Ethical decision making
Ethics is defined as the philosophical study of moral values. The word ethics means ‘ethos’ and originates from Greece. Ethical studies involves systematizing, analysing, evaluating, applying, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong behaviour that is, morality has to do with the dos and don’ts as expecting of a rational human person. Ethical theories are usually classified into three general subject areas namely meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. It is worth to note that, the most important parts of normative ethical theories are values, norms and virtues. In this paper we shall delve and discuss the ethical decision making of the chief executive officer of Quality Control at All-in-One Pharmaceutical, Inc. whose name is Perry Periwinkle regarding the increase of the price of devices after the intellectual patent rights were extended by the US patent office. The CEO is deliberating and looking forward to increasing the prices of Shot-O-Vac device developed by the company which is a revolutionary device depended upon by many consumers for the allergic treatment of allergic reactions. This decision may be made despite the assurance they gave the patent office and government during the discussions that resulted in the extension of the IP rights in which they stated they would not did not foresee any significant increases in the price of the device in the near term, and that any increases would be commensurate with any increases in the Company’s costs associated with the manufacture of the device. This has created ethical dilemmas that will be extensively discussed in this paper.
This is a situation whereby one is faced with two or more complex and contradicting moral imperatives in which one is unable to choose the moral correct option. Causes of ethical dilemmas comprise of greed, poor company management, remuneration and compensation issues, pressure from colleagues and or clients, financial constraints, and the current unfavourable laws among others. In the above scenario, the ethical dilemma set in when the CEO is unable to make the right decision in accordance with the assurance he had presented at the meetings before the government and the US patent office that influenced the decision for the extension of the IP rights of that device. He is willing to flout the assurances by increasing the prices of the device after having expressly stated that they would not did not foresee any significant increases in the price of the device in the near term, and that any increases would be commensurate with any increases in the Company’s costs associated with the manufacture of the device. This has put George in a very critical spot and created a dilemma with respect to advising the CEO on the proper decision to make regarding the same a discussed herein above.
George is bound by ethical considerations and the law. For this reason he must make his decision having considered the two in order to stand out and stand for morality. This would therefore require him to refuse and disagree with the CEO’s decision to increase the prices of the device as this would go against the assurances given to the government and patent office which influenced the decision. Making immoral and wrong decisions though in the short run may seem favourable will in the long run bite them in the back and bring the company to its ruin forcing it to face penal consequences or be liquidated. The vice president of the company, George would be personally and vicariously liable for the wrongs that the company has committed together with the CEO. Normative ethical require one to consider values and virtues in making decisions in order to regulate wrong and right actions. The Kantian theory on the other hand discusses the duty that is expected by ethics since every act results in a consequence which may amount to tight or wrong.
Compare and Contrast of Results Using Two Theories;
The normative theory is based on the principle that we should do to others what we would want others to do to us. This requires us to learn to identify and regulate right from wrong since it’s our moral responsibility. Based on our scenario, it would be prudent to make the right decision which entails sticking to our assurances to the government and the patent office in order as this would amount to the right thing and he shall have fulfilled his moral responsibly as an agent of the company. On the other hand the Kantian theory on ethical duties focused on the consequences of our actions. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction which means wrong and immoral actions will result in immoral results which are detrimental to the company. The overall effect of both theories is therefore similar with respect to our moral responsibility or ethical duties to do the right thing since the consequences depend on the action resulting from our choice to do the right thing. However the normative theory focuses on the actions while the Kantian theory focuses on the consequences of taking certain actions.
Resolution of Dilemma
The result that would comprise of the best solution for the dilemma would involve retaining the status quo by not increasing the prices. This would prevent long term harmful effects to the existence and sustenance of the company especially with respect to manufacture of the devices and the extension of IP rights as discussed extensively herein above.
Ethical dilemmas are inevitable in decision making. However, this is not an excuse to deviate from our moral responsibilities to do the right. We are still bound by moral and legal considerations to avoid harmful consequences that caused by making the wrong choices.
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