Business Ethics Discrimination and Affirmative Action Set Aside Programs

Essay by Wolfgang61University, Master'sA+, October 2004

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

Are minority set-aside programs morally acceptable?

Set-aside programs were established as an attempt to bring equality of opportunity for all to reach the "American dream". Opportunity is what makes this dream possible and the set-aside program is vehicle to provide it. The goal and the ideas behind the creation of the set-aside program are well intended, but like any other program, if not designed and executed with specific rules and regulations, it might not accomplish the intended outcome.

The minority set-aside programs are morally acceptable if properly designed with specific rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are essential to ensure it's a fair program not only for minorities, but also for the non-minority population. In order to be morally acceptable, the set-aside programs must be inclusive and not exclusive to ensure fairness in the selection process.

The purpose of this paper is to provide information on why the minority set-aside programs are morally acceptable.

It provides the positives attributes of these programs based on the Utilitarian and Deontological reasoning to show that a well-designed program has real benefits to provide opportunity for those who needs it the most. I intend to prove this point by providing facts and opinions from several subject matter experts' papers, reports, legal documents and write-ups.

There are three types of set-aside programs: The first, requires that an established percentage of the total number of state or municipal contracts awarded each year be set aside for minority-owned businesses. The second type requires that all prime contractors spend a percentage of the contract price with minority-owed subcontractors. The third requires that a prime contractor submit its bid with an "affirmative action plan" which commits the contractor to hire a specific percentage of minority-owned subcontractors.

Many considerations are made selecting applicants or contracts to fill a...