• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : BSD111
  • University : Queensland University of Technology
  • Subject Name : Business Law and Ethics

Part A

Ethical Issue and Dilemma

Ans 1. The facts and circumstance of the first case clearly show, that Jason did his best to reach office on time, which he had somehow managed to come and it is because of his superior he could not punch the attendance on time. It must be considered that the discussion for which Jason was called to was on informal nature. If Jason had missed the attendance, he could not pay the bills of his daughter’s hospital. The facts indicate that it was not greed that made Jason think that she should edit the records but it was his need to save his daughter's life. Here the ethical dilemma is to either save the daughters life or not to edit the attendance records.

In the second case, the Sanjay was in dilemma must think about the consequences which the company has to face if he will tell the client about the delay in the delivery.1 Here the dilemma is whether to act in the interest of the company or the client.

In the third case, the agent then is morally obliged to take action accordingly that is for the benefit of all. Utilitarianism not only talks about the overall impact but rather that impact but be positive and in benefit of all. The agent must use his rationale to judge as to which action will maximize the good of an individual and here Chris was in dilemma to whether asking Jenny out will be against the happiness of his company.

Ans 2. Various ethical frameworks can be used to deal with the ethical dilemmas, as these frameworks give guidance and provide a path to the agent to follow in case of any difficulty faced by the agent. As per the virtue of ethics, it focuses upon the action of an individual in which the person wants to achieve the goals of his life and in the case of Jason, tampering office records and paying the hospital bills for the daughter, the more extreme condition identified by Jason was his need to pay the bill. Also, in the theory of egoism suggests Sanjay choose his interest in the benefit of the company and not the client. Similarly, in the third case, the theory of utilitarianism suggests that the ultimate goal of an individual must be towards maximizing the overall good and the happiness must not be restricted to a hand full of people. Thus the ethical frameworks can help the agent to come out from the dilemmas2.

Ans 3. In the case of Jason, it is a clear state of ethical dilemma as the facts of the case clearly say that Jason made all his efforts to arrive on time and he even succeed to reach office five minutes before but his superior called him to discuss over an informal project progress report due to which he could not mark his attendance and will fail to claim the incentives. In the present case, the ethical dilemma is clear because Jason knew that tampering office records is completely unethical but he was in need to do so. Therefore, this was the clear state of an ethical dilemma.

Ans 4. In the case of Chris, if the calculation is done to measure the long term and the short term happiness of the company, any informal meetings between the employees of two rival companies, where both of them are attracted to each other can spill out the secrets of each other’s companies products and this situation can make Chris think about the safeguard of his organization. Success, goal accomplishment are some of the major factors that can influence the decision of the employee in the organization3. So this might influence the decision of Chris regarding asking Jenny out. Therefore, business influence can change the perspective of decision-maker.

Part B

Egoism, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics

Case 1

Issue: whether the decision of Jason to edit the arrival time was ethical or not?

Theory – Virtue ethics theory will be applicable

Application – Jason could not mark his attendance on time and because of this, he could not avail of his incentive which he desperately requires to his bills and daughter’s hospital bill4. According to Aristotle, the acts must be accompanied with the virtues which mean that the act must be performed in such a manner which is associated with a “good human”. The virtue theory suggests that generosity and justice are attached to virtue. The theory suggests that two extremes must be compared and the act must be done according to the excessive extreme. When this theory is applied to the present facts and circumstance of the case, as per Aristotle, one extreme is always worse than the other and it is the excellence of the person to determine, for which extreme the act must be executed5.

Conclusion- Tampering the records of the office is per se not ethical but as said by the doctrine of mean and Aristotle that what is right and what is wrong completely depends upon each case. Therefore editing the records of attendance as per the virtue model of the theory is completely ethical in this case.

Case 2

Issue - Whether Sanjay must let the client know that his delivery might get late due to the shortage of supply chain.

Theory to be applied – Ethical egoism will be applicable under this case.

Application- The theory of egoism clearly says that as per the business, the right action is something that will maximize the good and profit of the business. The feeling of one’s good and pleasure is very important especially in the cases of business-related activities. According to the facts and circumstances of the present case, Sanjay must not tell the client that the delivery of the batteries might get late according to the theory of egoism. The client could get furious and this would risk his job in the company and as well as this will harm the reputation of the company along with the monetary loss. Here Sanjay could have told the client about the possibility but this would not have gone in the favour of either Sanjay or his company in which he was the employee. At that particular time, Sanjay knew what is good for him and the business so keeping this in regard, Sanjay should not tell the client regarding the probability of delay in the delivery.

Conclusion- The decisions must always be of such nature that will always benefit and maximize the profit of the company and does not worse off. The facts clearly say that, if Sanjay would have told the client regarding the delay, the client might have cancelled the entire order and this would have created a severe impact on the job of Sanjay and also on the business of the company. It is not always possible in the business, that each decision of the company is of such nature is in the self-interest of the company and also in the best interest of every individual. Hence, as per the theory of egoism, Sanjay must not tell the client about the probability of delay in the delivery of batteries7.

Case 3

Issue- Has Chris made the right decision in asking Jenny out for a date before the launch of the new product, even though the same is contrary to the code of ethics of the company.

Theory to be applied- Utilitarian theory will be applied in this present case.

Application- The theory of utilitarianism suggests that there has to be good for a maximum number of people. To execute any action, the person must think about all the consequences and every possible impact of the actions over all the individuals that can get affected by it8. As per this theory, According to Jeremy Bentham, to measure act whether it is good or not? The net amount of happiness in all must be measured to get the answer. When the theory of Utilitarianism is applied to the present facts and circumstance of the case, the decision of Chris for taking out Jenny for a date is not a good idea and the same is contrary to the theory of Utilitarianism.

Conclusion- So the decision of Chris regarding asking Jenny out for a date will nowhere maximize the happiness in the company. This Act might only make Chris and Jenny happy and no one from the company will accept this kind of behaviour as this could potentially harm the business of the company. The thought that Chris will not spill out the secrets of the company is not enough as his initial step of taking Jenny out for a date is sufficient to prove that Chris is not bothered about the overall good of the company. Therefore as per the Utilitarianism theory violating the company’s code of ethics is not a good idea as per the theory and the act in itself is not morally right. Even if to measure as to whether Chris’s act was morally correct or not, if the net amount of happiness will be calculated, it will turn out to be very low. Therefore, according to Utilitarianism, the decision of Chris is not right.


Sen, Amartya: 1987 On Ethics and Economics New York: Basil Blackwell

Tanovich KE, West RF (2008) On the relative independence of thinking biases and cognitive ability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 94, pp. 672-695.

Juliusson EA, Karlsson N,Gärling T (2005)weighing the past and the future in decision making. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, vol. 17, pp. 561-575.

Simon, H. A.; 1986 "Rationality in Psychology and Economics" Journal of Business 59, pp. S209-S224.

Thaler, Richard H.: 1992 The Winner's Curse: Paradoxes and Anomolies of Economic Life, The Free Press, New York.

Schwartz, Barry; 1990 "King Midas in America", in Enhancing Business Ethics edited by Clarence C. Walton: New York, Plennum Press.

Dees, Gregory J.; 1982 "Principals, Agents, and Ethics" in Ethics and Agency Theory ed. Norman E. Bowie and R. Edward Freeman (New York: Oxford University Press).

MacIntyre, Alasdair: 1966 A Brief History of Ethics, Macmillan, New York.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Business Law Assignment Help

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