LAW AND ETHICS IN BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT 6
Lawand Ethics in the Business Environment
Lawand Ethics in the Business Environment
Question1: Halbert and Ingulli ethical frameworks
Halbertand Ingulli provide a detailed ethical framework that typicallyidentifies with the western philosophical schools of thought. Thethree ethics frameworks include: deontological ethics (the ethics ofduty to one another and the society), consequentialism(utilitarianism), and virtue ethics (in the scope of the humanistethics)(Halbert & Ingulli, 2011).
Deontologicalethics (rights and duties)
Unlikeutilitarianism that focuses on the consequences of actions and themaximization of social welfare, deontological ethics are all aboutuniversal principles such as fairness, keeping promises, and respectfor life. Hence, any actions that a person takes should be a subjectof the rights and duties they have to the society. Deontologyemanates from Kantian philosophy that postulated that human beingshad the capability to set a framework of universal rules of rightbehavior. Thus, ethical human behavior entails holding, withoutdiscrimination, to principles that emphasize ones duty to respect therights of other people.
Utilitarianismwas first coined by John Stuart Mills, which stated that any actionthat a person takes must produce the best overall good for the entiresociety.For instance, the cost-benefit analysis is a tool that guidesdecision making so that the decisions that executives make have thegreatest good for both the organization and the society.
Unlikedeontology and consequentialism, virtue ethics provide a threshold ofmoral excellence. Virtue ethics also explain the extent which actionsare acceptable within the paradigm of ethics. Hence, virtue ethicsare simply an improvement of deontology and consequentialism. Virtueethics also prescribe ways in which individuals can cultivate anethical environment that would enable people to exploit their fullestpotential. Virtue ethics are coined on Aristotelian ethics on virtuethat state thathuman beings have the capability to inculcate moralhabits through training or being exposed to repeated scenarios ofmoral behavior within their families and communities.Some of thevirtues that individuals are likely to learn from moral settings aregenerosity, cooperativeness, courage, and cheerfulness to name a few.If an organizational environment applies the value ethics framework,employees are likely to exploit their fullest potential.
Question2: Schaefer`s position on shareholders and social responsibility
Schaeferargues that organizations have the social responsibility obligationother than making profits and obeying the law. Schaefer disagreeswith those who view the organization’s obligation as only makingprofits. Viewing the organization only in such terms goes the ethicalframework of virtue ethics that mandates the organization to be partof the society’s moral initiatives(Schaefer, 2008). Schaefer’sassertions are agreeable. They are agreeable because the society alsoplays a role in the continuity of the organization. Thus, it is amoral duty for the organization to be socially responsible to thesociety.
Question3: Three factors that Maffei considers are a subject of the court’sdecision to pierce the corporate veil
Piercingthe corporate veil is the act of accessing the personal assets ofshareholders in the event that the company fails to pay creditors dueto lack of assets. The following factors will enable the court topierce the corporate veil(Thompson, 1990):
Evidence of the company’s involvement in fraudulent activities
Evidence of the breach of the company formalities
The company must have enough capital to run its operations as proof that it operate as a separate entity. Any evidence contrary to this is likely cast a picture of a company under undue influence from its owners.
Evidence that reveals any case of undue influence from an individual or group of people that have another relationship apart from the business relationship.
Question4: The two major laws enforced by the department of labor
Thetwo major laws under the jurisdiction of the department of laborinclude(Fine & Gordon, 2010):
TheFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The law applies to private andpublic employees in the United States. The Act has both civil andcriminal remedies for employees offended in different industries. Italso provides them with the framework to file private lawsuitsagainst organizations that violate industry standards, ethics, andcorporate law.
TheMigrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA): Thedepartment of labor ensures that federal officers and law enforcersensure that all migrant and seasonal employees have the neededprotections for a fair working environment. The department serves asthe government that registers workers who fall in this category.
Question5: The disadvantages of sole proprietorship (Epstein, 2007)
Unlimitedliability: The owners are not immune to the financial problems of thebusiness. When the business has to pay debts, their assets can belegally confiscated to repay them.
Limitedlife: The continuity of the business depends on the continued life ofthe owners. Death, insanity, incapacitation or any other problem thatcan make the owners stop carrying out their duties leads totermination of the business.
Managementability: Considering that the business is not a separate entity fromits owners, management is prone to the individual weaknesses of theowner.
Limitedinvestment potential: Most sole proprietorships depend on the capitalof individual investors. Thus, their capital base cannot accommodatefurther investment in other sectors of the economy.
Epstein,D. G. (2007).BusinessStructures.Missouri Bar Center.Retrieved from: http://missouribusiness.net/article/legal-structures/
Fine,J., & Gordon, J. (2010).Strengthening labor standards enforcementthrough partnerships with workers’ organizations. Politics& Society,38(4), 552-585.
Halbert,T., & Ingulli, E. (2011).Lawand ethics in the business environment.CengageLearning.
Thompson,R. B. (1990). Piercing the corporate veil: an empirical study.Cornell L. Rev.,76, 1036.
Schaefer,B. P. (2008). Shareholders and social responsibility. Journalof Business Ethics,81(2), 297-312.