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Chapter 02
Business Ethics
Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
As hiring coordinator for Hennessey Networking Solutions, Inc.
(Hennessey), Andrea Templeton knew that her position was of utmost
importance to her company in terms of hiring candidates who were
well-qualified, and who would best contribute to the company’s overall
success. On her desk was the employment application and resume of
Timothy Carraway. Andrea had just finished her interview of Timothy,
who was the last in a long line of interviewees who had applied for an
entry-level information technology (IT) position at Hennessey.
Hennessey only had one (1) opening available. During Timothy’s
interview, the candidate revealed that seven (7) years ago, he had
been tried and convicted in federal court for selling a significant
amount of cocaine. Timothy had also revealed the conviction on his
employment application. Timothy went to great lengths to explain to
Andrea that he sincerely regretted the indiscretions of his youth, and
that he had spent the last seven (7) years of his life “paying penance,”
and reforming his life. After serving three (3) years in federal
penitentiary, Timothy had earned his bachelor’s degree in
Information Technology, graduating with honors.
Timothy’s interview had gone very well. In fact, Andrea felt that in
terms of his personality and education, he was the best “fit” for the
position. Andrea was obviously concerned about Timothy’s criminal
background, but she was also concerned about the young man should
he not find an employment opportunity after graduating from college.
Without a legitimate employment option, would Timothy revert back
to his “criminal ways?
Does Andrea Templeton and Hennessey Networking Solutions, Inc.
have an ethical obligation to hire Timothy Carraway? Should Andrea’s
Chapter 2 Ethical Dilemma
What is the best source for ethical business
practices: The individual employee, or the
business organization itself? To what extent
should individual employees be allowed to
lend input in the creation of a code of ethics
for a business organization? In the event that
an individual employee’s ethical standards
differ from his/her employer’s code of ethics,
what can/should be done to resolve those
Business Ethics and Social
Ethics: The study and practice of
decisions about what is good or right
Business Ethics: The application of ethics
to the problems and opportunities
experienced by businesspeople
Ethical Dilemma: A problem about what a
firm should do for which no clear, right
decision is available
Social Responsibility of Business:
Expectations that the community imposes
on firms doing business inside its borders
The “WPH” Process of Ethical
Decision Making: W—WHO
Owners or Investors
Future Generations
The “WPH” Process of Ethical
Decision Making: P—
PURPOSE (Values)
Primary Values and Business
Ethics: Freedom
To act without restriction from rules
imposed by others
To possess the capacity or resources
to act as one wishes
To escape the cares and demands of
this world entirely
Primary Values and Business
Ethics: Security
To possess a large enough supply of
goods and services to meet basic
To be safe from those wishing to
interfere with your property rights
To achieve the psychological
condition of self-confidence to such
an extent that risks are welcome
Primary Values and Business
Ethics: Justice
To receive the products of your labor
To treat all humans identically,
regardless of race, class, gender,
age, and sexual preferences
To provide resources in proportion
to need
To possess anything that someone
else is willing to grant you
Primary Values and Business
Ethics: Efficiency
To maximize the amount of wealth in
To get the most from a particular
To minimize costs
The “WPH” Process of Ethical
Decision Making: H—HOW
Public Disclosure
Golden Rule