Paper Instructions

Directions: In your workplace communications, you may face hard choices concerning what to say, how much to say, how to say it, and to whom. Whatever your choice, it will have definite consequences. Be prepared to discuss the following cases in terms of the obligations, ideals, and consequences involved. Can you think of similar choices you or someone you know has faced? What happened? How might the problem have been avoided? In your group, discuss the following scenarios: • As a marketing specialist, you are offered a lucrative account from a cigarette manufacturer; you are expected to promote the product. Should you accept the account? Suppose instead the account were for beer, junk food, sun tanning parlors, or ice cream. Would your choice be different? Why, or why not? • You have been authorized to hire a technical assistant, so you are about to prepare an advertisement. This is a time of threatened cutbacks for your company. People hired as “temporary,” however, have never seemed to work out well. Should your ad include the warning that this position could be only temporary? • While traveling on an assignment that is being paid for by your employer, you visit an area in which you would really like to live and work, an area in which you have lots of contacts but never can find time to visit on your own. You have five days to complete your assignment, and then you must report on your activities. You complete the assignment in three days. Should you spend the remaining two days checking out other job possibilities, without reporting this activity? • You are one of three employees being considered for a yearly production bonus, which will be awarded in six weeks. You’ve just accepted a better job, at which you can start any time in the next two months. Should you wait until the bonus decision is made before announcing your plans to leave? • You are marketing director for a major importer of coffee beans. Your testing labs report that certain African beans contain roughly twice the caffeine of South American varieties. Many of these African varieties are big sellers, from countries whose coffee bean production helps prop otherwise desperate economies. Should your advertising of these varieties inform the public about the high caffeine content? If so, how much emphasis should this fact be given? • You are research director for a biotechnology company working on an AIDS vaccine. At a national conference, a researcher from a competing company secretly offers to sell your company crucial data that could speed discovery of an effective vaccine. Should you accept the offer?

Scenario one: As a marketing specialist it is in my best interest to act with the strictest sense of professionalism. The smoking of cigarettes is detrimental to people health, but so are many things like lack of exercise, eating junk food, even driving can lead to dire consequences for one's body. The ethics of promoting a product that is so evidently harmful to people may trouble me as a human being. But as a marketing specialist I am not charged with being the ethical guardian of the people. So long as the government of the day has legalized cigarettes, they must have considered the moral implication and seen it fit for the people. My choice would not be different were it another product, the same rationale applies.

Scenario two:I think the advertisement should outline in all truthfulness the nature of the job including the fact that it might be a temporary one. As an employee preparing an advertisement for the company, I should strive to uphold proper ethical standards. If a corporation is associated with a misleading advertisement, its public image will be negatively hampered. While analyzing this scenario, it helps to put oneself in the shoes of the employee to be hired. Being deliberately misled on aspects of the job would not make me happy. So in creating the advertisement I would not leave out any details regarding the job

Scenario three: I think the time allocated for completing the assignment is only an estimate. So long as I prioritize the assignment I was sent to do and complete it first, no ethical conflict ensues. In such a scenario, I am ethically bound to complete the activities prescribed by the company in the time frame provided. If it so happens that I complete all the requirements for the assignment with time to spare, I consider my work quota achieved and can pursue my activities free of any guilt. In this scenario, it is important to note that company has not explicitly stated that one reports on all activities even those not related to work


Scenario Four: The yearly bonus represents appreciation from the company for work already done. Unless otherwise, I am not at fault for choosing to receive remuneration from the company for the work I have done for it. However, if the Bonus were supposed to represent the commitment to stay with the company and continue to work for it, I would decline as it raises grave ethical issues. In the first case, I would choose to wait until the bonuses are awarded and then leave the company as the bonus is my rightful reward recognizing the effort. In the second case, I would decline the bonus for taking it would be deceptive and wrong

Scenario Five:All advertising should be entirely truthful. False advertisements mislead the consumer creating the potential for adverse effects including litigation against the company. Coffee is consumed for its stimulating effect. The stimulating effects of coffee are largely dependent on its caffeine content. That being said, I believe the fact that African coffee contains twice the caffeine makes them highly desirable. It should be highlighted prominently in the advertisement on the true nature of African coffee. Even if the caffeine content of African coffee beans was a negative thing consumers should not be fed deceptive advertisement, they reserve the right to make a choice on what level of caffeine they want in a coffee bean

Scenario six: Aids is a terrible scourge affecting millions of people around the world and leaving many children orphans. All effort should be used to ensure that this scourge is ended to alleviate the suffering that it has brought in the world. Purchasing secret data does not stand up well to ethical scrutiny. But it is important to compare this ethical misdeed with its consequences. In this case, the consequences include the possible discovery of a vaccine that can alleviate AIDS. The unethical action is justified by a need to serve the greater good. In this scenario, I would accept the offer.

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