Discuss about the Business Ethics For Case Study Of Too Much Intelligence.
Business ethics is one of the core virtues that should guide the stakeholders. There is a need for each business leaders to know that they are in the market not to just win but to win without overstepping the ethical boundaries. When organisations use unethical means to succeed, they expose their future. Unethical actions are illegal and punishable by law if identified. Therefore, it means that if an organisation wins unethically if known, the organisation might be punished lawfully and that might lead to losing the benefits that came along with the unethical strategies. The paper will be looking at the ethical issues and the way they would have been handled in the case study ‘Too much intelligence.’
How Ken Bodine has shaped the sales culture
Bodine shaped the culture of Inpace Solutions into a culture that promotes competitiveness and sneakiness. The culture was aimed at promoting competition within the organisation, and this would bring forth the generation of strategic ideas from different members of staff (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). When it came to sneakiness, having been ahead of the competitors was one of the strategies advocated by Bodine. By having first-hand intelligence, it became easier to outrun the competitors in the market.
The pre-conventional level of ethical development is promoted at Inpace Solutions. Looking at the culture at Inpace Solutions, there is one thing that stands out; Bodine promotes the gathering of intelligence that would help the company, but there is no record of him trying to convince the employees to sneak and acquire the information of the competitors (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). In the pre-conventional level, a person has two choices, or there are two things that he or she convinces him or herself. One of them is that the person would not commit any offense not to be caught. It is therefore apparent that the person fears to commit an offense because there might be negative effects to doing so. Secondly, a person may commit an offense but would be very careful not to be caught. The fact that Inpace Solutions is always ahead of the competitors is an indication that there is a way of attaining the information from the competitors despite the fact that there are no reported cases of attaining the information unethically.
What should Ali Sloan do?
When it comes to the case of Ali, it is apparent that is she holds the ethical values close to her heart, she has no choice but to do what is ethical. In this case, what is ethical is to make sure that the information that might ruin the reputation of the company or put Cody into trouble does not find its way to the desk of Bodine. However, there is the best way to do so without exposing Cody to Bodine. It is imperative to note that apart from making sure that Cody does not overstep the ethics boundary, his career is protected as well to make sure that this one case serves as an example but not as a punishment (Johnson, 2018).
Ali should call a person who holds a higher office but can be confidential. The first reason to do so is to know if Bodine would approve the presentation by Cody. Knowing the possible reaction of Bodine would help Ali to know the best way to deal with the issue. The second reason is to find a person who can calmly warn Cody if the information that he is about to place on the desk of Bodine would land him in troubles. Cody is likely to seriously consider the advice of a person who holds a higher office. Therefore, bringing a senior person on board will help to know if it is safe for Cody to present the information and if it is not safe, Cody would be advised to drop the information and that would mean that the career of Cody would be saved and the reputation of the company as well (Crane & Matten, 2016).
When it comes to utilitarian approach, the consequences are the determining factor on whether an action is right or wrong (Peters, 2015). The approach was used by Cody because he did not see any wrong with the way he acquired information but believed that the consequences of the action would dictate whether his actions were right or wrong.
When it comes to the individualism approach, the individual gains are more valued than the effects of a decision. Therefore, even if a decision would have negative effects on others, one goes ahead to implement the decision because his or her concern is not associated with the well-being of other but his or her well-being (Rachels & Rachels, 2015). In the case of Cody, this was the approach that he took and therefore it would not have affected his final decision.
In the practical approach, the person who makes a decision must consider its effects if it is practiced. In the case of Cody, if he took this approach, he would be more considerate. Looking at the amusement he had when he was presenting the presentation to Ali, it is apparent that he did not give the presentation a practical thought (Johnson, 2018). The reason behind it is because the presentation might lead to a tarnished reputation on the side of the company or it might end his career if he acquired the information illegally.
The approach Cody used
Cody used two different approaches; utilitarian approach and individualism approach. In utilitarian approach, Cody believed that the way he acquired the information was not necessary and its rightness or wrongness would be dictated by the consequences Kadic-(Maglajlic et al. 2017). When it comes to the individualism approach, Cody only thought of how the information would benefit him and make him one of the helpful resources in the company.
Making ethical decisions is essential in any business. Companies that have decided to choose the ethical path have always found themselves in an advantageous position. However, it is uncertain that some organisations condone unethical practices. At the same time, it is frustrating to see how some employees are ready to take the unethical path to impress their bosses and a good case can be seen in the scenario of Cody. Cody is ready to present information that might have been acquired unethically just to impress the top leadership.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2015). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Nelson Education.
Johnson, C. E. (2018). Organizational ethics: A practical approach. Sage Publications.
Kadic-Maglajlic, S., Micevski, M., Lee, N., Boso, N., & Vida, I. (2017). Three levels of ethical influences on selling behavior and performance: Synergies and tensions. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-21.
Peters, R. S. (2015). Psychology and Ethical Development (Routledge Revivals): A Collection of Articles on Psychological Theories, Ethical Development and Human Understanding. Routledge.
Rachels, J., & Rachels, S. (2015). The utilitarian approach. The elements of moral philosophy. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill Education.