Ethics in Business.

Essay by faraziboyUniversity, Master'sA, September 2003

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Ethics in Business

From a business perspective, working under government

contracts can be a very lucrative proposition. In general, a stream of

orders keep coming in, revenue increases and the company grows in the

aggregate. The obvious downfalls to working in this manner is both

higher quality expected as well as the extensive research and

documentation required for government contracts. If a part fails to

perform correctly it can cause minor glitches as well as problems that

can carry serious repercussions, such as in the National Semiconductor

case. When both the culpable component and company are found, the

question arises of how extensive these repercussions should be. Is the

company as an entity liable or do you look into individual employees

within that company? From an ethical perspective one would have to

look at the mitigating factors of both the employees and their

superiors along with the role of others in the failure of these

components. Next you would have to analyze the final ruling from a

corporate perspective and then we must examine the macro issue of

corporate responsibility in order to attempt to find a resolution for

cases like these.

The first mitigating factor involved in the National

Semiconductor case is the uncertainty, on the part of the employees,

on the duties that they were assigned. It is plausible that during the

testing procedure, an employee couldnt distinguish which parts they

were to test under government standards and commercial standards. In

some cases they might have even been misinformed on the final

consumers of the products that they tested. In fact, ignorance on the

part of the employees would fully excuse them from any moral

responsibility for any damage that may result from their work. Whether

it is decided that an employees is fully excused, or is given...