BUS523 Excelsior College Chapter 1 Business Ethics Discussion Questions

One of the skills that you should acquire as you move through your college education is the ability to understand and synthesize the layers of meaning in the material that you read and watch, while considering your personal bias. This increases your critical thinking skills, leading to stronger professional application skills. This assignment touches on a sensitive subject that is an ongoing social phenomenon founded in unethical business practices.

The boom and bust in the residential real estate market has created a widespread dilemma for many people. Some individuals were unaware of the predatory lenders taking advantage of the market conditions. This lead to bad loans that have left many struggling financially. However, many buyers understood the lending parameters and made a conscious choice to take advantage of the opportunity in the marketplace. This has lead to a situation where many feel that, because of unethical lending practices, they are free to walk away from their contractual obligations. This activity asks that you consider the ramifications for all stakeholders and balance these considerations with your personal moral values.

Begin by reading Case 1.3: Just Drop off the Key, Lee located in Chapter One of our text Business Ethics. (Attached)

Next, read and reflect upon the following in preparation for composing a case analysis:

  • Your moral principles imply that you should keep paying on your mortgage because you have signed a contract and made a promise to pay based on the terms of the loan.
  • You are counseled to walk away from your mortgage to better serve you and your family’s long term financial interest.
  • How do you decide what to do? Consider the implications in relation to theory and morality.
  • This particular assignment requires personal reflection. You may use a first person narrative in this essay. However, make sure that you keep this to a minimum to maintain flow and focus.

Then, develop your case analysis using the following five sections:

  • Section 1: Introduction and situational analysis. Describe the ethical dilemma, giving appropriate background information. The term “dilemma” implies that there are pros and cons to various options, even if some are clearly more socially acceptable than others. This is also where you do your situational analysis – identify factors related to the individual(s) involved (consider the readings from this module), company and managerial practices and policies, external factors such as economic pressure, and any other aspects of the situation that you believe helped create the dilemma. Do not tell the story of the chosen case, instead spend time on pulling out the relevant points that form the main thrust of the ethical dilemma.
  • Section 2: Stakeholder analysis. Identify the key stakeholders and how they are potentially impacted by the various options in the dilemma. Note that stakeholder analysis is particularly pertinent to the consequentialist approach, and that one of the challenges is in estimating positive and negative impacts on relevant stakeholders. Do the best you can, looking at both good and bad consequences for each stakeholder group. Make sure you summarize the overall situation and come to a conclusion about the greater good.
  • Section 3: Analysis based on ethical theories. Analyze the ethical dilemma using a relevant theoretical perspective, including, but not limited to ,cultural relativism (how it relates to cultural norms – what society would view as acceptable, as well as what is legal), teleology (looking at consequences and acting for the greater good), deontology (duties and principles), and virtue.
  • Section 4: Conclusion and recommendations. Up to now, you have been analyzing and comparing options. Here is where you pull together the different threads of your analysis and determine whether or not the company or individual did the right thing. Also, make recommendations about what should have been done. Make sure your justifications clearly flow from your analysis. Make managerial and policy recommendations that would help avoid similar ethical dilemmas in the future and provide guidance to help those facing a similar dilemma.
  • Section 5: References. List at least three sources (other than the articles provided, your text, or the case article) where you located additional information about the company and the associated ethical dilemma(s).

General guidance: Include a title page, and label the five sections. Your paper should be 2 to 3 pages in length, not including the title and reference pages. All citations should be in APA 6th Edition format. Double space your paper, and use Times New Roman, 12-point font, with one inch margins.

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