Richard Fraser, an at-will independent insurance agent for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, was terminated by Nationwide and the parties disagree on the reason for Fraser's termination. Fraser argues that Nationwide terminated him because he filed complaints regarding Nationwide's allegedly illegal conduct, for criticizing Nationwide to the Nationwide Insurance Independent Contractors Association, and for attempting to obtain the passage of legislation in Pennsylvania to ensure that independent insurance agents could be terminated only for "just cause." Nationwide argues, however, that it terminated Fraser because he was disloyal. Nationwide points out that Fraser drafted a letter to two competitors saying that policy holders were not happy with Nationwide and asking whether the competitors would be interested in acquiring them. (Fraser claims that the letters were drafted only to get Nationwide's attention and were not sent.) When Nationwide learned about these letters, it claims that it became concerned that Fraser might also be revealing company secrets to its competitors. It therefore searched its main file server—on which all of Fraser's e-mail was lodged—for any e-mail to or from Fraser that showed similar improper behavior. Nationwide's general counsel testified that the e-mail search confirmed Fraser's disloyalty. Therefore, on the basis of the two letters and the e-mail search, Nationwide terminated Fraser's employment agreement. The search of his e-mail gives rise to Fraser's claim for damages under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA). Do you believe the employer was justified in monitoring the employee’s e-mail and then terminating him? What ethical arguments do you believe either side could use in this case?
> What is ethical leadership, and how could ethical leadership be evidenced in the case of Innocent Drinks?
> In what way are Innocent’s charismatic, transformational, and transactional elements of leadership now at stake?
> What causes job satisfaction?
> What is your opinion on the view that audiences prefer “live” presentations?
> Describe the communication process and distinguish between its formality and informality.
> Identify the main function of the meeting.
> Do you feel like your communication style corresponds with your gender? Why or why not?
> How might male and female communication styles differ across cultures?
> What are some other situations where having a stereotypically male communication style may be advantageous? What about situations where having a stereotypically female communication style may be more advantageous?
> Why might 36 percent of the survey respondents say that they hid their romantic relationships from coworkers? How does this relate to what we learned about office gossip in Chapter 9?
> Is it ever okay for a supervisor to date a subordinate? What if someone becomes their romantic partner’s supervisor after the relationship was already initiated?
> Do you think offices should include rules about office romances in their sexual harassment policies? Why or why not?
> What could be the reasons behind such attitudes from some team members? How could this issue be resolved?
> How do we measure job satisfaction?
> What are the three components of attitudes?
> In connection with the two previous questions, assume instead that you think something significant is about to be made public because all officers have consistently stayed late, a special board meeting has been called, you and your boss have been advised
> Modify slightly the facts of the previous question. Assume that you are also privy to the annual forecast of earnings, which assures you that the fundamentals remain strong. Stock analysts and investors are also provided this same information. Do your
> Imagine that A press release has a significant negative impact on your firm’s stock price, reducing its value by more than 50 percent in a single day of trading! You gather from conversations in the hallway that the company’s fundamentals remain strong,
> You are on the compensation committee of your board and have been asked to propose an overall compensation structure to be offered to the next CEO. Explore some of the following websites on executive compensation and then propose a structure or process f
> You are an executive at a large nonprofit. Some of your board members suggest that perhaps the company should voluntarily comply with Sarbanes-Oxley. What are some of the reasons the company might consider doing so or not doing so?
> Scholars have made strong arguments for required representation on boards by stakeholders beyond stockholders such as employees, community members, and others, depending on the industry. What might be some of the benefits and costs of such a process?
> U.S. law imposes duties of care, good faith, and loyalty on corporate boards. Search online to find out: What duties do the laws of other jurisdictions, such as Canada, the UK, and Japan, impose on boards? Are they different in meaningful ways?
> You have been asked to join the board of a large corporation. What are some of the first questions that you should ask and what are the answers that you are seeking?
> During the recession of 2008-2009, many reputable companies suffered bankruptcies while others struggled to survive. Of those that did remain, some opted to reduce the size of their work forces significantly. In a business environment during those times,
> Have you ever been in, or are you familiar with, a conflict of interest situation? How was it resolved? Can you think of any rules or any practices that could have prevented the situation from occurring? Can you think of any initiatives, structures or
> You have been asked by the board of a large corporation to develop a board assessment and effectiveness mechanism, which could be a survey, interviews, an appraisal system, or other technique that will allow you to report back to the board on both indivi
> Investigate LEED (Leadership in energy and Environmental Design) building designs. If possible, arrange a visit to a local building designed according to LEED principles. Should all new buildings be required by law to adopt LEED design standards and co
> Do you believe that business has any direct ethical duties to living beings other than humans? Do animals, plants, or ecosystems have rights? What criteria have you used in answering such questions? What is your own standard for determining what objec
> Investigate what is involved in an environmental audit. Has such an audit been conducted at your own college or university? In what ways has your own school adopted sustainable practices? In what ways would your school need to change to become more sus
> What does the concept “sustainability” really mean when applied to different businesses and industries? What would sustainable agriculture require? What are sustainable energy sources? What would sustainable transportation be? What would be required to t
> Should businesses be legally required to take back products at the end of their useful life? Are there other, equally effective solutions? Is there a better argument for such a rule with regard to some products rather than others—say, smartphones but not
> Think of a corporate brand that you know and admire. Look online to determine whether the company issues a corporate sustainability report. If it does, look at the report to see whether it impresses you, as a consumer. How do you think this brand compare
> Search online for a free ecological footprint analysis. You should be able to find a self-administered test to evaluate your own ecological footprint. What comparisons does the test allow? How does your “footprint” compare to that of people in other part
> As a research project, choose a product with which you are familiar (one with local connections is best), and trace its entire life cycle. From where does this product originate? What resources go into its design and manufacture? How it is transported
> What difference, if any, exists between ethical reasons and reasons of self-interest? If a business performs a socially beneficial act in order to receive good publicity, or if it creates an ethical culture as a business strategy, has the business acted
> Many sales people are compensated predominantly on a commission basis. In other words, though the salesperson receives a small base hourly rate, most of her or his compensation derives from a percentage of the price of items sold. Since basically the s
> Take note of several sample prescription drug ads from magazines, newspapers, television, and websites. On the basis of the location of the ad, what do you think is the intended target audience? Are the ads in any way misleading? Are the required side-ef
> The U.S. Federal Trade Commission regulates advertising on the basis of two criteria: deception and unfairness. How can an ad be unfair? Can you think of examples of an unfair ad? Who gets hurt by deceptive advertising?
> Research the case Pelman v. McDonald’s in which it was alleged that McDonald’s was partially responsible for the health problems associated with the obesity of children who eat MacDonald’s fast food. Should MacDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants be
> Conduct a classroom debate on the lawsuit launched against Red Bull in 2014 over its slogan, “Red Bull Gives You Wings!” The complainant in that case argued that the slogan (and the ads that contained it) implied that Red Bull could improve concentration
> Are some products too dangerous to be marketed directly to the public? What regulations, if any, would you place on the marketing (as opposed to merely the production) of cigarettes? Handguns? Prescription drugs? Lock-pick sets?
> You work as an accountant at large accounting firm where your job leaves you with a lot of down time at the office in between assignments. You spend this time on your office computer developing a program that can make your job even more efficient and it
> While some companies block employee access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, others have a more permissive attitude. Explain several reasons why a company might choose to permit – or be indifferent to – employee access to social networks.
> A college provided its security officers with a locker area in which to store personal items. The security officers occasionally used the area as a dressing room. After incidents of theft from the lockers and reports that the employees were bringing we
> Term papers on practically every subject imaginable are available on the Internet. Many of those who post the papers defend their practice in two ways: (1) These papers are posted to assist in research in the same way any other resource is posted on t
> Construct a list of all the people who were adversely affected by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Who, among these people, would you say had their rights violated? What responsibilities, if any, did Madoff have to each of these constituencies?
> Spam, or spamming, refers to the use of mailing lists to blanket usenets or private e-mail boxes with indiscriminate advertising messages. Some people believe that spamming should be protected as the simple exercise of one’s First Amendment right to fre
> The term cybersquatting refers to the practice of: registering a large number of website domain names hoping to sell them at huge prices to others who may want the URL or who are prepared to pay to get rid of a potentially confusing domain name. For ins
> A customer service representative at an electronics store is surfing the Internet using one of the display computers. She accesses a website that shows graphic images of a crime scene. A customer in the store who notices the images is offended. Anothe
> As you learned in this chapter, drug testing in the work place is a somewhat controversial issue in terms of employer responsibilities and employee rights. Using sources from the web, discuss the pros and cons of these programs.
> Marriott Resorts had a formal company party for more than 200 employees. At one point during the party, the company aired a videotape that compiled employees’ and their spouses’ comments about a household chore they hated. However, as a spoof, the vide
> As a project manager, Kelly is leading a team on an international business trip where she is scheduled to do a presentation on its project and to negotiate a deal. Just a few days before the trip, Kelly gets a call asking her whether she is willing to le
> You are a senior global human resources manager for a large apparel retailer that purchases goods from all over the world. The media has focused a great deal of attention on the conditions of your suppliers’ workplaces and, for myriad reasons including
> You run a small consulting business that serves a relatively diverse community and have 24 employees in professional positions. You are not subject to Executive Order 11246. You are concerned that, of the employees in professional positions, your workp
> As a result of rising health-care costs and the challenge to contain them, companies are trying to encourage employees to take better care of themselves, and some are even penalizing employees if they do not. Wal-Mart Inc. has announced that, starting i
> Do an Internet search for recent news stories about oil spills. Do any of those stories report behaviors that seem especially wise or unwise on the part of the oil companies involved? Do you think that controversies over big pipeline projects like the Ke
> A particular research study provides some evidence that those born between 1979 and 1994 are perceived as “impatient, self-serving, disloyal, unable to delay gratification and, in short, feeling that they are entitled to everything without working for it
> What is the difference in your mind, and in your common usage between a perception, a generalization, and a stereotype? Can you give an example of each? After doing so, go to the Web and find dictionary-equivalent definitions of the terms to determine
> We can distinguish due process from just cause in the following way: Imagine a company wanted to abandon the arbitrary nature of employment at will and ensure that its employees were treated fairly in any termination decision. Can you imagine how the e
> Review the discussion in the chapter regarding global labor challenges. Choose a specific issue, such as child labor or sweatshop labor. Go online and find a news story about a particular company accused of employing child labor or sweatshop labor. How d
> Fortune magazine complies a “Best Companies to Work For” list every year. Go to their website http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2011/full_list/ and spot trends or similarities, if any, among the listed companies to find policies or pro
> Maya confides in her friend and colleague, Alicia, “My husband Gene is very sick. I haven’t shared this with anyone else at work because I didn’t want them to think I couldn’t manage my responsibilities. He was diagnosed last year with progressive Park
> Have you ever boycotted a product because you disagree with some action by the company that produces it? Would you boycott a product because the company advertises on a television program that promotes political views with which you disagree? Why or why
> Make a list of the five products on which you have spent the most money over the past 3 years. Using the internet, find corporate sustainability reports for the companies that produced those products or that had some responsibility in their production. A
> Take another look at the quote by Paul Hawken in the section titled “Exploring Enlightened Self-Interest” in this chapter. He seems to be saying that it is not acceptable to use social perception as a way to further one’s own interests (exclusively). Now
> What kind of organization would you like to work for? What would be the best? What would be the most realistic? Think about its structure, physical environment, lines of communication, treatment of employees, recruitment and promotion practices, policies
> As described in this chapter, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires firms to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Consider such conditions as obesity, depression, dyslexia, arthritis, hearing loss, high blood pressure, f
> Some years ago, Nestlé S.A. CEO Peter Braeck-Letmathe argued, “Companies shouldn’t feel obligated to ‘give back’ to communities because they haven’t taken anything away. Companies should only pursue charitable endeavors with the underlying intention of m
> Court decisions in the United States have recognized corporations as having legal rights beyond the narrow right of being able to enter into contracts. Do you agree that corporations should have rights to free political speech? Religious freedom? Should
> This chapter has asked in several ways whether the social responsibility of the companies you patronize has ever made any difference to your purchasing decisions. Will it make any difference in the future as a result of what you have learned? Consider
> Which of the three models of CSR is most persuasive to you and why? Which do you believe is most prevalent among companies that engage in CSR efforts?
> Is there any action that Facebook could do that would lead you to delete your Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp account? If so, what would lead you to do this? If not, why not?
> What is your overall perspective on CSR after reviewing this chapter? If market forces do not encourage responsibility for social causes should a firm engage in this behavior? Does social responsibility apply only to firms or do consumers have a respon
> Wasta is the term used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for favoritism. In the UAE, it is a highly valued element of the culture. In fact, while nepotism might be kept under wraps or discussed in hushed tones in an American firm, Wasta is more likely to
> You are aware of inappropriate behavior and violations of your firm’s code of conduct throughout your operation. In an effort to support a collegial and supportive atmosphere, however, you do not encourage coworkers to report on their peers. Unfortunatel
> Assume you have a number of suppliers for your global apparel business. You have in place a code of conduct both for your workplace and for your suppliers. Each time you visit a particular supplier, even on unannounced visits, it seems as if that supplie
> What are some of the greatest benefits and hazardous costs of compliance-based cultures?
> Review the distinction between personal morality and matters of social ethics. Can you think of cases in which some decisions would be valuable as a matter of social policy but bad as a matter of personal ethics? Something good as a matter of personal et
> One element that surely impacts a firm’s culture is its employee population. While a corporate culture can shape an employee’s attitudes and habits, it will do so more easily if people who have already developed those attitudes and habits are hired in th
> Now that you have an understanding of corporate culture and the variables that impact it, how would you characterize an ethically effective culture, one that would effectively lead to a profitable and valuable long-term sustainability for the firm?
> You will need to draft a memorandum to your chief executive identifying the value of a triple-bottom-line approach, which would represent an enormous shift from the firm’s current orientation. What are the three key points that you could make and how wo
> Consider how you evaluate whether a firm is “one of the good guys” or not. What are some of the factors you use to make this determination? Do you actually know the facts behind each of those elements, or has your judgment been shaped by the firm’s repu
> Identify an industry in which you would like to work and choose a company for whom you would like to work, ideally. Use the company's website to learn about their core values and culture in order to find your best fit and then please explain your choice.
> With regard to employee recognition in the work place, what effects would a program like “employee of the month” have on the corporate culture, and what factors might lead you to recommend it as a motivational program for your company?
> Put yourself in the position of someone who is establishing an organization from the ground up. What type of leader would you want to be? How would you create that image or perception? Do you create a mission statement for the firm and/or a code of co
> A large United States–based corporation has decided to develop a mission statement and then conduct training on a new ethics program. It engages you to assist in these endeavors. What activities would you need to conduct in order to complete this projec
> To help understand an organizational culture, think about some organization to which you belong. Does your company, school, or fraternity/sorority have its own culture? How would you describe it? How does it influence individual decision-making and actio
> Can such character traits as honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness, compassion, and humility be taught? Do people learn to be selfish, greedy, or aggressive, or do these traits come naturally?
> What might be some benefits and costs of acting unethically in business? Distinguish between benefits and harms to the individual and benefits and harms to the firm.
> The right of private property is often described as a “bundle” of rights. What rights are involved in ownership of property? Given this understanding, should shareholders be considered owners of corporations?
> If the right to autonomy is the right to make your own free and deliberate choices, what limits do you think there must be on that right? Does the right to autonomy literally allow us to do anything we want?
> Some political philosophers understand the ethical foundations of legislatures to be utilitarian, while the ethical foundation of the judiciary is deontological. How would you explain this distinction?
> Why might economic growth be considered a utilitarian goal?
> Do an internet search on international human rights and/or fundamental moral rights. Can you find any moral rights that seem to be universally acknowledged across all cultures?
> What ethical disputes or dilemmas have you experienced in your own workplace? What about in a club or student group you belong to? How were these disputes or dilemmas resolved?
> What makes a decision or issue an ethical one? How would you explain the differences between ethical/non-ethical, on one hand, and ethical/unethical, on the other?
> Do professionals such as physicians, accountants, and lawyers have duties and obligations that other people do not? Where would such duties come from?
> Not all ethical norms get entrenched in law. In which philosophical tradition—consequences, rights, or virtue—are we most likely to find norms that have ended up becoming laws?
> Lisa is trying to raise funds to support the creation of a free clinic in a poor neighbor-hood in her hometown. She has been trying very hard; but she has not been able to raise enough money to get the clinic up and running. One day, she gets a huge chec
> Why might legal rules be insufficient for fulfilling one’s ethical responsibilities? Can you think of cases in which a businessperson has done something legally right, but ethically wrong? What about the opposite – are there situations in which a busines