Business Ethics Case Study Evaluation
Ethical issues present problems that are impossible to solve in a single dimension. There is never one universally correct way to act on an ethical dilemma since there is no clear distinction between what is considered good or bad. An effective solution is, therefore, one that enables all parties concerned in the standoff to meet halfway. This begins with the recognition of the ethical problem and the facts surrounding it, and available options and their consequences, as raised in “The Case of the Unwelcome Admiral,” and proposing a relevant and multidimensional solution based on valid research.
Analysis of Ethical Issues
In “The Case of the Unwelcome Admiral,” the major ethical problem is the implication of Vice Admiral Jones’ visit on the ethical stance of the university on three main controversial issues, including increased US military presence around the world, proposed US take-over of Cuba and the permitting of civilian possession of concealed weapons. The main shareholders who are opposed to the visit include the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) group, which has arranged the visit to learn about foreign policy. The leadership of the university-funded student newspaper, responsible for advertising, and Dr. Marcie are against the three policy issues endorsed by the admiral, and his visit will imply they support his stance.
Similarly, the external shareholders opposed to the admiral’s stance on the three issues, including gun rights activists, anti-nuclear protesters, and Green Peace, are set against the visit because it will propagate the admiral’s position on the controversial issues. This will, most importantly, hurt the university’s reputation. This problem is an ethical dilemma because the university president must decide between displeasing the pro-visit ROTC, which depends on the visit as a learning opportunity on foreign policy, and the newspaper leadership and activist groups who are concerned about what the visit means on the stance of the university about these issues.
Evaluation of Solutions
Decision-makers in problem-solving should consider how the ethical issues surrounding a situation affect various stakeholders. The concept of strategic planning proposed by Stanwick and Stanwick (2016) asserts that ethical problem-solving requires the responsible entity to build trust with all stakeholders (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2016). For this ethical problem, various options are available to solve the standoff. Firstly, the board can decide to cancel the visit altogether. The merit of this option is that it will appease the newspaper leadership, Dr. Marcie, her sympathizers, and the activist organizations. However, it will deprive the ROTC group of a learning opportunity.
The other option is to let the visit proceed as planned. This will upset the newspaper leadership, activist organizations, Dr. Marcie, and her sympathizers. Nevertheless, the ROTC group will benefit from the speech as a learning opportunity on foreign policy. The third option would be to let the meeting proceed, but under the precondition that measures are taken to address concerns about the implication of the stance of the admiral on the three major issues. Finally, the visit can be allowed to proceed. However, the guest can be changed to a less controversial public figure deemed equally conversant with US foreign policy. However, this may not be feasible, considering there are only ten days left for the event.
Stanwick and Stanwick (2016) assert that an ethical leader should be one who can influence the attitudes of their subordinates through one of two leadership styles, transformational or transactional. While transformational leadership involves inspirational motivation and influence, transactional leadership is based on an arrangement of mutual benefit (Bedi et al., 2016). Since the current case involves an attempt to arrive at a win-win situation for the pro-visit, anti-visit, and leadership factions, it is more suited to a transactional approach. This will allow the meeting to proceed in a manner that will not declare the university’s stance on controversial policy issues and thus preserve the press reputation of the institution.
Additionally, choosing the best option to solve an ethical problem requires that an organization observes organizational justice. This refers to the perception of members of fairness in the organization (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2016). In this case, this will require observing the concerns of both the pro-visit (ROTC) and the ant-visit (Journal leadership and sympathizers). The third option of letting the visit proceed under certain preconditions will, therefore, be suitable since the interests of both factions may be addressed. The admiral will be allowed to speak at the event, but measures will be taken to ensure he sticks to non-controversial aspects of foreign policy during the talk. He will be supplied with talking points to adhere to during the talk, and the speech will be transcribed beforehand and a presentation prepared.
Since the success and turnout of the talk rely on the advertisement, the advertisement will contain only relevant and non-controversial information, including the subject of the talk, besides omitting any mention of the stance of the admiral on controversial policy issues. All questions to be posted after the talk will be prepared and reviewed beforehand to ensure they are free of any controversial insinuations (Simons & Green, 2018). Besides, the admiral will specifically be instructed to desist from the controversial topic and publicly acknowledge it at least a few days before offering the speech; otherwise, he will not speak at the event (Simons & Green, 2018). Measures will also be taken to ensure the admiral adheres to the presentation. First, the presentation will be reviewed before the talk to ensure it sticks to the decided talking points and is free of any controversial statements (Simons & Green, 2018). The speech will be time-limited (Simons & Green, 2018). This will ensure there is only sufficient time for the content already decided, prepared, and reviewed.
Bedi et al. (2016). A meta-analytic review of ethical leadership outcomes and moderators. Journal of Business Ethics, 517-536.
Simons, J. J., & Green, M. C. (2018). Divisive topics as social threats. Communication Research, 165-187.
Stanwick, P., & Stanwick, S. D. (2016). Understanding Business Ethics. SAGE.
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Business Ethics Case Study Evaluation
Review the case assigned in this session’s Reading Assignment: The Case of the Unwelcome Admiral (pdf) Click for more options
Then, using the fact pattern and the decision-making framework set forth in the Admiral Davy Jones Case, evaluate the situation, the internal impact of the situation on the organization, and proposed solutions based on the ethical leadership, strategic planning, and decision-making concepts presented in Stanwick and Stanwick (2016).
Prepare a three page response paper (five pages total including cover page and reference page) that applies an interdisciplinary and multidimensional approach to ethical and analytical problem solving and demonstrates valid and reliable research-based methods for applying leadership theory to practice within the context of ethical theory and biblical worldview. Develop your paper based on the reading assignments, discussion forum, and session assignments, integrating biblical principles with outside research-based resources to support your presuppositions. A good paper should include at least three sources in addition to the course texts and be formatted according to APA requirements.
In this and all other papers in this class it is recommended you develop an outline and working draft of several pages, then boil your thoughts down to three pages plus cover page and references (5 pages total). By doing so you will be able to provide a concise and organized response that contains the most salient points and logical reasoning. You must come to a conclusion. Suggestions for how to do this are in the Example Outline (pdf) Click for more options
Click on the Session 2 Case Analysis and Response link to submit your assignment by the posted due date. Review the rubric available in Due Dates and Grades for specific grading criteria.
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