The “A Bump in the Road” case involves making a choice of the ways to handle a situation in which the decision maker’s fellow employees are involved in unethical business practices. The decision maker needs to report the issue, but does not want to be labeled as a trouble maker. Five ethical approaches of making the right decision are used to analyze the situation regarding the goals of the decision maker, the alternative actions that the decision maker has taken and whether the decision will be damaging to some people. This essay analyzes the options of the decision maker according to the various approaches of ethical decision making [order case study](https://123helpme.org/articles/do-my-case-study/).
The situation and decision to be made in the case could be damaging to someone else. The situation involves a workplace that has questionable or unethical business practices. If the unethical practices continue, they can be damaging to the ethical reputation of the organization and its profitability. They can also affect the way people relate with each other within the workplace. The decision of telling the boss can also be damaging to some people as the people who are practicing unethical behaviors may lose their jobs. The person who reports can be labeled a troublemaker and may not associate well with others after reporting the issue. Furthermore, without enough facts about the unethical business practices and people who are practicing them, the decision maker may lose his job.
The decision in this case involves making a choice between a good and bad alternative. The decision maker has to analyze whether his actions will promote the greatest net good of the involved parties. The good alternative is expected to promote the greatest good or welfare of the people involved. It involves finding a way to end the unethical practices immediately, while the bad alternative involves avoiding being labelled a trouble maker by keeping quiet about the issue. The bad alternative will not promote the greatest good of the organization and the people working within it because the unethical business practices will continue and will have harmful consequences for the employees and the organization. The issue in the case study is, therefore, more about what is efficient.
To make the right and ethical decision, the decision maker has to get the relevant facts of the situation. Making sure that one has the relevant information helps in making intelligent choices. To determine if one has the facts, it is important to first resolve what one knows and what they need to know. When the decision maker has adequate and correct information about a situation before making a decision, they are able to protect the legitimate and human rights of others. In this case, there is adequate information that there are unethical business practices going on in the workplace. The organization promotes ethical conduct, and therefore, it has a right to have ethical employees. The employees cannot claim to have the right to act unethically. On the other hand, they have a responsibility to maintain ethical conduct when carrying out their duties. The decision maker has a duty to report the issue to the authority. The facts that are not known are the specific people carrying out the unethical practices. The decision maker does not know enough to make a decision, and therefore, he or she needs to learn more about the situation. To make the right decision, the decision maker has to consider the basis of the facts, by evaluating the source of the information in terms of memory, accuracy and honesty. Secondly, he or she has to make sure the facts are reliable and credible to verify any assumptions.
In this situation, the individuals who have an important stake in the outcome are the involved employees and decision maker. The outcome may result into the involved employees losing their jobs or being punished. The decision maker, on the other hand, may be labelled a trouble maker, but maintain the job he or she loves. Finally, the action chosen may lead to the organization losing or maintaining its ethical standards.
In this case, some issues are more important than others. When unethical practices are taking place, the legitimate rights of other employees and the owners of the organization are being violated. It is, therefore, the duty of the actors to protect the rights of other employees and the organization. The concern that the decision maker might be labelled a trouble maker is not important because he or she will have made the ethical decision of reporting the issue, according to the recognized virtues. The concern that the involved employees may lose their jobs is also not as important as that of protecting the reputation and profitability of the organization they are working for, because they are engaging in unethical business practices.
The goals of the decision maker in this case are to completely end the unethical business practices in the organization. He or she needs to make a list of the actions that can be taken in regard to their best judgment of the situation. In this case, it is important to consult different individuals who the decision maker trusts concerning the issue. Talking to others broadens one's perspectives and helps in figuring out new and creative choices. The creative options will allow the parties to be treated fairly and enable and one's consideration of recognized virtues. The creative options, in this case, are to hold talks with the individuals involved in the unethical practices and advise them to stop immediately, report the issue to the vice president directly, asking him to take whatever action he prefers, ask a third party to talk with the individuals involved and warn them to stop their practices and finally, report the issue to the vice president, but advise him no to sack the involved employees, but warn and punish them lightly.
Evaluation of the options helps in figuring out the best one that will allow all parties to be treated fairly and make sure that common good is served adequately. The utilitarian approach states that once all harms have been taken into account, the option that produces the most good and least harm is the best. Using that approach, the best option would be to report the issue to the vice president and advise him not to sack the involved employees. The rights approach can also be used, and it claims the option that respects the rights of individuals who have a stake is the best. This approach is not the best in this case because the involved employees have conflicting rights. The justice approach enables those people who are involved to be treated equally or to be given what they deserve. The justice approach favors the option of reporting the issue to the vice president who makes the final decision, even if it entails sacking the involved employees. The common good approach advocates for the best option that serves the good of the community as a whole, while the virtue approach advocates for the decision maker to act according to his or her virtues.
Considering all the approaches of ethical decision making, the option that best addresses the situation is the utilitarian approach which advocates for an option that leads to more good and less harm. People I trust would also choose the utilitarian option because it allows individuals who are practicing the unethical behaviors to be punished and retain their jobs. In addition, the company will retain its reputation of ethical conduct and the decision maker will not be labelled a troublemaker.
The decision to report the issue to the vice president and have him punish the individuals involved without sacking them can be implemented with the greatest care by having all the stakeholders notified of the decision immediately. The parties involved in unethical business practices will be notified of their mistakes and state whether they are in line with the organization’s code of conduct. They will be asked to explain the reasons of acting the way they did. They will then be notified of the appropriate consequences of the actions they chose to undertake.