Student Presentation 21

advertisement
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY
> Student Presentation 21
Sexual Misconduct and Taxes, Morality and Ethics
Johanan Ottensooser: 10873305
MAY 6, 2009
Introduction:
This presentation is structured as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Analysis of the case study
Definitions
Analysis through critical frames, personal morality and ethics
My personal opinion
Conclusion
Analysis of the Case Study
Beatrice has worked for BigBank as a small business advisor for several years and would like to be
promoted to an advisor in the large corporate division. Her immediate boss Phillip is about to be
promoted to Associate Director of the bank. Beatrice thinks that the opportunity should now be ripe
to be promoted to the large corporate level as Phillip is moving on from his present position. Phillip
has always been a friendly and fair boss but has the reputation of “living life to the full”. In
particular, he is often seen at upmarket nightspots and is renowned for giving extremely expensive
bottles of champagne to his staff every time he obtains a new client. He also often invites his staff
out on his cruiser. On one of these cruises Beatrice said to Phillip “I know the bank’s doing OK, but I
didn’t think even you could pay for a boat like this.” Phillip replied.” The maintenance of this boat is
negligible. I pay cash in hand for every repair and I save a fortune – If you ever buy a boat go and see
Billy Fixit at the marina and tell him to look after you. After all the Tax Department gets enough out
of me because it is all taken out of my salary before I get it... That’s the advantage for people who
have their own business”
Phillip also seems to have selected as his work team nearly all young attractive women. One of
these, Emma recently was promoted much to the surprise of the other members of the team after
she had spent the weekend with Phillip on his cruiser.
Beatrice congratulated Emma for this sudden promotion and Emma said, “I think my weekend away
with Phillip made it easier. I just hope his wife doesn’t find out. Of course, it’s not only Phillip that
does it- it’s just about everyone in senior management except the Chairman of Directors. Just watch
me work my way up the corporate ladder.”
If you were Beatrice would you:
a) try and raise Phillip’s conduct with the Chairman of the Bank;
b) contact Phillip’s wife and tell her what Phillip is doing;
c) report your suspicions about Billy Fixit to the Tax Department
Explain the ethical implications that each of the above alternative actions raise for Beatrice.
Part a)
The first possible course of action is divulging the information known: Phillip’s proclivity towards
sexuality in the workplace, and, therefore, his slightly slanted form of Nepotism as well as his
excessive expenses and tax fraud. This is, therefore, an official complaint in the light of personal as
well as workplace misdemeanour.
Part a) could also be seen as asking the fundamental question of the judging the ethicalness of
sexuality as well as nepotism in a work environment. Part a) is a question on Ethics.
Part b)
The second outcome reveals Phillip’s infidelity, and, perhaps, his other misdemeanours to his wife: a
personal response to a personal affront.
Part b) could be surmised as asking the question of external involvement in personal issues, as well
as the partner’s right to know about an infidelity. Part b) is a question on Morality.
Part c)
The third outcome is different from the other two as it presents a legal, in fact possible criminal
accusation against Mr Phillip.
Our judgement on Part c) is quite important, as it touches on the issue of whether or not it is
recommended or required to report illegalities, legally, ethically and morally. Part c) is a question on
Legality, Ethics and Morality.
Definitions:
There are a few definitions central to this debate:
Morals
Morals are a comprehensive set of personal values (which often align with those of a social
group, religion, etc.).
Ethics
Ethics can be defined as an aggregation of societal morality.
Law
The law is a formal aggregation of rules, based on morality and ethics.
This is, however, an informal definition. The “neo-analytical” school of jurisprudence provides a
much more thorough definition of the above (Lancaster & Meltz, 2009, p. 20).
They define morals as social norms that are either habit or rule.
They define ethics as social norms that are a rule, as well as enforceable, either by obligation
or criticism.
They define laws as social norms that are an enforceable rule, enforced by physical sanction:
i.e. a punishment.
Other required definitions:
Nepotism: favouritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (Princeton,
2009)
Analysis through frames
Ethics is an intrinsically difficult frame of analysis, since it is deeply personal and has had many
philosophical incarnations. However, one is able to analyse the abovementioned scenario via different
ethical and philosophical frames. In week 1, we discussed Jurisprudence. The frames presented here are
extracted from the first two lectures, and are as follows:
Frame
General Morals
Description
View the issue
against the forces of
Character and
Character
Diminution
(Dababneh, BLEthics
Tutorial “Tutorial 1,
2 - Jurisprudence”,
2009)1
a)
No
b)
No
c)
No
View the issues
against societal
standards of
Character and
Character
Diminution (Watson,
2005, pp. 540-550)
Naturalists
View law, morality
and ethics as based
on “god’s law”:
Notably St Thomas
Aquinas2
Utalitarianists
View the same
though as to service
the “most good for
the most people ”
Feminists
View the question
through a
gynocentric trope
Some other Frames from my research
Judaic Law
Views ethics as
natural law does,
through it is strictly
encoded
Australian Law
One is not required
to report a
witnessed crime
unless it is
continuing
Total
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
-
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
5
2
3
General Ethics
1
See Appendix 1
I have adapted Aquinas’ theory on whether it is required to obey law (stating that it depends on civil unrest
and natural law (Lancaster & Meltz, 2009, pp. 9, 10)) to be used as a ethical frame: if an action is not legally
required, it must only be done if it does not cause civil unrest.
2
My Opinion
a)
Since Mr Phillips’ actions
constitute sexual assault, as
well as Nepotism (since he
promoted those with which he
had special relations), and this
personally affected Beatrice
(since she lost out on being
promoted) – as well as the
large scope of the “crime” and
the director’s seeming naïveté,
I believe that Beatrice is being
moral (since it affects her
personally) and ethical (since
she is showing moral courage
in exposing this widespread
crime) in exposing the scandal
to the Director
b)
Since the affair occurred
between Mr Phillips and
another, and does not
personally affect Beatrice, it
would be socially wrong,
wounding and immoral to tell
the wife.
c)
Beatrice is not legally required
to tell the Tax Department of
Mr Phillips’ and Mr Fixit’s
alleged crimes, neither does
she have evidence to prove
them. Furthermore,
considering the confidence Mr
Phillips placed in her, it would
be morally wrong of her to tell
the Tax Department. If she
were to, however, it would be
ethically justifiable as
courageous, as well as
reflective of inner strength,
not to mention standing up for
the good of “society”.
However, I would still
recommend to Beatrice not to
tell the Tax Department
Appendix 1: “The Forces of Character Diminution (Dababneh, Tutorial
8 - Revision, 2009)”
Character
Character
Diminution
Empathy
Acquisitive
Opportunism
Honesty
Apathy
Moral courage
Greed
Integrity
Moral Cowardace
Bibliography
Dababneh, B. (2009). BLEthics Tutorial “Tutorial 1, 2 - Jurisprudence”.
Dababneh, B. (2009, Week 8). Tutorial 8 - Revision. Slide 5.
Lancaster, J., & Meltz, D. (2009). 79203 Business Law and Ethics, based on Business Law [Gibson and
Fraser]. (4, Ed.) Sydney: Pearson Education, Australia.
Princeton. (n.d.). Definition of Nepotism. Retrieved April 30, 2009, from Princeton Wordnet:
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=nepotism
Watson, P. (2005). Ideas - A History from Fire to Freud. London: W&N.
Slide 1 – [email protected] for handout and extended Jurisprudence notes
Analysis of the Case Study
Beatrice has worked for BigBank as a small business advisor for several years and would like to be
promoted to an advisor in the large corporate division. Her immediate boss Phillip is about to be
promoted to Associate Director of the bank. Beatrice thinks that the opportunity should now be ripe to
be promoted to the large corporate level as Phillip is moving on from his present position. Phillip has
always been a friendly and fair boss but has the reputation of “living life to the full”. In particular, he is
often seen at upmarket nightspots and is renowned for giving extremely expensive bottles of champagne
to his staff every time he obtains a new client. He also often invites his staff out on his cruiser. On one of
these cruises Beatrice said to Phillip “I know the bank’s doing OK, but I didn’t think even you could pay for
a boat like this.” Phillip replied.” The maintenance of this boat is negligible. I pay cash in hand for every
repair and I save a fortune – If you ever buy a boat go and see Billy Fixit at the marina and tell him to look
after you. After all the Tax Department gets enough out of me because it is all taken out of my salary
before I get it... That’s the advantage for people who have their own business”
Phillip also seems to have selected as his work team nearly all young attractive women. One of these,
Emma recently was promoted much to the surprise of the other members of the team after she had
spent the weekend with Phillip on his cruiser.
Beatrice congratulated Emma for this sudden promotion and Emma said, “I think my weekend away with
Phillip made it easier. I just hope his wife doesn’t find out. Of course, it’s not only Phillip that does it- it’s
just about everyone in senior management except the Chairman of Directors. Just watch me work my
way up the corporate ladder.”
If you were Beatrice would you:
a) try and raise Phillip’s conduct with the Chairman of the Bank;
b) contact Phillip’s wife and tell her what Phillip is doing;
c) report your suspicions about Billy Fixit to the Tax Department
Explain the ethical implications that each of the above alternative actions raise for Beatrice.
Part a)
The first possible course of action is divulging the information known: Phillip’s proclivity towards
sexuality in the workplace, and, therefore, his slightly slanted form of Nepotism as well as his
excessive expenses and tax fraud. This is, therefore, an official complaint in the light of personal as
well as workplace misdemeanour.
Part a) could also be seen as asking the fundamental question of the judging the ethicalness of
sexuality as well as nepotism in a work environment. Part a) is a question on Ethics.
Part b)
The second outcome reveals Phillip’s infidelity, and, perhaps, his other misdemeanours to his wife: a
personal response to a personal affront.
Part b) could be surmised as asking the question of external involvement in personal issues, as well as the
partner’s right to know about an infidelity. Part b) is a question on Morality.
Part c)
The third outcome is different from the other two as it presents a legal, in fact possible criminal
accusation against Mr Phillip.
Our judgement on Part c) is quite important, as it touches on the issue of whether or not it is
recommended or required to report illegalities, legally, ethically and morally. Part c) is a question on
Legality, Ethics and Morality.
Slide 2
Character
Character
Diminution
Empathy
Acquisitive
Opportunism
Honesty
Apathy
Moral courage
Greed
Integrity
Moral Cowardace
Slide 3
Frame
a)
b)
c)
General Morals
No
No
No
General Ethics
Yes
Yes
Yes
Naturalists
Yes
No
No
Utalitarianists
Yes
No
Yes
Feminists
Yes
Yes
-
Judaic Law
No
No
Yes
Australian Law
Yes
No
No
Download