Excerpts from A papers (assignment 4)
Includes excerpts from different papers (all earning As on the assignment)
Pat is the plant manager in one of ABC Company’s five plants. Her boss informed her in complete
confidence that the company will have to lay off 200 workers. Luckily, her job is not at risk. However,
a rumor is circulating in the plant, and one of her workers (who also happens to be an old friend) asks
her, “Well, Pat, what’s the word? Is the plant closing? Am I going to lose my job? The closing on our
new house is scheduled for next week. I need to know!” (citation removed)
[This is a good statement of the facts because it is clearly, concisely, and directly worded.]
Should Pat disclose the information to her worker or should she keep it confidential? In this particular
case an ethical issue arises immediately from the conflict between a set of good values: honesty and
loyalty. Pat has to choose between being truthful to her friend or loyal to her company…
[This is a good statement of the issue because it describes WHAT the issue is and WHY it is an issue.
The sentences are also clearly, concisely, and directly worded. Note that the paper went on to discuss
in a bit more detail the difficulties presented by the conflict in values.]
[Note the use of additional headers. This is a good practice because there are multiple theories applied.
This helps the reader better understand when you are finished applying each theory. It also helps you,
as a writer, better organize your paper.]
ANALYSIS – APPLICATION OF ETHICAL LENSES/THEORIES
One method Pat can use to make her decision is the teleological, or utilitarian approach. The
Utilitarian approach requires one to evaluate the consequences to each stakeholder, and decide which
choice will produce the net greatest good for the largest number of stakeholders. In this case, Pat must
make her decision after considering the relative benefits and harms of each choice for all stakeholders.
…Divulging confidential information to her friend will certainly affect her standing in the company, or
even cost Pat her job. However, Pat must consider what impact her decision will make not only on her
own or her friend’s job, but the continued prosperity of the many other stakeholders. For example, if
Pat chooses to tell her friend about the layoffs, then her boss might suffer negative consequences, such
as lost productivity due to time spent discussing the issue with other employees. Also, the company
could be harmed by negative publicity or the productivity of the employees could suffer. The company
could then be forced to close, and as a result, even more employees will lose their jobs. A greater
number of unemployed people will have an even more negative impact on the community by affecting
its entire economy.
Alternatively, if Pat chooses to lie to her friend, even through omission, then her friend’s well-being
will be adversely affected, as well as that of all the other workers who lose their jobs suddenly. Also, if
it became known that Pat had advance warning about the layoffs and chose not to divulge that
knowledge, the remaining workers will lose trust in Pat as a manager and become less productive. A
poor morale will also have far-reaching negative effects on the company because workers will become
However, the problem with making a decision using utilitarianism is that …
[This is a good discussion of the theory because it defines the theory and discusses how it will apply in
the case, applies it considering all stakeholders, and discusses the criticisms of the theory in this
context. The paper provided much deeper analysis of the theory and application of the facts to the
theory as well.
The section was also clearly, concisely, and directly written. Citations were also provided but I’ve
The Golden Rule
The Virtue Ethics approach focuses on the integrity of the moral actor rather than on the rules or
consequences of the act itself (Treviño & Nelson, 101-102). Even though the virtue ethics perspective
considers the actor’s character, it is important to consider that character and moral motivations are very
much influenced by one’s community. In this case Pat can identify herself with two distinct
communities: her professional community (her boss and the company) or the broader community (her
friend, the other workers, and the other members of society as a whole). … [Note how the writer
conveys the ideas clearly with language that is direct and concise. The paragraph is easy to read and
[I eliminated much of this section. What is left is here to demonstrate clear and concise writing style.
Also, note that this is the extent to which you should define or discuss the theories being applied. Your
definition of the theory should represent ¼ of your analysis of the subject, while your application of
the facts to the theory should represent ¾ of your analysis.]
[Your conclusion must weigh the evidence you presented above in your arguments and provide a
logical recommendation. Remember that this section is not the place to repeat your arguments but
explain why you rely on one theory or another (or all four, etc). This is why it is important to consider
the criticisms for each of the theories].
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