the ethical theories Research Paper

Final Research Assignment – due end of week #9 (20% of final grade)
There are two parts to this assignment. Make sure you read through the entire assignment description.
Ethics – before writing this paper make sure you review the lectures and Power Point on ethics listed in Module #4. You are not limited to the ethical theories that are identified in the course material but make sure that if you use an ethical theory other than those listed, you are using a real ethical theory and not some half baked off shoot. For example – there is the philosophical theory of idealism and realism. They both have an ethical component and are legitimate theories to use, but you will have to research the elements of those theories on your own. I often see the “Golden Rule” from Christianity used – this is not an ethical theory – it is a suggestion for how to behave but it is not an ethical theory in itself. It does not fit the criteria for this paper.

Each student will prepare a paper of at least 5-6 pages of text addressing a situation that interests her/him dealing with the application of a decision that resulted in either ethical or unethical conduct on the part of the student. (The recall of Tylenol, Anderson and Enron are examples of major corporate ethics violations).
• Do not use a company like these.
• The student should use an example from PERSONAL experience if at all possible.
• Either an ethical dilemma in which the student was directly involved — or one which was witnessed by the student, would be the best example for the paper.
Note: this paper should not be written about a situation where you — the student writing this paper, felt there was some annoying affront to you, and you were the victim. In other words – DO NOT tell me about a boss who treated you badly. I want a situation where you had to make the decision and ethical considerations were a factor. Do not use a situation if it is not from your personal experience without specific permission from the professor.
It is expected that your paper will be well documented — use credible sources to support your statements.
• Start with an abstract
• An abstract is a short paragraph clearly detailing the focus of the paper.
• It is a very short summary of the entire paper. In this case you must include a clear statement of the ethical dilemma. See below and the examples of ethical dilemmas at the end of the criteria list.
• The ethical dilemma must be yellow highlighted in the abstract and in the body of the paper
• Clearly identify the situation. Make sure this is a real ethical dilemma. Check a definition of an ethical dilemma. Simply disagreeing with some action may not actually be an ethical dilemma.
• Once you have described the situation —-State the dilemma in one or two sentences and highlight it so that the specific dilemma is clearly identified at the start of the paper.
• Do not describe the situation and call it the ethical dilemma – see examples of ethical dilemmas at the end of this assignment document.
• Identify what the options were in the case presented. What were all of the possible choices or decisions that could have been made?
• Make sure that you include the potential consequences for each possible choice or decision.
• Explain what action was taken and what happened. What decision was made?
• If you were the person making the decision what ethical theory did you use?
• If you were not the person making the decision what ethical theory or theories did the person making the decision use?
• Make sure you apply the appropriate ethical theory to each and every person involved in the situation you describe.
Analysis and Evaluation
• What ethical theory or theories should have been used — or was the proper theory used?
• What should have been done in this situation?
• Fully explain if this was the right decision and connect it to the ethical theory. If it was not the right decision explain what should have been done and connect it to ethical theory.
• It is important that you use some situation in which you were personally involved.
• If the situation arose again, or one similar — what action would/should be taken? Why?
• Consider the ethical theories explained in the lecture Module 4 or from your outside research. This is crucial to the content of this paper.
Your ethics
• What exactly is your code of ethics?
• Does your ethical code blend well with your organization’s? If not – what will you do about this?
• How will you deal with ethical dilemmas in the future?
Additional considerations.
• It would be best if you are the individual making the choice/decision in the dilemma.
• It does not matter if you now believe you made the wrong choice/decision.
• The important aspect of the paper is to analyze the situation and make a judgment on the action taken.
Please understand — doing the ethical thing in any situation is a challenge. No one is ever perfect every time. It is crucial that one examine her/his actions and learn from the experience. You may have made the wrong decision —- and then you may have made the right decision. The important thing is to reflect on the situation and present it in your paper.

• Use references as appropriate. Three or four good sources should be included. Supporting your statements is important. Simply writing a paper full of your opinion without credible outside support will render the paper worthless.
• The paper should include an abstract. (See APA). Make sure that you adhere to APA.
• Be certain the paper has a well constructed introduction that contains a clear statement of purpose.
• Make sure that you clearly identify exactly what the ethical dilemma was.
• Complete the paper with a summary analysis, conclusions and recommendations.
Examples of ethical dilemmas – these are examples only
Example One:
This is the situation – not the ethical dilemma
You work for a company that has many team meetings over the course of the year. The company provides note paper, pens, pencils binders – in other words, writing material is provided during these meetings. You are responsible for putting all of this out for each participant, but at the end of each year there is always a lot left over. You know a school in a poor community that could use these supplies for the kids. However, your company has a policy that all left over material must be destroyed at the end of each year. You want to send the supplies to the poor school but that would be against company policy. What do you do?

THE DILEMMA: Follow company policy and destroy the supplies or send the supplies to the needy school against company policy. Identify the consequences for each possible choice or decision.
• If you allow the material to be destroyed what ethical theory would you be following?
• If you send the supplies to the school, even though it is against the company policy, what ethical theory would you be following?
• What ethical theory is the company using when it makes that policy?
Example Two:
This is the situation – not the ethical dilemma
You work in a retail store and are responsible for the final money count at the end of each day. You discover that a co-worker, your best friend, has been taking money from the registers and lying about the actual sales. You confront her and she begs you to let it continue because she needs the money to pay the medical bills for her sick child. She swears that by the end of the year she will pay back the money. What do you do?

THE DILEMMA: Allow your friend to continue to steal money and therefore care for her sick kid or report her to upper management knowing your friend will be fired. Identify the consequences for each possible choice or decision.
• If you tell upper management — what ethical theory would you be using?
• If you do not tell upper management — what ethical theory would you be using?
• What ethical theory is your friend using by taking the money and saying it is OK because it is for a good cause?
Final – PART II
Using the three ethical theories from the Ethics lecture in Module #4, briefly analyze this case.
Corneas for the Congo.
You are responsible for purchasing body parts (specifically corneas) for individuals who have had their eyes damaged by a parasite that lives in the water in this African area. You get the corneas from a neighboring country. In that country corneas are plentiful. They take them from political prisoners who are being executed. You become aware that the criteria for a political prisoner receiving the death penalty, is very flexible. A prisoner can even become a death penalty candidate after sentencing with a lesser penalty, seemingly at the whim of the prison warden. You have just ordered another shipment of corneas and have been told it is on its way. Just as this shipment is being confirmed you learn of the way in which these corneas are harvested. You realize that there are prisoners being killed for corneas, who have not legally been sentenced to death. You also know that the corneas can bring sight to many victims of the parasite. What do you do?
This situation is from:
Ciulla, J. B. (2003). The ethics of leadership. United States: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Using this format briefly answer each question. This does not need to be in paragraph form, bullets with your responses would be perfectly OK
Put this section on a separate page. This section should be no more than ONE page long.
A. Using Mill’s approach to ethics:
1. What should you consider in making your decision?
2. Clearly state what decision you would make if you were using this philosophy?
3. What would be any disadvantages and what would be the advantages of using this approach?
B. Using Kant’s approach to ethics:
1. What should you consider in making your decision?
2. Clearly state what decision you would make if you were using this philosophy?
3. What would be any disadvantages and what would be the advantages of using this approach?
C. Using Aristotle’s “Golden Mean” approach to ethics:
1. What should you consider in making your decision?
2. Clearly state what decision you would make if you were using this philosophy?
3. What would be any disadvantages and what would be the advantages of using this approach?
4. This ethical approach demands a win-win solution. Make sure that you consider this!



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