Empress Luxury Lines Case Study
The situation faced by Antonio definitely is a difficult one. On the one hand, Kevin could be jeopardizing the health and well being of the company if he chooses to approach the insurance company and tell them about the incident. Yet, on the other, Antonio would essentially be condoning criminal behavior I he simply sweeps the situation under the rug to avoid potential consequences. With everything taken into consideration, Antonio should take an individualistic approach and allow Kevin to make the choice he is going to make, thus protecting the ethical and moral sanctity of the company despite any consequences that may arise.
There are two main approaches that would govern potential decisions to be made by Antonio. First, there is the utilitarian approach that aims to produce the best result for all members in the organization. This ethical approach looks at the overall utility of actions in determining what is morally correct or not. According to the research, “utilitarianism is the system of values stating that maximizing the total happiness of all people, as a whole, is ultimately good,” (Dykes, 2010). From this perspective, individual ambitions or matters do not matter. It is the collective needs and well being of the entire organization that should be placed first above all else. Thus, “the happiness of some should be sacrificed only to bring greater happiness to more,” (Dykes, 2010). From this perspective, the moral value of a decision is based on the ultimate outcome it provides. When the outcome brings positivity to the greatest number of people that is the more moral choice.
If Antonio was to take this choice, he would essentially be asking Kevin to remain quiet about the situation. Antonio and his staff have been asking for computer upgrades for months. Yet, Empress simply has not had the funding to provide the capital needed to undertake the job. If the situation is swept under the rug, the insurance company will be forced to pay out much more money that what is needed for that job. This would be the plan of action under a utilitarian approach. Although Kevin and Antonio’s own morals would be at stake, the company as a whole would benefit dramatically.
Yet, there is a much different decision to be made under the approach of an individualistic perspective. Under an individualism approach, “personal goals tend to take priority over group goals,” (Husted, 2001, p 7). The ambitions and goals of the individuals are more valued than a collective response that would do the company in general a service. Individualism then asks each individual to make their own moral decision under careful calculation, and then to stick to that decision based on preserving their principles. Essentially, from this perspective, “people tend to place greater importance on achieving tasks than on maintaining harmonious relationships” (Husted, 2001, p 7). Thus, the thoughts and beliefs of the individual take precedent over the needs of the group.
This would allow both Kevin and Antonio to preserve their own ethics and morals within the situation. There are obvious consequences for the two of them if this path is taken, because although they are ensuring their own ethical behavior, the rest of the executive members in the organization might want to punish them for being whistle blowers and exposing the potential insurance fraud. However, it is clear from this perspective that the needs of the executives do not matter if they compromise the morals of the two men.
Overall, it is clear that Antonio should take an individualistic perspective. In business, you are only as good as your word. For him to compromise his own ethics in order to better serve his bosses would be a personal disaster. It is important for both Antonio and Kevin to do what they believe is right, even if it negatively affects the company.
Daft, Richard L. (2012). Management. 10th ed. Cengage Learning.
Dykes, J’Mikel. (2010). Top ten management of the utilitarian approach to ethics: An overview of moral worth. Bukisa. Web. http://www.bukisa.com/articles/379692_top-ten-management-on-the-utilitarian-approach-to-ethics-an-overview-of-moral-worth
Husted, Bryan W. (2001). The Impact of Individualism and Collectivism on Ethical Decision Making by Individuals in Organizations. Institute of Technology Monterrey. Web. http://egade.sistema.itesm.mx/investigacion/documentos/documentos/4egade_husted.pdf
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