Corporate Social Responsibility: Guidelines for Top Management

By Jerry W. Anderson Jr. | Go to book overview

if the takeover attempt fails, because professional traders and well-informed arbitragers who initially bid the price up will sell quickly and the stock price may drop dramatically? Should company employees be protected from layoffs when companies restructure in an attempt to ward off a takeover? These are but a few of the moral and ethical questions generated in this entire area.


SCENARIO

You and your boss, John, are working late one night. After work is completed John suggests that the two of you stop off for a bite to eat. You prefer to get home to your wife and children but you know John would be upset if you did this, so you reluctantly agree to get a quick bite to eat with him.

John orders food and an alcoholic beverage; you just order food since you do not drink. As time wears on John orders several more drinks for himself. Finally you suggest that you leave for home and that you will drive since you did not drink anything. This enrages John, and even though he is way too drunk to drive he insists upon doing the driving anyway. John is known for his fierce temper and you know that if you do not let him drive he may get angry with you and fire you on the spot.

You now have several moral and ethical problems to face. Do you let John drive and possibly let him involve you and someone else in a serious or fatal accident because of his drunken state? Do you insist on driving to safeguard him, yourself, and other innocent people from a possible serious accident, and risk losing your job? Do you call a cab or your wife to come pick you up and let John drive home alone and risk a serious or fatal accident, even though if he makes it safely home he may fire you for your decision? What other options do you have and what would you do? Which ethics theory did you use to arrive at your answer?


NOTES
1
S. L. Saki, "Implications for Decision Making", in C. Van Dam and L. M. Stallaent, eds., Trends in Business Ethics ( Boston: Nijhoff Social Sciences, 1978).
2
George Gallup, Poll Gives Clergy High Ethics Rating, Norman (Oklahoma) Transcript, September 19, 1981, p. 8.
3
"A Nation of Liars?" U.S. News & World Report 102, no. 7 ( 1987): 54-59.
4
Stephen N. Brenner and Earl A. Molander, "Is the Ethics of Business Changing?" Harvard Business Review 55, no. 1. ( 1977):
5
Daniel Seligman, The Confident Twenty-five Year Olds, Fortune 67, no. 2 ( 1955): 100-102.
6
Gwen Kinkead, "On a Fast Track to the Good Life", Fortune 101, no. 7 ( 1980): 74-84.
8
Rick Wartzman, "Nature or Nurture? Study Blames Ethical Lapses on Corporate Goals", Wall Street Journal, October 9, 1987, p. 21.

-240-

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