The client specified that an associate who had prepared one of their very successful advertising programs previously for one of their products be assigned to do it again. The associate happens to be Marilynn Schaefer but she refused claiming that she felt it was not in order to market radar and/or laser detectors because they led to an increase in accidents and numerous death cases and injuries that led to a lot of people suffering. She reported this to the account executive, George Sarbo. Apparently George gave her two options; either to do the job for him that is to design promotional materials for that program or never to work at that agency for anyone. That simply meant she was to take it or be fired. Marilynn was exposed to a dilemma whereby she was supposed to choose between doing the job or going against her moral beliefs and accepting to design the promotional materials for laser and/or radar detectors (Lurie, Y. and Albin, 2007).
Marilynn approached the president of the agency to report the issue. She expressed herself by saying that it was not right to fire a person because they do not want to do what is against their moral believes (Priem, R.L. and Shaffer, M., 2011) George then goes right ahead to the president and justifies his action by saying that he had been in the company for 20 years providing customers with their personalized services and that if Marilynn did not want to do the job she should be fired. He went ahead and gave his terms by saying that if by any chance Marilynn was retained by the company then he would probably opt to leave himself. On the same note, George is one of the three account executives and he had loyal following clients and that the company faces a chance of losing all those clients if he indeed decided to leave. The president of the agency is therefore faced with a dilemma on who is supposed to leave between George and Marilynn since the conditions George gave demanded that one of them left (De Vries, 2007)
On further discussions that involved the client’s representative the representative even insisted that the delay in appointing Marilynn to do the job was only due to the press of other accounts upon her time and that the agency owed him Marilynn’s assistance on that particular project. This even expounded the dilemma situation for the president of the agency. He stood a chance of either loosing Marilynn and the client or losing George and other loyal clients who would possibly follow him if he left (Beauchamp T. L., Childress, 2015).
The decision maker in this case is the president of the agency. The final decision lied with him and the decision he was to make was supposed to be of benefit to the agency. The conflicting demands were the client insisting on Marilynn to design their promotional program while Marilynn on the other hand did not want to go against her personal ethics by doing that job since promoting radar and laser detectors according to her was not right since it led to increased road accidents and a lot of injury and suffering (Brody B. A., 2008). Another conflict arises between George an account executive and Marilynn whereby George had given his conditions and they stated that either Marilynn is fired from the agency because she refused to do the job he assigned her or he leaves. There was a very high probability that if he left then most of the loyal clients would follow him and the agency would lose most clients. Again if Marilynn was fired they would lose Marilynn and the client who insisted the company owed them Marilynn’s services (Calkins, 2011).
The initial ethical dilemma faced by the president of the agency was whether to fire Marilynn for refusing to undertake the job she was assigned by George or whether to retain her and lose George who would probably leave when she was retained (Calkins, 2002). Moreover, George would be followed by most of the loyal clients hence the company was at a risk of losing most of its clients. Firing Marilynn on the other hand was not ethical since she stood for her moral believes which was not bad and furthermore firing her would mean the client’s representative who preferred her services would be pissed off and would definitely find another agency to do for him what he required hence losing both Marilynn and the client (DeGrazia, 2002).
4. Utilitarian Approach
Utilitarian approach depends on a person’s ability to predict the outcome of an action and what will happen if he she decides to do so. This decision is based on benefiting the majority and not an individual (Foucault, 2008). There are two types of utilitarian that is; act utilitarian and rule utilitarian. Act utilitarian acts on benefiting the majority without considering personal concerns of a person or the public laws. Rule utilitarian on the other hand acts on benefiting the majority but takes into account the laws and personal concerns hence try so as to act in the most just and fair way possible (Gert, Culver, Clouser, 2009). Utilitarianism therefore takes the decision that optimizes benefits to majority of the parties concerned to be the correct decision. This approach therefore requires that the president of the agency to make an ethical decision that will be of benefit to the majority of the concerned parties. The decisions will differ depending on the type of utilitarian approach he decides to use. He will be forced to weigh between loosing George and majority of the clients who were to follow him if he left or to loose Marilynn and the client who required her services (Geva, 2011). Using the act utilitarian the president would prefer to fire Marilynn and retain George so that the agency does not loose majority of its clients. Using the rule utilitarian the president would not prefer to loose Marilynn since he would consider her personal concerns hence would maybe talk to George to stay while he still retained Marilynn and shift her to operate under another account executive. Again he would talk to Marilynn and try convincing her to deliver her services to the client’s representative by designing the promotional materials even though it was against her moral believes. This decision was going to accommodate majority of the people concerned (Ilitis, 2011).
This approach requires the decision maker to make decision that is ethically right and generally acceptable by the public. It focuses on human dignity and it says that humans are free to live the way they want and they have the right to democracy where they choose what they want and their decision should be respected. People are equal and so everyone should be treated equally and their rights respected just as they respect other people’s rights. In this approach, the president will therefore not see the need to fire Marilynn since it is unethical to do that. Rights approach takes into consideration individuals rights and concerns and so being that Marilynn had the right to refuse the job since it was against her moral believes, she did not deserve to be fired (Jonsen, 2011). She has the right to do only what she is comfortable doing and so she should not be punished for refusing to do the job since she had a tangible reason. Again the client had the right to be served and so it was not ethical to let him go because Marilynn refused to do the job. In this case the president considering this approach was to make a right and ethical decision.
This approach implicates that all the parties concerned were treated equally and fairly (Kant I. 2001) This therefore meant that the president act in a fair and just manner by treating all the parties equally. This approach generally works on balancing the costs and rewards and so in this case it was necessary to make a balanced decision depending on the distributive norms so that all the parties concerned will feel it was a free and fair act. The decision would act in the favor of all of them and so he was to think critically and come up with what was fair to George, Marilynn and the client. This decision is very important to ensure that no one feels the agency is unfair or that the agency has acted on unfair grounds and has favored one party to others (Kuczewski, 2007). The dilemma was very critical and so it was necessary for the president to involve other board of directors to help him come up with the best decision that would not seem unfair and unethical. It was necessary to take into account all their considerations so as to protect the reputation of the agency and to enhance its longevity and profitability.
This approach emphasizes that for a decision to be right or wrong it all depends on the accomplishment of the task but not the consequences (MacIntyre, 2014). This therefore meant that the president make a decision that ensured the task was accomplished. He was not to consider the consequences of the action. This therefore meant that he was not to consider the consequences of George leaving or Marilynn leaving but just ensuring that the task the client wanted to be done is accomplished and the client was satisfied (MacIntyre, 2008). It was tricky for the president to make that decision of only considering the task done and so for the sake of the agency using this approach it was necessary for the president to involve other directors to help him make the best decision that was also in favor of the agency. It was imperative to make a decision that considered the going concern of the agency and not only solving the current situation.
The president would have talked to that Marilynn and convinced her to do the job for the client since it’s only her that the client believed in her services so that they do not end up losing both her services and losing that potential customer too.
The president would have talked to George to relax and just have Marilynn on board so that he cannot leave since the agency cannot afford to lose either of them and so tell him Marilynn will be working under the other account executives. It would not be so hard to talk to George and explain to him facts and convince him to stay. The president would be very capable of doing this. This decision would be ethical since it would have all of them retained including the client.
If George decided to stick on his stand and his conditions the president would rather lose Marilynn and the client’s representative instead of losing George since George leaving meant the company was going to lose a lot of customers. This was so because George had loyal customers who he preferred the agency because of him.
The president would have opted to loose George since he was acting on a selfish manner by not considering Marilynn’s concerns and wanted her to be fired and gives conditions that necessitated Marilynn losing her job which is very unethical. He takes advantage of his position and uses his capabilities to blackmail the company and so this is considered very unethical. It was a good decision to have him leave since they would still get other customers even if some would follow George.
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