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Business Law Chapter 01 Homework The Blank Might Its Against The Law

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3 pages
Word Count
774 words
Book Title
Applied Business Ethics: A Skills-Based Approach 1st Edition
Authors
Dean Bredeson
Greetings from Austin. I am writing this instructors’ guide at my dining room table. As I write
each of the 64 sets of teaching notes, I am imagining that you are sitting across from me sipping
on a cup of Castleton Estate Darjeeling tea (you are a guest no grocery store tea for you), and
that we are chatting about teaching.
I would venture to wager that I have logged more actual classroom hours teaching ethics
over the last decade than almost anyone. And, my classes have been quite successful at UT. Of
the 200 or so full time faculty members at the McCombs School of Business, I have had the #1
highest average student course evaluations for three years running. I know what I’m talking
about when it comes to classroom teaching.
I have used the topics in this book extensively. These notes are my attempt to describe
what has worked for me in terms of generating student interest in a live setting. I hope that you
find them useful in preparing for your own lectures, and that they help you and your students to
have a pleasant classroom experience.
UNIT 1: Ethical Dilemmas
Unit Background/Author Perspective
Module 1: Intentional Misrepresentations: Are Some Lies Better than Others?
Module 2: Utilitarian vs. Deontological Ethics
Module 3: Scope of Utility: Selecting Relevant Groups
Module 4: Kant and “Unique Human Dignity”
Module 5: Kant’s Duty Ethics
Unit Background/Author Perspective
Although philosophical models are not the primary focus of this book, it makes little
sense to begin a course of study without providing students with a set of basic “tools for the
toolbox”. This opening unit presents basic ethical dilemmas and essential tools for analyzing
them.
Many decisions in a career or in a life are driven by the fear of negative consequences. A
person often thinks, at least subconsciously, “I can’t do that because ___________________.”
The blank might be “it’s against the law, and I’ll get in trouble,” or, “I’ll get fired,” or, “people
won’t like me,” or any number of other things.
But what about situations in which a person has a free choice? What if someone can do
one of two things (or one of many things), and none of the paths has any particular negative
consequence attached to it? These are the true ethical dilemmas: when a person is left to do what
he or she feels is right.
How do people behave in such situations? Are they egoists who pursue personal benefits
whenever a free choice presents itself? Or are people more utilitarian? Do they try to maximize
the benefits to groups of people with their decisions?
And whether a person tends to focus on himself or on a group of people, can he really be
called “ethical” if he is constantly focused on the results his decisions are likely to generate? Do
the ends justify the means? Can an ethical person lie if his deception will generate favorable
results? Or do ethical decision makers take actions based on noble principles, regardless of the
outcomes that are most probable? These and other questions are examined in the modules that
follow.
Unit Core Ethical Issues
Can intentional deception ever be justified? Can it ever be justified in business?
Is an ethical action one that generates favorable outcomes, or is it one that is made for a moral
reason in the first place?
When people weigh the pros and cons of decisions, what groups make it into the equation?
Are there some situations which maximize the good that are nonetheless unacceptable
because they treat people as commodities?
Is it better to act from a sense of obligation than from a desire to do good?

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