Business Ethics Business Ethics

The facts in this case study presents a dilemma decision by a
professional regarding upholding of professional ethics on one side and
being committed to family ties on the other. At the first instance, Luke
is committed to his job and that is why he is considering the underlying
professional concerns and ethics. He fully understands the ethical
principles and guidelines that regulate confidentiality of the
company’s information. There is also a clear understanding of the main
purpose and significance for confidentiality of information on the
proposed investment plan by ABC Company. With this understanding, any
person who knows such information will have an advantage over other
players in the real estate market. This is the reason why Luke is
considering disclosing the confidential information to the brother.
The issue that is facing Luke is based on the consequences of each of
his decision concerning the facts of the case. If Luke adheres to his
professionalism and ethics, it is possible that his brother will lose
money if he makes the decision to sell the property after the
announcement on the proposed ABC investments. On the other hand, Luke
risks a divided relationship if he does not disclose such information to
the brother who is facing a loss or a gain depending on Luke`s decision.
According to Trevino and Nelson (2011), ethical considerations require
hard decisions and that is the main issue facing Luke the moment. This
is an ethical issue because the market will be affected by the decision
of disclosing such information by Luke, an act he is not supposed to. It
is further made an ethic issue because the outcome of both sides of the
dilemma depends solely on the decision Luke make on the case.
Furthermore, the market will not have the same advantage that Owen
Luke`s brother will have if he gets the advantage of the confidential
information. This therefore brings the issue of fairness in business
practice on the side of the company’s and Owen’s business
transaction. As an ethical issue, Luke will be disclosing crucial market
information that should only be made by the company. From the ethical
point of view, Luke has no authority to disclose such information
(Trevino & Nelson, 2011). Therefore, he will face some consequential
circumstances from his decision that should be guided by ethics.
According to Trevino and Nelson (2011), Luke should not disclose any
information that is deemed confidential by his employer to anyone no
matter the relationship. It is understandable the drive that is pulling
him to save his brother from an impending loss of value from the delayed
transaction. From the concept of utilitarianism, the best way to
approach the dilemma is to consider the people involved in the
consequences of the decision (Trevino & Nelson, 2011). Therefore, Luke
is free to advice the brother to continue with the sale of the property
without further delay. However, he should not give the basis for his
choice of advice due to the confidentiality clause of his job and the
professional duty to uphold ethics.
Internal Memo
The Ethics Department
Ref: Utilitarianism and Universal Ethics
It is important that the company considers the elements of ethics at a
deeper perspective and give clear guidelines on the application of the
above reference. In this line of thought, it is paramount to discuss the
theory of Utilitarianism and elements of Universal Ethics in your
department in order to instill commitment to ethics. The elements of the
two theories should be incorporated as components of making decision
process in the organization. As one of the best known consequentialist
theory, utilitarianism focuses on the results of the decision making
process in regard to ethical considerations. In deciding to do what is
right or wrong, the main consideration will be the stakeholders that
will be affected by the situation under the analysis.
At the same time, application of universal ethics will be an important
parts of the consideration other that just the consequences as
recommended by utilitarianism (Trevino & Nelson, 2011). This is because
all ethics that lead to right decisions are deemed to be based on the
universality of the ethics to be considered for every situation.
According to Trevino and Nelson (2011), it is the ethics under
consideration in every situation and dilemma that give chance to the
application of the results of every decision as indicated by the
consequentialist theories such as utilitarianism. The department should
therefore keep a culture of considering the benefits and harms of every
consequence of a situation not only to the stakeholders but also to the
The application of these two theories will not only make the company`s
transactions and planning responsible but also protect the rights of the
stakeholders. This is made possible by the application of universal
ethics in considering the consequences of every decision on the
stakeholders. At the same, the company should adhere to it core values
organizational culture, professional guidelines and corporate
responsibility. This therefore means that the department should be
critical on the application of the elements of the two theories while
incorporating the main aspects of the ethics culture of the company.
Trevino L.K & Nelson K.A (2011). Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk
about How to Do
It Right. Fifth Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc

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