BU113: Foundations of Business Administration
Prof. Bauer-Ramazani

Business Ethics Memo -- individual writing ASSIGNMENT
DUE Wednesday, 2/3/10

A.  The Case

B.  Framework of Analysis -- Content & Writing Guidelines

  1.  the situation – State the facts; describe the situation.

  2. ethical dilemma/issue(s) – Discuss the values and norms that are in conflict.

  3. the stakeholders involved – List them.  Describe their involvement.  Why/In what way are they stakeholders? How are they affected?

  4. the ethical norms (6 Pillars of Character) – Discuss the relevant ethical norms that apply to the case.

  5. alternative courses of action and tradeoffs (benefits/costs, advantages/disadvantages) – Discuss 2-3 alternatives that are available to you to deal with the dilemma/issue(s).  What are the tradeoffs of each course of action for the stakeholders involved?

  6. solution – Discuss how the dilemma should have been solved by referring to one or more of the 7 Guidelines for Making Ethical Decisions that should have been used --see below. 

  7. personal beliefs or feelings -- State your opinion as to what should have been done to deal with this dilemma.

Creating an Ethical Work Place – 7 Guidelines
for making Ethical Decisions

(Choose the appropriate guidelines 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 (Source: Herb Taylor 1932, Rotary International):
    Managers can feel confident that a decision is ethical if they can answer “yes” to the following questions:

Christine Bauer-Ramazani; last updated: July 09, 2017