for the Company. The Company’s operations are in all key respects in
accordance with the laws of Malaysia.
You were recently hired as a senior vice-president in charge of the Malaysian
operations and you are concerned about what you have seen and heard as to how
the plants are being operated. When you called a colleague in the states, he said to
you “keep your mouth shut and when in Rome do as the Romans do”. What are
some of the ethical issues you should consider in charting your course of action and
how would you resolve them?
IMPORTANT NOTE 6 : Global Ethics – Part 1
“To me, it really seems visible today that ethics is not something exterior to the
economy, which as technical matter, could function on its own; rather, ethics is an
interior principle of the economy itself, which cannot function if it does not take
account of the human values of solidarity and reciprocal responsibility.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Overview:
In this week we explore the future of ethical business as a direct result of
globalization. We examine the economic climate and the distribution of wealth and
notion of distributive justice. We ask the ethical question: Do businesses that own 83%
of the wealth have a moral obligation to spread the wealth around? The sub-theme is
whether it is government’s role alone or through regulation of business to make the
distribution less disparate.
Theme 1: The Effects of Globalization: The Role of Business in the Distribution
of Wealth and Resources
The effects of globalization have created an increasingly disparate division between
the distributions of wealth in the world. The ownership of land, industry and natural
resources is in the hands of large multinational corporations and the wealth of the
world is in the hands of a few. The problem of justice and economic distribution,
sometimes called distributive justice is a question that faces the globe. Main
questions include: What is fair and just in the distribution of the costs and rewards of
an economic system? What different principles of distribution can be used, and what
are the consequences of each different scheme or principle? Should some versions
of laissez–faire be adopted, or should communitarian/socialist scheme be
used? (Helpful principles to discuss, Utilitarianism, John Rawls’ Theory of Justice,
Robert Noziack’s libertarianism, Adam Smith’s invisible hand, Marxist (secular) or
Christian, Jewish, Islamic socialism).
Read/View:
•
Global Wealth Report 2017: Where Are We Ten Years after the Crisis?
(https://www.credit-suisse.com/corporate/en/articles/news-and-expertise/globalwealth-report-2017-201711.html)
•
What Companies Control Everything?
(https://www.internationalbusinessguide.org/corporations/)
•
10 Countries with the Most Natural Resources
(https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets-economy/090516/10-countries-mostnatural-resources.asp)
•
The Ethics of Redistribution.
(http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2015/09/on-the-ethics-ofredistribution.html)
•
The Ethics of Wealth Poverty and Inequality
(https://www.coursera.org/learn/sustainable-development/lecture/Lmnta/the-ethics-ofwealth-poverty-and-inequality)
•
The Effects of Globalization on Stakeholder Theory (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHJvr1LmeM8)
•
Business Ethics as Competitive Advantage for Companies in the Globalization Era
(https://learn.umuc.edu/content/enforced/165795-001154-01-2168-OL47980/BMGT496%20Article%20%20Business%20Ethics%20as%20Competitive%20Advantage%20for%20Companies
%20in%20the%20Globalization%20Era.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=FXdEEPpiQGsV63Zna
wWO6yvRn)
Subtheme: Should there be government regulation in this area and if so, how much
and what?
•
Role of government in Regulating Business Ethics
(http://smallbusiness.chron.com/role-government-businessethics-65128.html)
•
Compliance and Regulation: Johnson & Johnson
(https://www.jnj.com/caring/citizenship-sustainability)
•
Business Ethics: The Law of Rules (https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/m-
rcbg/CSRI/publications/workingpaper_19_michael.pdf)
Theme 2: The Effects of Globalization: Cultural Relativism and Morality
“If you should be in Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you should be elsewhere, live
as they do there” . St. Ambrose
Modern version of the quote: When in Rome do as the Romans do.
Overview:
Continuing the theme of global ethical issues facing business in the 21st century is the
concern that different cultures have different values, norms, and morality. Can you
expect that your morals and values should be accepted by those businesses in
another country and vice versa? The corollary question is: Can I ignore the company
values and except those that are contrary to mine but acceptable in the host country?
•
Ethical Relativism (https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decisionmaking/ethical-relativism/)
•
Ethical Relativism and Business
(https://rationaleofeverything.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/ethical-relativism-andbusiness/)
•
Put Your Ethics To A Global Test (http://www.workforce.com/1996/01/01/put-yourethics-to-a-global-test/)
•
Integrity on a Global Scale (https://www.economist.com/node/1562708)
INSTRUCTOR NOTE
Our focus this week will be to expand the ethical issues businesses face domestically
to the international arena. When a company takes all or parts of its operations to
jurisdictions outside the U.S. (a transnational company), there are a number of ethical
issues that arise. Many of these issues result from the fact that different cultures and
customs are at play, different laws apply, ethical standards may be different, and
human rights issues often take center stage.
How does a company deal with this new environment of conditions, workers, and
foreign regulation while maintaining allegiance to its roots and ways of doing
business in the U.S.? One of your readings for the week, “The Effects of
Globalization on Stakeholder Theory” discusses some of the ethical issues for
companies operating abroad. Another aspect of the transnational experience revolves
around the interaction of the organization and its stakeholders, in particular its
employees.
When looking at globalization is the proper approach ethically, “When in Rome do as
the Romans do” even when such behavior is below standards under U.S. operations?
This relates to the concept of ethical relativism, which I will say more about in the
overview. The life of a transnational corporation from an ethical perspective is not
easy as you will see during our examination of these issues.
In considering the international implications, keep in mind that these are a reflection
of the ethical climate and culture within the corporation in the U.S. It is likely the case
that a company that is ethically challenged by the way it operates domestically, will in
all probability transfer such questionable tendencies to its foreign operations. A
company that does not value its employees at home will likely have less regard for its
foreign workers who do not enjoy the same protections as U.S. workers. As we have
previously noted, it is the leadership that sets the tone for this climate.
Not only should you be mindful of the difficulties transnationals face in operating in
different cultures, there is another theme I would like you to consider this week; and
that is the issue of global wealth and its concentration in the hands of a select few.
There are several readings for this week on this subject and I do not want you to get
bogged down with all of the statistics and charts, but I do want you to think broadly
about the fairness, justice, and overall ethics of this concentration. In particular, think
about whether questions of fairness dictate that there should be a redistribution of this
wealth? Do corporations have a moral responsibility to help redistribute the wealth of
the world (the so called notion of distributive justice)?
One of the many comments I have raised with you on the whistle-blowing and the
marketing interaction of businesses with certain consumer groups concerns whether
we need additional laws and whether such laws would facilitate the resolution of
specific ethical dilemmas. As you do your readings, compare the views of the author
in “Ethics Without Regulation Won’t Cut It”, http://blogs.reuters.com/greatdebate/2009/01/30/ethics-without-regulation-will-not-cut-it/, who takes the view that
one cannot trust businesses to act ethically on their own, with the authors of “Role of
Government in Regulating Business Ethics” and “Business Ethics: The Law Of
Rules”, who question the wisdom of far reaching laws and regulations as facilitators
of ethical behavior. Learning Activity # 1 (Show Me the Regulation?) asks you to
weigh in on this debate by responding to the general question, do laws make things
worse ethically.
Lastly, this week we examine the concept of ethical relativism. Simply stated ethical
relativism is a theory which looks to the mores and values of a given society in
judging whether the conduct at issu …
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