Answered Essay: Because of the poor economy, the executives of AGT Inc. were trying to decide whether or not to

Because of the poor economy, the executives of AGT Inc. were trying to decide whether or not to close one of the AGT manufacturing plants. Manuel Kant said that the company had a duty to the community and shouldn’t close the plant unless the company’s executives believed that all companies should simply close their plants in an economic downturn. Jerry Bentham said they should close the plant if the costs of keeping it open and running were greater than the economic benefits of keeping it open. Which of the following statements is true?

Manuel believes in critical thinking, but Jerry believes in ethics.
Manuel and Jerry are both believers in situational ethics.
Jerry believes in utilitarianism, while Manuel relies on duty-based ethics.
Manuel believes in the business stakeholder standard of behavior; Jerry believes in situational ethics.

Douglas was faced with an ethical dilemma about whether to close a plant and cut costs knowing that several hundred employees would lose their jobs. Douglas wanted to make an ethical decision. Which of the following are good methods of ethical decision-making?

A. Front Page of the Newspaper test
B. Blanchard & Peale three-part test (especially, would you tell your Mother?)
C. Wait & See approach (do nothing)
D. All of the Above
E. Front Page of the Newspaper test or Blanchard & Peale (would you tell your Mother) test, but not the Wait & See (do nothing) approach

Expert Answer

Answer

1.

It is clear the Manuel Kant is concerned with a duty-based ethics or deontology which depends on ‘Categorical imperatives’ to decide the morality of an action. Categorical imperatives are the gold standards that would have been followed by everyone (all executive) under every condition (downturn) without qualification. Also, Bentham’s point of view matches the utilitarianism cost-benefit analysis which says that the policies should be arranged so as to maximize the ratio of economic benefits to economic costs. So, the correct option is –

Jerry believes in utilitarianism, while Manuel relies on duty-based ethics.

2.

The front page of a newspaper test signifies whether we are willing to publicise the action taken by us to the public. The Blanchard & Peale three-part test, on the other hand, is concerned about how will the decision makes the decision-maker feel. Both may be incorporated in this case but definitely not the wait and see approach. Option E seems correct.

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