Discussion 3: Getting Technical About Ethics
ENGL 2311 – Prof. Winter
Table of Content
Part 1: Follow the steps described in Exercise 2 and share your findings in the discussion forum titled “Discussion: Getting Technical About Ethics.”
Part 2: Share your thoughts about the ethical dilemma outlined in Exercise 3, and discuss what would be the best course of action for the project manager.
Your post should contain between 250-400 words. Provide links or citations for all outside sources you used.
Ethisphere Institute (ethisphere.com) every year publishes a list of the world’s most ethical companies. Check this year’s list and chose one of the companies to investigate. What makes it one of the world’s most ethical companies? Do you agree or disagree with this assessment? Report your findings in a slide presentation addressed to majors in your field.
You have been assigned as the project manager for a new bridge that your company hopes to build in a foreign city. You visit that city with your company’s vice president of international operations, scouting the site for the bridge and meeting with city officials in preparation for making a bid on the project. In a private meeting with the minister of public projects, the vice president pulls out a platinum wristwatch in a box from Tiffany’s and gives it to the minister. “This is for you from the president of my company!” announces the vice president. The minister seems quite pleased with the expensive gift and assures the vice president that the bid from your company would be “positively winning” or something to that effect. You can’t swear to it because the minister’s English is inexact, but it does seem that your company is being promised the bridge project.
You know that your company has a policy barring gifts to foreign officials, but you don’t know that it necessarily applies in this case. In the taxi on the way to the building site, you ask the vice president about the gift. He advises you that policies are “nice words” but that “this is how we do business here” and mentions that the minister and the president of the company are personal friends. He smiles and changes the subject of the conversation, but you are still worried that the gift giving was unethical and might also be illegal.
Exercise 3 – Continued
Managing this project would give a real boost to your career. It could lead to more international opportunities and higher visibility in your profession as well as executive positions at your company and possibly job offers from prestigious competitors. It could also terminate your career if it were determined that you were involved in bribing a foreign official.
What should be your next steps in addressing this dilemma? What sources of information could you consult – about applicable laws, about ethics, and intercultural communication? Who could you talk to? What documents or messages, if any, should you write?
Ethics is essential to an organization’s success, and it begins with each individual making ethical choices.
This oftentimes brings with it ethical dilemmas.
Using exercises 2 and 3 (3rd edition: p. 55; 4th 3edition: p. 48), share your thoughts regarding your findings for Exercise 2 and your thoughts regarding Exercise 3.
Attached you will also find a file with both assignments in case you have not yet received your textbook.
350 to 400 words
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