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The WH Framework Analysis

The WH Framework Analysis

WH Framework Chart

1.      W-WHO (Stakeholders)





2.      H-How (Guidelines)

Golden rule

Stakeholders Catered to by Trazska and L’Oreal Management

In L’Oreal’s case, Trazska decided to cater to customers and employees. Firstly, the head of the regional patent team felt that the patent quota imposed on employees was unachievable given the circumstances in the US. To mitigate this, the head of the L’Oreal subsidiary in the US refused to force employees to implement the patent quota. On the other hand, the management of L’Oreal focused their efforts on the investors/owners. Setting a high number of patents was intended to boost the company’s bottom line. In that case, the investors would benefit from the move.

Values Chosen by L’Oreal’s Management

One of the values chosen by L’Oreal’s management is the decision to act with freedom. Freedom, essentially, is a decision to act as one wishes, albeit with a few restrictions. Managers choose to act independently to speed the delivery of the organization’s desired outcomes (Kubasek et al., 2020). Sometimes, subjecting some decisions to approval by organizational participants may spur resentment from employees. Such resentment may frustrate the management function of the company. To that end, it is evident that L’Oreal’s management expected employees and regional managers to oppose the twin proposals. As a result, L’Oreal chose to fire Traszka.

Besides, the decision to fire Traszka was informed by L’Oreal’s desire to attain financial security and maintain the company’s bottom line. The management could not trust Traszka to push other employees to chase the organization’s new goals. As a result, they had to fire her and potentially replace her with someone they could trust to implement the new patent guidelines.


The WH framework helped identify key stakeholders affected by L’Oreal’s decision process. Typically, one would assume that employees and managers are the only ones affected by organizational decisions. However, the WH framework shows there are additional stakeholders affected by decisions in the long run, including customers, employees, the community, and future generations.

Other than identifying key stakeholders, the WH framework also gives an insight into the company’s value system used in relating with its employees. Values capture an organization’s ultimate desires. Short-term decisions are made with an eye set on achieving certain longer-term business goals. The decisions of an organization are the outcome of the interplay of different values. The WH framework shows the relationship between different values and decision guidelines.

Importance of the WH Framework in Management

Avoiding Rationalizations

One of the functions of an ethical guide like the WH framework is that it helps managers avoid rationalizations. Rationalizations occur when one makes a poor decision based on their selfish interests (Ferrell et al., 2019). Decision-makers who provide rationalizations do not care about the interests of other organizational stakeholders. Although there is no technique to establish rationalizations, they can be identified when one is asked to provide reasons for their decision. The tests used to determine rationalizations include; the publicity test, generalizability test, and reversibility.

Building an Ethical Framework

The WH framework also helps managers build an ethical framework out of a case. Managers achieve this by raising relevant questions, identifying central themes, and drawing the basis of a particular decision (Ferrell et al., 2019). The ethical framework helps managers raise essential questions that help them think beyond their initial moral intuitions. A precise ethical framework helps managers deal with rationalizations that may hamper the performance of managerial duties. A WH framework works best when incorporated with other business lines such as accounting and finance.

Assessing the Needs of Other Stakeholders

An ethical framework also helps managers to assess the needs of other stakeholders. When executing the managerial function, some managers tend to think that only their interests and maybe those of employees matter. Consequently, this often leads to poor decisions that may harm other stakeholders and potentially affect the company’s bottom line. For instance, managers may sometimes forego a company’s profitability goals while pursuing positive media coverage and a positive customer reputation. However, with a good

Pursuing Public Disclosure

Another managerial function of the WH framework is to guide a company’s public policy disclosures. Essentially, public disclosure refers to a company’s regard for the well-being of its environment. A business should consider the hazards of any of its actions to avoid potential losses resulting from non-disclosure tendencies (Kubasek et al., 2020). For instance, Walgreens released toxic waste to the surrounding environment. As a result, this led to a legal suit that cost the company significantly in fines (Kubasek et al., 2020). Managers who establish public disclosure will consider the consequences of their actions and avoid unnecessary costs to other stakeholders.

Decisions Based on a WH Chart 

A WH framework chart helps one identify the issue that needs ethical consideration. Also, it allows one to identify all facts about the ethical issue at hand. Such a framework also helps one apply the utilitarian approach in decision-making. After considering all available choices in an ethical situation, one will choose an option that offers the most benefits and least harm.


Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2019). Business ethics: ethical decision making and cases. (12th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Kubasek, N. K., Browne, M. N., Dhooge, L. J., Herron, D. J., & Barkacs, L. L. (2020). Dynamic Business Law (fifth). Mcgraw-Hill Education.


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The WH Framework Analysis

The WH Framework Analysis

Refer to section “The WH Framework for Business Ethics” of Ch. 2, “Business Ethics,” of Dynamic Business Law for information on the WH Framework.

For this assignment, refer to the scenario located in the “Questions & Problems” section of Ch. 2, “Business Ethics” in Dynamic Business Law. This scenario involves Steven J. Trzaska, the head of L’Oreal USA’s regional patent team, and the ethical rules and core values of the company.

Read the scenario in the textbook and complete the following activity.

Create a WH Framework chart, similar to Exhibit 2.2. Refer to L’Oreal’s core values and the primary values in Exhibit 2.3 to determine the guidelines to include in the WH Framework.

Write an explanation of how you decided on the list of stakeholders and guidelines to include in your WH Framework. Address the following questions in your explanation:

Which stakeholders did Traszka and the management of L’Oreal cater to? Why?
What values did L’Oreal’s management choose when they made the decision to fire Trzaska? Why?


In addition to your explanation, address the following self-reflection questions:

How did the WH Framework help you analyze the situation?
Now that you’ve put together the framework, how does the WH Framework help managers with making business decisions?
What type of decisions would the WH Framework chart help you make as a manager?

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