I’m taking this ethics class this semester. It’s a bit more difficult than I had anticipated, but I’m actually starting to see a big difference between right and wrong. In the course, the students are required to write weekly commentaries on recent ethical issues in business. This assignment was very intimidating at first, but I’ve gotten considerably better since my first submission It’s actually surprised me how many ethical business issues are still happening today and I think that’s the point of the assignment.
In order to receive an adequate grade on each commentary, we are expected to identify a moral issue with a current business practice. We do this by utilizing our local, national, or international news sources (NPR.org, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reuters, etc.) The use of blogs is unacceptable. There are three parts to every commentary:
1. Briefly summarize the article. Who are the persons, groups, or organizations with a direct or indirect stake in the situation being described?
2. Briefly identify the moral issue; what are the ethical dimensions of the situation? What is the possibility of direct or indirect harm being caused to various persons, groups, or organizations? Who is (or should be) held ultimately responsible for these harms? Are there other concerns besides harm? For example, is this a situation where one value (say, individual or collective rights) is in conflict with another value (say, the idea of fairness, or justice)?
3. WHAT DO YOU THINK about this situation and WHY DO YOU THINK IT? This SHOULD NOT refer to things like if you thought it was a good or bad article, or whether or not it was well written, or influential. This SHOULD refer to the content of the article. What do you think? You MUST provide reasons for what you think.
Like I said, it’s an intimidating assignment, but it teaches a valuable lesson. I’ll be posting my commentaries here and there. Pleas let me know what you think!