Ethics In Business Essay

2137 words - 9 pages

- Great!Ethics in Business>From a business perspective, working under government contracts can be avery lucrative proposition. In general, a stream of orders keep coming in,revenue increases and the company grows in the aggregate. The obviousdownfalls to working in this manner is both higher quality expected aswell as the extensive research and documentation required for governmentcontracts. If a part fails to perform correctly it can cause minorglitches as well as problems that can carry serious repercussions, such asin the National Semiconductor case. When both the culpable component andcompany are found, the question arises of how extensive theserepercussions should be. Is the company as an entity liable or do you lookinto individual employees within that company? From an ethical perspectiveone would have to look at the mitigating factors of both the employees andtheir superiors along with the role of others in the failure of thesecomponents. Next you would have to analyze the final ruling from acorporate perspective and then we must examine the macro issue ofcorporate responsibility in order to attempt to find a resolution forcases like these.The first mitigating factor involved in the National Semiconductorcase is the uncertainty, on the part of the employees, on the duties thatthey were assigned. It is plausible that during the testing procedure, anemployee couldnt distinguish which parts they were to test undergovernment standards and commercial standards. In some cases they mighthave even been misinformed on the final consumers of the products thatthey tested. In fact, ignorance on the part of the employees would fullyexcuse them from any moral responsibility for any damage that may resultfrom their work. Whether it is decided that an employees is fully excused,or is given some moral responsibility, would have to be looked at on anindividual basis.The second mitigating factor is the duress or threats that anemployee might suffer if they do not follow through with their assignment.After the bogus testing was completed in the National Semiconductor labs,the documentation department also had to falsify documents stating thatthe parts had surpassed the governmental testing standards. From a legaland ethical standpoint, both the testers and the writers of the reportswere merely acting as agents on direct orders from a superior. This wasalso the case when the plant in Singapore refused to falsify the documentsand were later falsified by the employees at the have California plantbefore being submitted to the approval committees (Velazquez, 53). Thewriters of the reports were well aware of the situation yet they acted inthis manner on the instruction of a supervisor. Acting in an ethicalmanner becomes a secondary priority in this type of environment. As statedby Alan Reder, . . . if they [the employees] feel they will sufferretribution, if they report a problem, they arent too likely to open theirmouths. (113). The workers knew that if the...

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