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MGMT3006 Business Ethics : Focusing on the Potential Responsibilities

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Demonstrate your ability to apply theoretical content of the unit to a practical setting. You will be assessed on how well you can identify the ethical dimensions of a given case, develop and explain your position on the problem presented and present a reasoned decision.

Answer:

Introducation:

The case study is focusing on the potential responsibilities of CEO, Cheryl Tobin before her acceptance of the position as the new CEO for Hammond Aerospace. This case study is mainly associated with the hiring of a new CEO post the unexpected demise of a very successful and famous CEO, James Rawlings. But after the joining of Cheryl as the new CEO of Hammonds Aerospace, she started speculating in what ways Hammond Aerospace could have become one of the leading Aerospace organizations globally. Nevertheless, she had heard certain rumours about the company while she was working with her earlier company, Boeing.

The rumours stated that the sales executives of the company, Hammond Aerospace did the development of slush fund that was inexorably utilized for assisting in closing the deals with relevant foreign officials. Even though there was no evidence regarding the justification of the allegations. So, as soon as Cheryl became the CEO of Hammond Aerospace, she made the decision of conducting her personal enquiry regarding the rumours. Cheryl started conducting this by interrogating her executive administrative assistant, Jackie Terrell who consequently was the assistant of James Rawlings as well. Descriptive Moral Relativism is depending on the empirically proven, deep as well as extensive moral disparities across various societies. Nevertheless, it will be accepting the presence of primary disagreements regarding the appropriate course of action, although similar facts are being obtained as well as similar outcomes will be arising. Meta-Ethical Moral Relativism will be holding the fact that truth or falsity regarding moral judgements will not be considered absolute or universal, even though having association with the traditions, convictions or practices regarding a specific group or society.

Ethical Dilemma 


The CEO’s Private Investigation has presented an ethical dilemma where Cheryl, the incoming CEO of the aeronautical organization, Hammond Aerospace is facing the actual challenge regarding the matter that the late CEO of the firm, James Rawlings was having engagement in high level corruption for securing orders regarding the planes for the firm. In this context, it might be stated that the problem is two-fold, stating that when an investigation will begin shareholders might be taking flight whereas investigators might be swarming the firm like sharks. As because corruption is taking place within the firm, it is the responsibility of Cheryl to control what is happening irrespective of whether it commenced during or prior to her tenure. This is because she is now administering the firm (Crane 2016). However, in this regard she realizes that she might be facing legal issues if she will be signing a financial statement she is having suspicions about. Therefore, she is required considering both the aspects regarding the discovery of corruption as well as where there is uncovering of no evidence and in what ways appropriate response can be provided.

“The CEO’s private investigation” is focusing on the potential responsibilities of CEO, Cheryl Tobin before her acceptance of the position as the new CEO for Hammond Aerospace. This case study is mainly associated with the hiring of a new CEO post the unexpected demise of a very successful and famous CEO, James Rawlings. But after the joining of Cheryl as the new CEO of Hammonds Aerospace, she started speculating in what ways Hammond Aerospace could have become one of the leading Aerospace organizations globally (Halinen 2016). Nevertheless, she had heard certain rumours about the company while she was working with her earlier company, Boeing. The rumours stated that the sales executives of the company, Hammond Aerospace did the development of slush fund that was inexorably utilized for assisting in closing the deals with relevant foreign officials. Even though there was no evidence regarding the justification of the allegations. So, as soon as Cheryl became the CEO of Hammond Aerospace, she made the decision of conducting her personal enquiry regarding the rumours (DesJardins 2014). Cheryl started conducting this by interrogating her executive administrative assistant, Jackie Terrell who consequently was the assistant of James Rawlings as well. Cheryl also started suspecting Hank Bodine, the internal candidate for the vacancy of the CEO. This resulted in a more frustrating situation as because Mr. Bodine felt that Cheryl was accusing others immediately after she assumed her new duties. Moreover, Cheryl also started suspecting the general counsellor for Hammond Aerospace, Geoffrey Latimer in this regard (Sandel 2012).

Hammond started flourishing in an uncharacteristic manner over more prevalent organizations such as Boeing as well as Lockheed Martin. However, there were rumours that were focusing on the unethical practices of the organization that assisted in closing the sales. The unethical practices were violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was designed for stopping bribery as the way to obtain foreign business and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act did the increasing of the corporate director’s accountability (Hartman 2014).

A) Seeing

Ethical Dimension 

Virtue Ethics Theory

Virtue Ethics is the aspect of classifying within Normative Ethics that will be attempting the aspect of discovering as well as classifying what is considered as the moral character and applying the moral character as a base regarding an individual’s choices as well as actions. The basic concept regarding Virtue Ethics is focusing on what a person is required choosing in respect of his/her individual personal inward behavioural aspect in comparison to the person having sole reliance on the external laws as well as customs relating to the cultural aspect of the individual (Morris 2004).

In this context, it can be stated that Cheryl Tobin, the new CEO of Hammonds Aerospace had the awareness regarding the rumours that the firm might be practicing bribery with foreign governments for winning contracts. As a result, Cheryl is facing the challenge to ignore any probable mistake or advancing ahead as well as making investigations of the matter as well as revealing a possible corporate scandal. Now, if Cheryl tries advancing forward and to do so tries changing the corporate culture with better ethical aspects, it will be having the involvement of many of the present company executives going on the defensive (Vitell 2015). In a clear manner, this will be creating loyalty as well as division concerns within the organization. This might be giving rise to an “us” against “them” mindset taking into consideration not just the aspect of putting the jobs of the employees at stake but also their professional reputation and their probable freedom if they were considered responsible of a federal crime (Painter?Morland 2010).

B) Talking

Moral Relativism 

Moral Relativism is considered to be the positional aspect that moral or ethical intention does not reflect objective as well as universal moral truths, but in its stead, make claims in relation to social, cultural, historical or personal situations. There exist two kinds of moral relativism that are, Descriptive Moral Relativism as well as Meta-Ethical Moral Relativism (Jennings 2014).

Descriptive Moral Relativism is depending on the empirically proven, deep as well as extensive moral disparities across various societies. Nevertheless, it will be accepting the presence of primary disagreements regarding the appropriate course of action, although similar facts are being obtained as well as similar outcomes will be arising (Drumwright 2004).

Meta-Ethical Moral Relativism will be holding the fact that truth or falsity regarding moral judgements will not be considered absolute or universal, even though having association with the traditions, convictions or practices regarding a specific group or society. It is holding as well the fact that various fundamental moral disagreements will not get resolved in a rational manner, and therefore, moral judgements are lacking the normative force that is habitually maintained for them (West 2009).

In this context, it can be stated that there is the requirement of evaluating the documents in a meticulous manner as well as tactfully tapping of the insiders is considered essential to determine whether there has been violation of the laws. The major goal of Cheryl is sending out a clear message that there will not be any kind of bypassing a wrong act (Fooks 2013).

Ethics in the free market 

Markets might actually be encouraging ethical behaviour. The only means of making money within a market is providing a service that other individuals will be valuing enough for paying. This will be leading individuals for being cooperative as well as friendly and trying to offer a product or service that is needed by the individuals.

When there is unethical actions from the corporate leaders, as in the case of Hammonds Aerospace where the earlier CEO, Late James Rawlings was involved in corruption, their actions results in lot of sufferings and there might occur instances where the organization might be compelled to go bankrupt or go out of business. Another aspect of looking at markets as well as ethical behaviours is arguing that markets will be operating only when individuals are considered being ethical (Young 2006).

In this context, various corporations including Hammonds Aerospace is agreeing to the fact that corporate social responsibility is not just a charitable act. It is fostering long-term worth. Business is considered being the most global force and when approached in a specific manner will be promoting economic as well as social welfare (Weiss 2014).

C) Acting

Tacit Knowledge 

The expansive storehouse of knowledge that every normal person holds that is considered being unwritten, unspoken as well as hidden, depending upon his or her emotional aspects, experiences, perceptions as well as internalized knowledge. Tacit knowledge is vital to the overall consciousness of an individual and is achieved in large manner with the help of getting associated with other individuals as well as requiring joint or shared activities that will get communicated from one individual to the other individual (Goodpaster 2004).

                                                                      Figure 1 Tacit Knowledge

                                                                      (Source: The Informer, 2017)

Heuristics and Bias 

Current corporate scandals throughout the different industries such as the case of Hammonds Aerospace, are leading towards the increasing concentration regarding business ethical aspects especially to understand ethical making of decisions. This growing interest is mainly because of the desirability of the managers (in this case, the current CEO of the firm) in reducing the occurrence of unnecessary behaviours within the place of work.

                                                                  Figure 2 Heuristic and Biases

                                                                          (Source: MDPI, 2015)

In this context, it can be stated that the heuristics are generally providing rationally effective outcomes in a quick as well as easy manner but also can fail in a unpredictable manner. There can also occur instances of failing in ways that are considered being predicable and are regarded as biases (Nonaka 2009). Majority of the heuristics are working effectively or might be turning into detrimental biases in any problematic stage regarding the solving of problems but the details will be differing that will depend upon the level of problem solving the company is presently in. In the case of Hammonds Aerospace, it is associated with the case of corruption that the executives of the company were engaged in.

Therefore, Heuristic and Tacit Knowledge might get used for justifying the decision of Cheryl for proceeding with the case of Hammonds Aerospace because, the heuristics as well as tacit knowledge, in general assists in providing practical results quickly as well as easily that will assist in speeding up the investigation process. As a result, Cheryl will also be able to take actions against the uncalled behaviours within the place of work that is considered detrimental in respect of the ethical aspects of the organization.

Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be stated that Cheryl Tobin, the new CEO of Hammonds Aerospace had the awareness regarding the rumours that the firm might be practicing bribery with foreign governments for winning contracts. As a result, Cheryl is facing the challenge to ignore any probable mistake or advancing ahead as well as making investigations of the matter as well as revealing a possible corporate scandal. Now, if Cheryl tries advancing forward and to do so tries changing the corporate culture with better ethical aspects, it will be having the involvement of many of the present company executives going on the defensive. Even though there was no evidence regarding the justification of the allegations. So, as soon as Cheryl became the CEO of Hammond Aerospace, she made the decision of conducting her personal enquiry regarding the rumours. Cheryl started conducting this by interrogating her executive administrative assistant, Jackie Terrell who consequently was the assistant of James Rawlings as well. Cheryl also started suspecting Hank Bodine, the internal candidate for the vacancy of the CEO. This resulted in a more frustrating situation as because Mr. Bodine felt that Cheryl was accusing others immediately after she assumed her new duties. Moreover, Cheryl also started suspecting the general counsellor for Hammond Aerospace, Geoffrey Latimer in this regard. Therefore, taking into consideration the various aspects, it needs to be stated that Cheryl should be proceeding with the investigation since in her own words she wants the reputation of Hammond to be spotless. For actualizing that it is very much required to find out the individuals that were at fault and taking stringent action against them will help the company to grow without getting its reputation tarnished.

Reference:

Crane, Andrew, and Dirk Matten. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press, 2016.

DesJardins, Joseph R., and John J. McCall. Contemporary issues in business ethics. Cengage Learning, 2014.

Drumwright, Minette E., and Patrick E. Murphy. "How advertising practitioners view ethics: Moral muteness, moral myopia, and moral imagination." Journal of Advertising 33, no. 2 (2004): 7-24.

Fooks, Gary, Anna Gilmore, Jeff Collin, Chris Holden, and Kelley Lee. "The limits of corporate social responsibility: techniques of neutralization, stakeholder management and political CSR." Journal of Business Ethics 112, no. 2 (2013): 283-299.

Goodpaster, Kenneth E. "Ethics or excellence? Conscience as a check on the unbalanced pursuit of organizational goals." Ivey Business Journal 68, no. 4 (2004): 1-8.

Halinen, Aino, and Päivi Jokela. "Exploring Ethics in Business Networks: Propositions for Future Research." In Extending the Business Network Approach, pp. 333-356. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016.

Hartman, Laura Pincus, Joseph R. DesJardins, Chris MacDonald, and Laura Pincus Hartman. Business ethics: Decision making for personal integrity and social responsibility. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014.

Jennings, Marianne M. Business ethics: Case studies and selected readings. Cengage Learning, 2014.

Morris, Donald. "Defining a moral problem in business ethics." Journal of Business Ethics 49, no. 4 (2004): 347-357.

Nonaka, Ikujiro, and Georg Von Krogh. "Perspective—Tacit knowledge and knowledge conversion: Controversy and advancement in organizational knowledge creation theory." Organization science 20, no. 3 (2009): 635-652.

Painter?Morland, Mollie. "Questioning corporate codes of ethics." Business Ethics: A European Review 19, no. 3 (2010): 265-279.

Sandel, Michael J. "What isn’t for sale." The Atlantic 309, no. 3 (2012): 62-66.

Vitell, Scott J. "A Case for Consumer Social Responsibility: Including a Selected Review of Consumer Ethics/Social Responsibility Research." (2015).

Weiss, Joseph W. Business ethics: A stakeholder and issues management approach. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2014.

West, Andrew. "Corporate governance convergence and moral relativism." Corporate Governance: An International Review 17, no. 1 (2009): 107-119.

Young, William, and Fiona Tilley. "Can businesses move beyond efficiency? The shift toward effectiveness and equity in the corporate sustainability debate." Business Strategy and the Environment 15, no. 6 (2006): 402-415.

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