The main objective of this task is to outline and discuss the role and significance of ethics that helps in running the business activities and operations successfully. The case study reveals that how Michael Vasquez entertains ample of issues and challenges in the company while functioning. It also explains that how Michael prevents and reduces illegal activities and operations which are occurring in the firm.
It has been studied from the case study that various ethical issues are being entertained by Michael Vasquez in the firm while functioning and managing operations. Competitive intelligence theft is one of the major issues that faced by the Michael while working in the organization. The competitive intelligence related to pricing strategies and product plans are dealt in the organization. It has been investigated that Michael’s boss had handed Michael a pile of private and important documents from their closest rivalries. Michael boss keeps important and significant documents and confidential information that are needed to betterment of the business. It is revealed from the case study that illegal and unethical activities are going on in the company (Cooper, 2012).
Michael asked to boss about the important information, facts and documents but the boss ignored him. Later, Michael was very uncomfortable and suspicious. Michael realized that the act done by his boss was illegal and unethical. The documents covered all the information related to product plans, partnership agreements, pricing strategies and other important documents of the competitors. It is a biggest ethical issue in the firm which can hamper the image and financial position of the firm adversely (Iggers, 2018). Michael did not know that how his boss collected all these information and facts. If all these information and facts got out to the media or press, the firm’s goodwill and reputation will be ruined and affected. It has been investigated from the various studies that competitive intelligence theft is one of the serious issues for any company because it put direct impacts on the brand image and effectiveness of the firm. Using the important and confidential information and facts will certainly give Michael and firm a competitive benefit, but Michael was not sure about it he wanted to work for the company that do not use such tactics and strategies (Williams, 2012).
Theories of ethics
It is noted from the given scenario that Michael faces ethical issues while performing roles and responsibilities in the organization. There are various actions can be taken by Michael to eliminate and minimize the ethical issues from the organization. The competitive intelligence theft is a serious concern for the firm that is being undergone in the firm. Michael was unaware from this ethical dilemma and he was bothered about this issue. Firstly, Michael must try to highlight and explains the issues and situations of this ethical issue. Michael must try to understand the negative impact of this concern (Trevino and Nelson, 2016). Aside this, Michael should try to enhance and change the perception, attitude and behavior of his boss regards to competitive intelligence theft. He should explain the adverse impact of this ethical dilemma to his boss (Abdullah and Valentine, 2009). There are various ethical theories include utilitarian theory, deontological theory, consequence based theory and duty based theory that could be used to eliminate and avert the ethical issue in the firm (Hayry, 2013). The two ethical theories that can be implemented in the given case have been detailed below.
Deontological theory: It has been studied that deontological theory is the normative ethical approach that the morality of an activity shall be based on whether activity itself is correct or incorrect and right or wrong under a series of standards, rules and policies instead of the situation and circumstances of the activity. Immanuel Kant propounded this theory for various different reasons. This theory states that right and suitable act and activities shall be done in the organization. Along with this, this approach also evaluates and measures the obligations and liabilities of the people whether they right or wrong (Hayry, 2013). With the help of this theory, Michael can discuss this competitive intelligence theft issue with professional experts and legal advisors of the company. These experts and advisors provide right guidance and direction The professionals and experts further can help the company to identify and measure the threats and issues of ethics in the organization. The deontology theory could be implemented in the given case scenario (Broad, 2014). The theory reveals that every person in the organization should adhere the duties, roles, responsibilities, liabilities and policies while functioning in the organization. It will further help the company to make innovative and correct decisions in the firm. In this way, misconduct and misbehavior can be prevented with the help of this ethical theory (Broad, 2014).
Utilitarianism theory: This theory is proposed by Jeremy Bentham and John stuart Mill, it is known as normative theory. This excellent happiness principle reveals that a moral act or action is one that increases utility or happiness for the highest number of people (Shafer-Landau, R. ed., 2012). Utilitarianism is one of the well known and recognized moral theories that believe that purpose or aim of the morality is to make life better and effective by maximizing the amount of good and unique things across the world and minimizes the amount of bad things like unhappiness and pain. This theory has had a major impact on approaches, philosophical work, social and political policy. This theory further focuses on the impacts of individual actions while rule and policy utilitarian focus on the impacts of types of activities and actions (Sorokin, 2017).
The opinion in regards to Michael boss
It is analyzed that from the case study that activities and acts of Michael’s boss was not right, it is completely unethical issue. This act put direct impact on the financial position and reputation of the firm adversely. It has been highlighted that the competitive intelligence theft activity was ongoing in the company that ruins and hampers the brand image of organization adversely. Michael’s boss received competitive confidential information, data, and facts that are interconnected to the product plans, partnership agreements and price (Cacioppe, Forster and Fox, 2008).
Michael obtained all these information and facts confidentially and separately. When Michael asked to boss about this act and action, then boss answered him that he had collected these facts, information and data from the competing firm’s server. Michael’s boss said that he got all these information and facts from the intranet and effective server. The case study further reveals that all the information and facts which collected by the boss was unethical and it can impact on the performance and productivity of the firm (Valentine and Fleischman, 2008). After a period of time, Michael’s boss felt that Michael was uncomfortable and had doubt about this act, then boss told that all these facts and information are collected from the electronic access. Michael’s boss said that no password and rule had been broken by him. It is assumed that perception and behavior of Michael boss was not effective and good, it is completely unethical act (Bernstein, 2014).
Should Michael blow the whistle?
It is stated that from the given case study that Michael must blow the whistle. It is noted that from the given case study that unethical activity or action was exercised by Michael’s boss in the firm. Michael’s boss had collected various product plans, pricing strategies and partnership agreements. Michael must convey his boss to prevent and reduce the unethical activity and wrongful act that had been done by Michael boss. Along with this, Michael shall critically analyze and evaluate the negative impact of unethical act or behavior. Michael further must explain the demerits of competitive intelligence theft that was done by Michael’s boss. It is measured that Michael was failed to convey his boos to change his perception, act and behavior. Michael can use the whistle blowing policy to prevent this ethical dilemma and activity. The main aim of this policy is to motivate and enhance the workers who are facing serious issues in the organization while working at the workplace. They raise their voice against any misconduct and act that is occurred in the company. Whistle blower is a approach through which employee can inform higher committee and authority about the illegal act or misbehave. Each and every firm may use this policy to eliminate the issue or act (Shafer-Landau, 2012).
There are various factors that could encourage and motivate the persons to promote in whistle blowing act. Justice is leading and growing motivation for whistle blowing policy. It is portrayed that wrong and incorrect individual is responsible for the illegal act and behavior. Integrity is another issue that further supports the whistle blowing policy in the organization. Reward and incentives programs can be used by the company to increase and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the workers (Miceli, Near and Dworkin, 2013). It is one of the biggest and unique motivations for whistle blowing policy. There are ample of situations in which whistle blowing policy can be effective and unique. Following are the circumstances in which whistle blowing policy can be justified.
- When an employee measures and determines a serious concern that is harmful for the customers, employees and stakeholders.
- Any product that hampers the brand image of the organization.
- When ethical act or activity is carried by the top management.
- When misconduct and misbehave is done by senior executive with employees in the organization then whistle blowing policy could be justified (Seifert et al, 2010).
Ethics is relevant to the business
It is highlighted from the given case study that ethics is essential for every company to grow and survive business in the competitive market. Ethics is a theory or approach of moral values and norms. It is a more detailed form of morality (Niebuhr, 2013). There are various reasons that reveal that why ethics is relevant and effective to the business, some of the reasons have been elaborated below.
- Ethics is relevant and effective because it helps in satisfying the needs and requirements of the customers, stakeholders and employees in the organization. It is one of the unique and effective human needs.
- Ethics is significant to make effective decisions in the firm. Ethics is necessary for top management to assist and guide the workers for performing tasks and duties in a hassle free manner.
- Ethics helps in protecting the rights and interests of the shareholders in the firm. It also helps in conducting CSR activities and sustainability. In the given scenario, Michael’s boss is involved in the illegal issue that can put direct impact on the sustainability and CSR. Thus, ethics is essential for everyone in the firm.
- Ethics is relevant for exercising code of conducts in the firm as it also helps in maintaining honesty and integrity at the workplace (Niebuhr, 2013).
It is concluded from the above study that ethics is an integral part of the each and every company because it helps in conducting business functions and activities smoothly and effectively. Michael’s boss is engaged in competitive intelligence theft and unethical act that can ruin the goodwill and image of the company. The above analysis shows that Michael can use innovative ethical theories to prevent this unethical act.
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