BU113: Critical Thinking and Communication in Business
Prof. Bauer-Ramazani 

  Stakeholder Research Paper Assignment & Discussion

DUE: February 27, 2013

The Individual Assignment:
Each student will write a research paper and critical analysis of the impact on a stakeholder group in the Walmart supplier fire safety controversy. It includes an ethical analysis of core values involved and actions taken. These will be presented in a class discussion.
Review the
Stakeholder Research Paper--Performance Inventory, which will be used to evaluate your paper.

Part 1: The Situation

  • Describe the situation/state the facts. What has happened to date?
  • Include background on Walmart.

Part 2: The Impact on a Stakeholder Group: the Company itself (including employees), Customers, Investors, or Society

  • How was your assigned stakeholder group involved or affected? (Note: Consider Walmart as the company stakeholder, the customers of Walmart as the customer stakeholders and Walmart shareholders as the investor stakeholders.)
  • Analyze the effects of decisions made by Walmart on your stakeholder group.
  • Discuss any actions taken by your stakeholder group to deal with the situation.

Part 3: Ethical Dilemmas

  • What core ethical values (pillars of character/ethical norms), as outlined by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, <www.josephsoninstitute.org>) relate to your stakeholder group?
  • What ethical dilemmas did the company(s) face with respect to your stakeholder group? Discuss the core ethical values or norms in conflict.
  • How did the company(s) deal with these ethical dilemmas?

Part 4: Analysis of Solutions/Actions

  • Analyze actions taken by the company(s) using at least two (or more) of the 7 Guidelines for Making Ethical Decisions.
  • What other alternative actions could have been taken?
  • What do you feel should have been done?

Group Discussion

  • Be prepared to discuss your analysis in class.

Guidelines for Completing the Assignment:

  1. Assign each member of your BU 113 team responsibility for research and analysis relating to one type of stakeholder group: the Company itself (including employees), Customers, Investors, or Society.

  2. Use the information and resources from your Intro to Business Research Skills & Resources class to research the case. In writing the Stakeholder Research Paper, apply the research skills and resources learned in class. Use APA guidelines for in-text and reference citations of your research sources. Refer to the BU113 Library Web site link.

  3. Refer to the Ethical Context of Business lecture and Chapter 2 of your textbook to help you with your analysis.

Writing Guidelines

  1. Format: Use memo format for spacing, section headings; no indentations.
  2. Begin with an introduction that states the purpose of the paper and end your paper with a conclusion that summarizes the key points you addressed.
  3. References and in-text citations: Include at least 6 in-text citations and 6 references. All in-text citations must have a reference, and you should only list references which are cited in the text. Use the library's BU113: Stakeholder Assignment page for relevant databases and search terms to find authoritative and credible sources. Up to three references may be from the Internet (non-scholarly sources). The remaining sources must be obtained from the library databases and include a combination of newspaper, magazine, and journal articles.
  4. Use Citation of Electronic Resources <http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/BU113/citation_electr_references.htm>) as a guide for in-text and reference citations.
  5. Reference Citations: You may use the following methods to create your Reference List --
    A. Use the APA citation given from your library database search.
    B. Use a citation engine to "build" a citation or use the Library's link to a citation builder
    C. Refer to the APA Manual in the library or the APA Online Guide.

  6. Spell-check your paper and proofread it for wordiness, sentence fragments or run-on sentences, and mechanics (format, punctuation).

7 Guidelines for Making Ethical Decisions
(Choose the guidelines appropriate for your case.)

  1. The Golden Rule: Act in a way you would expect others to act toward you.
  2. The Utilitarian Principle: Act in a way that results in the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
  3. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: Act in such a way that the action taken under the circumstances could be a universal law, or rule of behavior.
  4. The Professional Ethic: Take actions that would be viewed as proper by a disinterested panel of professional peers.
  5. The TV Test: Managers should always ask, “Would I feel comfortable explaining to a national TV audience why I took this action?”
  6. The Legal Test: Is the proposed action or decision legal/? Established laws are generally considered minimum standards for ethics.
  7. The Four-way Test: Managers can feel confident that a decision is ethical if they can answer “yes” to the following questions:
    • Is the decision truthful?
    • Is it fair to all concerned?
    • Will it build good will and better friendships?
    • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?