Corporate Responsibility and Society


Week 3: Hooker’s Utilitarian and Virtue Ethics Tests, focusing on Ch. 2 of our text (Test #1, focusing on Chs. 1 & 2)
Week 3 Assignments:
– Read Chapter 2 of Hooker’s text, pp. 15-24.
– Then, answer Exercises 21., 23., and 27, and attach the file with your answers through the Assignments process by Sunday at 11pm CST.
– Go to the Discussions tab to the left and complete the assignments for this week.

21. Back at the music shop. You are again browsing in the music shop that has a CD recording of Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire on display (see Exercise 11). You were reluctant to steal it last time, but another thought has occurred to you. The shop will never sell this recording, because everyone else in the world hates this atonal stuff, and it can’t be returned to the manufacturer. However, if you steal it, at least you will enjoy the music. Furthermore, as a penny-pinching student you can make better use of the $12 on the price tag than the shop owners. The rational thing to do is therefore to steal the CD, if you can get away with it. Is this correct?
22. Irrevocable election.6 Steve is in his second year at a CPA firm. A firm partner discovers that Steve neg- lected to attach an irrevocable election form to one of last year’s tax returns. The form is necessary for the client to avoid a substantial tax liability in subsequent years. The partner reassures Steve that it is a fine point he would have not expected Steve to catch. The client shouldn’t have to pay a higher tax due to their mistake, but there is a way to fix it. The partner asks Steve to prepare the election form and attach it to their file copy of last year’s tax return. Then he is to prepare this year’s tax return as though the election form were submitted last year. There is no need to mention any of this to the client. If questions arise, they will show the IRS the file copy of the form and suggest that the IRS lost it in processing. Does the partner’s request pass the utilitarian test? Is it ethical?
23. Hard choice in Hondo.7 George is manager of an Ardnak Plastics plant in Hondo, Texas. It employs several hundred persons, a large fraction of the local workforce. George’s boss, Bill, telephones him from head- quarters in El Paso with the news that the EPA will levy fines against Ardnak for excessive smokestack emissions at the Hondo plant. However, Bill won’t approve new scrubbers because the company can’t afford it. He points out that competitors have escaped EPA fines even though their emissions are higher. Upon investigation, George learns that the competitors avoid fines by scheduling their heavy emissions at night, when the EPA isn’t running tests. Meanwhile, Bill has been in touch with the Mexican authorities and mentions to George the possibility of relocating 15 miles south in Mexico, where environmental regulation is lax. This would necessitate hiring Mexican workers and devastate the economy of Hondo. He tells George that he must either avoid the fines or relocate. George therefore has three options: (a) dump the pollution at night, (b) relocate, or (c) resign, in which case his successor will choose (a) because it is the path of least resistance. Assuming that (a) is ungeneralizable, which of these three options pass(es) the utilitarian test?
(Hooker 20)
Hooker, John. Business Ethics as Rational Choice. Prentice Hall, 2011. VitalBook file.
The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.


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