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The theory of utilitarianism is defined as an act which are morally right that maximized the greater good and the maximum amount of people affected by the actions.  The principle is also described as the ‘greatest happiness concept’(Crane & Matten, 2010, p. 102 ), where it focus more on the good than pain for the greatest amount of people affected by the action.

The beginning of utilitarianism found by the British philosophers Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mull (1806-1873).

According to the case study above, Paul, the main market analyses, has breach the company code of conduct, which are accessing to the site of containing ‘material of explicit nature’ and let non-employee to use company IT equipment.

On the other side, Paul is a very valuable employee to the company for his expertise and experience. The company is planning to a new launching promotion scheme are due at the week which needed Paul’s knowledge.

Using utilitarianism theory, using the cost-benefit analysis, to analysis which action enable to  generate the greatest good and reduce the disadvantage to the maximum parties.

Moreover, the rule utilitarianism looks at classes of action and ask whether the underlying principle of an action produce more pleasure than pain for the society in the long run. (Crane & Matten, 2010, p. 104 ),

Perspective / Action Action 1: Fire Paul

Theory Utilitarianism Egoism Ethics of Duties Rights & justice

Benefit Cost No egoism theory found IT manager have a duty to make sure the company is operating smoothly.

It have an obligation to keep his company rule clear.

Hence, firing Paul would be a good option under this theory.

So in the future no one will breach the code of conduct. IT manager is using the fair treatment to all his workers  and in rights to fire Pauls due to his mistakes.

Where Pauls deserve what he done.

Company Strict, able to follow company code of conduct, as a warning of others employee. The company will losses a valuable employee, which enable to help the company new launch promotion at the end of the week.

In the case of Paul, is it fair to Paul ? That he has contribute so much for the company yet one mistake, will end his job ?

Under the fair outcome, by Beauchamp and Bowie 1997 , fairness is determined by the consequences are distributed in a manner or distributive justices.

( Distributive justice refers to the perceived fairness of one\'s outcomes. When a reward is allocated or a decision is made, people often make a judgment whether or not the outcome was fair.) (Baumeister & Vohs, 2007)

IT Manager Manager that follow the rules. The new promotional launch might face problem due to lack of Paul’s expertise.

Paul - Paul loses his job

Fred - Lost a co-worker

Co-worker - Need to do extra work in replace of Paul

Conclusion Action 1 cost is higher to benefit.

This due to the company lose an knowledgeable worker for the upcoming project and Paul losses his job.

Perspective / Action Action 2:

Waived the Punishment

Theory Utilitarianism Egoism Ethics of Duties Rights & justice

Benefit Cost

Company The company able to keep a valuable and knowledge able, experience employee.

Enable carry out the new launching promotion smoothly. Lenient to workers against the code of conduct of the company.

Employee might break the code of conduct again. Egoism can be found in the IT Manager due to he needed Paul to complete his newly launch project at the end of the week.

Egoism can be describe as morally correctly if one desire to pursued his own self-interest.

 Hence , Paul mistake is not punished. To not disturb his performance on the promotions.

Waiving the punishment would be risky and IT management is not carrying out his duties well.

What if it becomes the universal law or an organizational culture for breaking the rules without punishment ? In the waived of punishment, it won’t be a fair procedure to the company and to the other workers as Pauls has breach the code of conduct.

IT Manager Manager able to benefit from Paul’s expertise on the new promotion scheme. Bias management.

Paul Able to keep his job, position and salary. Co-worker might gossip or talk behind Paul about his actions.

Fred - -

Co-worker Doesn’t need to do extra work. -

Conclusion Action 2 , benefit is higher than cost.

When the punishment is waived, other employee might take the code of conduct lightly, and might breach it in the future.

Perspective / Action Action 3:

Warning Letter

Theory Utilitarianism Egoism Ethics of Duties Rights & justice

Benefit Cost

Company The company able to keep a valuable and knowledge able, experience employee.

Enable carry out the new launching promotion smoothly.

A warning to other employee as a breach of code of conduct. - Egoism can be found in the IT Manager due to he needed Paul to complete his newly launch project at the end of the week.

Egoism can be describe as morally correctly if one desire to pursued his own self-interest.

 Hence , Paul is punished by giving a warning letter and not fired.

Punishment to Paul by giving him a warning letter will be reasonable as the IT manager done his job to keep his rules at bay, and Paul is punished in what he deserve . A warning letter would be a fair treatment to Paul’s mistake as the results that every employee get what should be given when there is a breach of code of conduct.

It would be serve as a fair treatment between Paul ,IT manager l, co-worker and the company when both parties suffer a minimum loss on the action caused,

IT Manager Carry his out his duties as a manager. Might lose an knowledgeable employee.

Paul Paul acknowledge his mistakes Tarnished reputation in the company

Fred - -

Co-worker Acknowledge that company will give penalty to employee who breach the code of conduct. -

Conclusion   Action 3: Benefit is higher than the  cost.

Giving warning letter has less impact on Paul compare to the other action taken.

Perspective / Action Action 4:

Reductions of Paul’s Salary

Theory Utilitarianism Egoism Ethics of Duties Rights & justice

Benefit Cost

Company The company able to keep a valuable and knowledge able, experience employee.

Enable carry out the new launching promotion smoothly.

A warning to other employee as a breach of code of conduct.

Paul might resign. Egoism can be found in the IT Manager due to he needed Paul to complete his newly launch project at the end of the week. Egoism can be describe as morally correctly if one desire to pursued his own self-interest.  Hence , Paul is punished by reductions of Paul’s salary and not fired.  

Reductions of Pauls salary will be a punishment to Paul to keep the company rules at bay.

Management won’t be bias to Paul as he is also an worker in the company. Reductions of Paul salary can consider a fair treatment to the company co-worker and IT manager.

Whether Paul’s motivation is there to launch the new promotions will be questioned.

IT Manager Carry his out his duties as a manager. Might lose an knowledgeable employee

Paul Paul acknowledge his mistakes.

. Get lesser salary,

Reputation is tarnished

Fred - -

Co-worker Acknowledge that company will give penalty to employee who breach the code of conduct. -

Conclusion   Action 4:   Benefit is higher than the cost

Reductions of Paul might push Paul to resign as his salary has reduced

Perspective / Action Action 5 :

Demote Paul to a lower positions.

Theory Utilitarianism Egoism Ethics of Duties Rights & justice

Benefit Cost

Company The company able to keep a valuable and knowledge able, experience employee.

Enable carry out the new launching promotion smoothly.

A warning to other employee as a breach of code of conduct. Paul might resign Egoism can be found in the IT Manager due to he needed Paul to complete his newly launch project at the end of the week. Egoism can be describe as morally correctly if one desire to pursued his own self-interest.  Hence , Paul is punished by demoting Paul position and not fired.   Demote of Pauls positions  will be a punishment to Paul to keep the company rules at bay.

Management won’t be bias to Paul as he is also an worker in the company Demotion of of Paul position can consider a fair treatment to the company co-worker and IT manager.

Whether Paul’s motivation is there to launch the new promotions will be questioned

His reputation will be tarnished.

IT Manager Carry his out his duties as a manager. Might lose an knowledgeable employee

Paul Paul acknowledge his mistakes.

. Get lesser salary,

Reputation is tarnished,

His position demoted

Fred - -

Co-worker Acknowledge that company will give penalty to employee who breach the code of conduct. -

Conclusion   Action 5:  Benefit is higher than the cost

Demote of Paul might push Paul to resign as his salary has reduced, and position demoted.

From the utilitarianism theory, five action has been taken, it can conclude that action 3, giving warning letter to Paul has more benefit than cost under the cost-benefit analysis (rule utilitarianism). In the perspective of the company, IT manager, Paul, Fred and co-worker.

This due to, giving a warning letter can give Paul and the other employee about the strictness of the code of conduct in the company, where it cannot simply break the rules and also benefit Paul (from losing his job) and the IT manager for the upcoming project due this weekend.  This so far is the most beneficial actions to all the parties in the company to handle this situation.

The theory of egoism, it is described as an action is morally right if the decision-maker freely decides an action to pursue either their (short-term) desires or their (long-term) interests. (Crane & Matten, 2010, p. 100).

Under action 2,3,4 and 5, the theory of egoism can be linked due to the IT Manager desire to launch his new promotion scheme that needed Paul’s expertise. IT manager has make an decision to keep Paul to pursued his short term desire.

Action 2 (waived the punishment) can describe the theory egoism the best due to the desire of the IT manager to ensure his promotion launching to be perfect it has a minimum impact on Paul, so he can concentrate on his work.

In action 3 (giving a warning letter), can create a situation called ‘egoist practices for utilitarian results’ Beauchamp and Bowie 1997: 18 where by, the egoist manager keeps Paul’s for its own benefit by giving a warning letter has given a impact to the others worker that breach of code of conduct will be punished.

Ethics of duties or deontological ethics, that place special emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions. (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 1998) Where t’s an obligation for the IT manager to keep his company rules at bay as a duty of manager in the company. Action1, 3, 4 , 5 conclude that IT manager does his duties but has a huge impact on Paul’s performance and reputation.  By taking action 3 (giving warning letter) will have the least impact compare to the others actions.

Principle of ethics rights and justices has been accepted ad be defined by Aristotle is the principle that \"equals should be treated equally and unequal’s unequally. (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks, & J. Meyer, 1990).

Considering the five actions to take against Paul’s mistake under the principle of ethics rights and justices, action 3 (giving a warning letter) would be the best fair outcome to all parties involved. This due to the action taken will be beneficial to the IT manager and the company which needed Paul’s expertise on the launching programme and also will be the least impact punishment on Pauls’ mistake. Hence, he could focus on the work itself compare to action 4(reducing his salary) and action 5 (demoting his position).

Besides that under the virtue ethics, Fred is a virtue co-worker which is integrity and  carry out his duties according by reporting Paul’s mistake to his manager. It would be decent and virtue if action3 (giving waring letter) to carry out due to it will be fair to Paul as a worker ,company and the IT manager. Fred also consider to have a right to freedom of conscience and speech by whistleblowing Paul.

IT manager having a postmodern ethics (having a moral impulses) where he has impulses to waived his punishment to Paul’s due to his benefit to him.

Propose a solution to this ethical dilemma. Do you think everyone will make similar decisions in this dilemma? Why? 5m

Using a pluralistic perspective, it has suggested that we should suggest more than one theory approach to best view this dilemma, where it can be analyse both consequences and action taken.

Through a prism of ethical theories using the theory of utilitarianism, ethics of duties, ethics rights and justices and virtue ethics by weighing the pros and cons, described and justified (table above), action 3 (giving Paul’s an warning letter) would be the best options which benefits all parties because it  will cause less harm, more benefit and carry out fairly as Paul’s has made an mistake on breaking the code of conduct.

If we would choose other action 1 (fire paul),2 (waived his punishment ),4 (reduce his salary) and 5(demote his position). It would be bias or unfairly treated or carry a heavier consequence to one of the party.

Yes, I think everyone will make a similar decision based on this dilemma provided where each parties benefit.

Where action 3, justified Paul’s mistakes and punished him with a warning letter, and it will be beneficial to the company and the IT manager for his promotion launching end of the week. By taking action 3 it would be fair to Paul compare to reducing his salary (action4) abd demoting his position (action5). As Paul has already serve the company but with a small mistake he his sacked would be definitely an unfair treatment.

But if action 2 is taken (waived of punishment ) it will defiantly be unfair to the companyand the co-worker. Hence, action 3 is the best option.

Reference

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2010). Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  Baumeister, R. F., & Vohs, K. D. (2007). Encyclopedia of social psychology. A-I. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.  

 Beauchamp, T. L., & Bowie, N. E. (1997). Ethical theory of business. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

 Velasquez, M., Andre, C., Shanks, T., & J. Meyer, M. (1990). Justice and Fairness. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/justice-and-fairness/

     The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (1998, July 20). Deontological ethics. Retrieved June 20, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/deontological-ethics

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