FINAL EXAM

Requirements:

  1. The Final Exam due in class at 9:30 PM Dec 12. I will be in the classroom at 8:30 to begin collecting exams.
  2. Answers to *each* individual question should be between 2 and 3 pages in length…double spaced! This will mean test totals should be 6 to 9 pages. Word process or type your answers! Though writing styles vary, much less than 2 pages will probably prove insufficient and anything much longer than 4 pages will likely be ignored.
  3. All margins are to be 1 inch all around. All fonts used should be in 12 point type. Do not separate paragraphs with extra rows or returns. Microsoft Word defaults to 1.5 spacing between paragraphs, or more. You must correct that default in your paper. Do not repeat or retype the question at the beginning of your paper. See the sample page attached for visual confirmation of the text format required. Failure to properly format your answers will affect your grade!
  4. The test itself will be open book and open notes. That is worth repeating: you may use any material from the class – your notes, my notes, or even the books on the test. Your answers should present your understanding and opinions of the arguments and materials covered in THIS class. First sources must be the material assigned and are necessarily first sources. Second sources are not necessary and you will be graded not only on your understanding of the secondary source, but also its relevance to the issue at hand. 

Second sources are not acceptable on their own!

Note well, however, this is a test of your understanding of the material from this class so you would be well advised to concentrate on the material assigned. It is not a test of your ability to transcribe quotes.  For example, do not simply list arguments advocated by one author or another.  If you do list an argument in premise form, also write an answer that demonstrates you understand the premises and how they are justified. DO NOT SIMPLY RE-STATE CASE FACTS: ASSUME I AM FAMILIAR WITH ASSIGNED CASES. “Martin should slap the auditors because…” is sufficient case detail.

  1. The answers should be your work. DO NOT turn in any work that you did not produce by your own hand.
  2. You are required to answer the underlined question or questions. The material preceding the underlined question is meant to direct you to the relevant issues.
  3. You may answer any question, but DO NOT cut and paste any old material into your new answers. Take the time to read, understand, and rethink your old answer to make it better.

 

Please answer ANY 3 of the following:

 

  1. Question: When doing business in countries other than your home country, when should you comply with the host country’s cultural traditions and when should you follow principles other than those favored by host country’s cultural traditions? What decision procedure should you use to answer this question? Feel free to use cases we have studied or other “real life” examples to answer this question.

 

  1. HB Fuller/Kativo Industries finds itself in quite a bind regarding the sale of Resistol in Honduras. Fuller/Kativo’s product is causing harm to the children the media have called “Los Resistoleros.” The moral theorists we have studied this semester, from Aristotle through Donaldson, would all have something to say regarding this situation. Some would agree with each other, though many would be diametrically opposed in their views. Those who do agree would probably offer very different justifications from their fellows.

Question: Is it morally permissible for HB Fuller to continue to sell Resistol with its current composition or should Fuller remove the product until an acceptable composition is formulated? What sort of moral reasoning directed you to your conclusion and why is this reasoning most relevant? (Put differently, this second question asks: Why should a reasonable person agree with you?)

 

  1. Not too long ago, Milton Friedman argued that the only moral responsibility of managers in a capitalist system is to increase the owner’s investment through profit maximization, with precious few (if any) moral limitations. Many have claimed that a justified sea change occurred when Ed Freeman started arguing to rebuild, revitalize, and re-conceptualize stockholder managerial capitalism to transform it to stakeholder managerial capitalism.

Question: How revolutionary is Freeman’s theory when applied to managerial decisions? When we move from Milton Friedman’s Stockholder theory to Ed Freeman’s Stakeholder theory – does this shift in theories end up telling managers to take different actions, or do they simply disagree about the justifications for roughly the same actions? Feel free to use cases we have studied or cases from “real life” to answer this question.

 

  1. Ellen Moore will cost more to employ in Saudi Arabia than an equally qualified man, though no such male candidate exists at the time of the case. Ellen will not only cost more to employ, but the General Manager believes she has a lowered chance of success because she is a woman. Felice N. Schwartz presents arguments to convince businesses regarding the rationality of hiring women even though women cost more to employ. What is Schwartz’s argument against sexism in hiring and promotions, and is this a good argument? Why should a business be blind with regard to sex?

 

  1. Thomas is the single proprietor of a large management consultancy – PPCP&S. Anders is the highest performing sales person at PPCP&S for the last 5 years. It comes to Thomas’s attention that Anders is a fan of the NY Mets baseball team, so much so that Anders has a tattoo of the NY Mets logo on his shoulder though this is not visible in Anders daily work attire. Thomas fires Anders with merely a “pink slip” and no explanation. The unvoiced motivation for firing Anders is that Thomas hates the NY Mets as much or more than Anders loves the NY Mets. What argument best justifies Thomas’s right to fire Anders? Consider and answer an objection to this argument.

 

The next page will demonstrate the REQUIRED format for your answers regarding type face, margins, spacing etc. 

 

  1. This is sufficient indentation to begin your first paragraph. Notice as well that I started this answer at the top of page and just below the 1 INCH margin, that is, 1 INCH MARGIN AROUND THE ENTIRE PAGE! Now suppose I am done with this very short paragraph.

            See how I just hit enter /return, indented ½ an inch, and started typing again?!! There is no additional space between paragraphs. If you add spacing between paragraphs you indicate that you are changing the topic under discussion. I don’t care much about the font, but I do want the tests typed in 12 point scale. This font is Times New Roman, but most anything will be accepted. And for goodness sake, please staple your answers together! One and only one staple is necessary if done correctly. Staplers are fairly easy to operate. Do not make an elaborate origami sculpture out of your paper in the upper left hand corner just because you didn’t bring a stapler. I will probably be nice enough to bring my stapler along.

            Remember to hit a hard page return when you have completed an answer. The instructions indicate that each new answer should start on a new page. Let’s assume I want to give an extended quote or list the premises of an argument:

“Whether a quote or a list of premises, notice how the page is double indented and starts over at the same point on the soft return. Also notice that the type face is reduced, and this part of the paper is single spaced.

 

And here we are again back to normal. The purpose of all the above formatting at the quotation section is to reduce the size of the quotation to leave you more room to expound on the meaning of the quotation. Your words are more important than the quotations.

            Good Luck!

 

Question 1

When we work in a national or international business market, out approach to what is right or wrong might be consequential. I mean we are primarily interested in the consequences of the actions in terms of their output to us. This is more of an approach of ends defining means. This might be a selfish approach but we must keep in mind that we live in a capitalist business environment where businesses believe in the accumulation of wealth. Therefore, answering the question about compliance to their cultural traditions may sometimes get lost and the primary aim may become to increase profitability. This sometimes results in creating a new culture that is more in favor of the product or service that we want to sell in the host market.

There are two parts of what to do when doing business in another. First is about the laws and regulations of the country that you have to follow for the smooth running of a business. And then are the grey areas of ethics that are sometimes at your disposal. If I were to be responsible for making decisions related to doing business in a foreign country, I personally, would follow Solomon’s six dimensions of virtue ethics which state that the interests of the society and individuals are identical. I would focus on co-existence with the community and try to address their traditional concerns and understand them. Through mutual understanding, it becomes possible to get to the root cause of issues that may be confronted in the host communities.

It is true that not always can we comply with the demands of the culture and traditions of a community. If a common ground cannot be found that benefits both, then it is important to look at the financial interests of the company that are not against human rights and business ethics. When there is a conflict, each case of the conflict should be considered individually. Following are some of the cases that can be considered individually.

If there is a need to bribe the government officers and there is no way, we may chose use bribes in a soft form calling it “gifts”. It is pertinent to know that there is no other way to get things done therefor, a gift is used.

There are situations where the working standards themselves are not good enough for you. For example a certain host culture may not consider it be an unethical practice for children to work as labor. We must avoid child labors at any cost. This is unethical as well against the international working standards and could get the company penalized.

Companies rely on suppliers in international market. The behavior of these suppliers is also of a concern. These suppliers may be involved in child laboring or deforestation. Should we rely on such suppliers? I am of the opinion that companies may need to take tough decisions and avoid such markets. These markets may look attractive with cheap raw material but the long term costs of such practices may not be in favor of businesses. For example when you become involved with these type of suppliers, government officials may start to blackmail you and take advantages of you. With time, their demands may increase and it may become really hard for you to run your business operations smoothly.

To conclude, I would suggest to run extensive ethics program in a company and educate all the employees about the cultures, traditions of the host countries in an international business environment as well about the ethics, codes and traditions of the organization. The employees should be educated where to follow which ethics and what to do when a conflict between the two ethics arises.

Question 4

Prejudice and stereotyping and discrimination against women has been a topic of discussion for decades if not centuries. Women in the middle ages were not allowed to come out of their homes and were not considered to be equal to man. In the present age, the legal rights of men and women may be same but treatment of women at working and job selection is yet to get to a satisfactory condition. There is a lot to be done in the coming days and years.

Schwartz was of the opinion that women should not be discriminated when it comes to job opportunities and their treatment at work. He argues in favor of women being cool minded and having other personality traits that makes them suitable candidates to work. Schwartz did differentiate between the two types of women who are present in organizations. One type of women is not goal oriented while other type of women is goal oriented. Schwartz was of the view that women who are goal oriented must be encouraged to work and move forward in their professional lives. He said that the sexist thinking of women must not stop us from offering jobs to women.

Schwartz has a realistic approach towards women hiring. He has listed the issues that does exist when considering a women to a job post but he argues that equal opportunity must be given to them. The issues related to women that may cost the employers more are usually related to natural causes like maternity leaves. But having said, they are almost 50% of the population. You cannot just make them set at homes. They have to come out and give their input in the business world. Schwartz thinks that women should be given an opportunity to lead and take initiatives. Women are good at coping to different environments, working environment is one of them.

Another question is about why a business should be blind to sex? For me, the question is should businesses be blind? I do not think so. In my opinion, at current, we do have normalized test and procedures that can suggest who is good for which job. Such measurements should be used to research and suggest which jobs suit men and which suit women. In my personal observation, I can say that women are good at teaching, receptions, acting, being doctors and so many jobs. There are some jobs that are men specific. Such jobs may require the application of body power that is not naturally possible for female. Women may not be preferred at such job. This might look like a sexist comment but I have my reasons for it. For example if you need to complete a job that is men specific in 2 hours and you hire a women at the same salary and she is not capable to do the job in 2 hours and there is also a danger that she might hurt herself. Would this be feasible for the company? I do not think so.

Businesses have their own commercial interests. They have different stakeholders and shareholder. They have to answer to people. Being idealistic may not always work. This is not to say that businesses should not hire. They should, but according to the nature of the job. When a job is related to human intelligence and mental capacity, I have no doubt that men and women are equal. Organizations should not discriminate in such situations. They should not shy away from spending some extra on women. On the other hand, if the job is male specific, the companies should look for their business interest.

We might the reverse the argument and talk about women being preferred at some jobs because they are good at it compared to men. Should this be called a discrimination against men? This is surely in the favor of the business interests of the companies who prefer women. I think that we should not call it any kind of discrimination against anyone.

To conclude, I would suggest that businesses should provide equal opportunity to both sexes, provide them with an adequate training. Hiring and promotion related decisions should be based on merit and not gender.

Question 3

Aristotle was of the view that a person must contribute to the overall society in a positive manner as it is his/her ethical responsibility. Solomon stated that the interests of the society and individuals are identical. These types of philosophical point of views seem to suggest the larger interest of the society even if it is the business world compared to the wealth gathering in only a few pockets. This is what capitalism has been like. Based on the accumulation of wealth to a few pockets.

Friedman’s stockholder theory is based on the traditional concepts of capitalism while Freeman’s stakeholder’s theory is based on what capitalism has evolved to become over centuries. When we apply Freeman’s theory to managerial decisions, we can expect for something good to happen. This theory is indeed a revolutionary theory based on the evolution of capitalism. There are different angles that can be discussed about the relation of Freeman’s theory and managerial decisions. It is pertinent to note here that the application of the theory makes the scope of decisions more open. It may involve engaging everyone including the shareholders, leadership, customers and communities in decisions making. To do this, managers would need extra resource, resources which may not be required if the scope of decisions making was not so broad. Therefore, to expect managerial decisions to pay off, it is a must to provide the required resources as well.

One of the utility of the stakeholder’s theory is that it can help the manager to balance stakeholder’s interests. When they are involved in the decision making, the managers would have a clear idea of what is expected of him and how may he/she respond to such expectations by the different stakeholders. The manager can them strive to find a common ground among the different stakeholders.

Another advantage that could be the output of managerial decisions in the light of stakeholder’s theory is the achievement of value than just profit. If you only listen to the stockholders, you would primarily focus on creating as mush profit as possible. On the other hand, the stakeholder involvement would mean creating and improving value of the resulted products and services. This value is not just created for customers and in certain products and services but also for suppliers, employees, communities and shareholders.

Stakeholder’s theory is in accordance with the modern working ethics. In my opinion, this is the managers should apply this theory to their decisions making processes to make these processes efficient and effective.

To answer the question about whether both Friedman and Freeman justify roughly the same actions, I loosely agree to it. What are businesses there for? Are they doing some charitable work? I don’t think so. Friedman’s approach is a bit crude and want to have more control. But it is aimed at maximizing profits. Freeman’s approach is a bit soft but again aimed at maximizing the profits. Freeman’s approach is more inclusive compared to Friedman’s approach but more profitable if we look at the contemporary liberal economy. What Freeman does is include the employees, suppliers, communities and customers in the organizational business decisions making so that they can all brainstorm and agree to more profitable means of business. In return, they get a few incentives. But given the choice, I would always opt for Freeman’s approach as it is a product of our shared economic and business evolutionary and process.