“Alex Smith is preparing a sales presentation for his company, Phones4Kids, which manufactures and sells cell phones that are specifically designed for children. Phones4Kids employs several hundred workers in Mooray, Missouri, a small town with only two other large employers in addition to Phones4Kids. Alex hopes to sell specialty phones for boys and girls aged 6-10 to a retailer in Hooptown, Missouri. This sale would represent approximately 25% of the projected revenue for the current year for Phones4Kids. The phones are not specifically designed for internet access; however, about eight percent of the time the phones can pick up a wireless internet connection and the user can access the internet. There is a 48% chance that once a child connects to the internet using one of these specialty phones, he or she could access a pornographic site. Derrick Vance, Alex’s boss, has promised Alex a commission in addition to his regular salary if he makes the sale to the retailer. However, if he tells the retailer about the potential to access pornography via the cell phone, the retailer may buy the phones from a competitor that sells phones without internet access. Alex has reviewed the corporate policy for Phones4Kids and can find no specific guidance on how to handle this situation. However, the policy does indicate that sales representatives are to be honest and fair in their dealings with customers.”
2. Complete the following 2 tasks:
A. Analyze how you would resolve the dilemma using (1) utilitarianism, (2) the principle of rights, (3) the principle of justice, (4) virtue ethics and (5) the Golden Rule.
1. There are several criteria according to utilitarianism. One is that the action must report the greatest good to the greatest number of people. As we see in the case of cell phones, I have to calculate if I give much margin to how many consumers will benefit from my decision and how many will be completely affected. Another criterion of utilitarianism that must be taken into account is to consider what is more expensive. According to utilitarianism, goodness is calculated by seeing in which action you have the least negative impact.
B. Determine how Alex should handle this situation in a written memo. Please use the following ethical decision-making process, which builds on the process provided by the text but incorporates an economic and legal analysis of proposed courses of action:
Step 1: State the Problem / Analyze the Problem
Step 2: Identify All Courses of Action that You Could Take
Step 3: Evaluate Each Course of Action
a. Would the proposed course of action meet the firm’s economic responsibilities?
b. Would the proposed course of action meet the firm’s legal responsibilities?
c. Would the proposed course of action meet the firm’s ethical responsibilities?
1) Note the ethical principles / tests employed by top management.
2) Note the ethical principles / tests required by the code of conduct.
Step 4: Evaluate New Alternative (Repeat Step 3)
Step 5: Implement Chosen Course of Action