186 Assignments – Fall 2017

Critical Response Essay

Keegan’s Dilemma*

When Keegan received his Master’s Degree in Industrial Design from a top university, he was overwhelmed with job offers.  He decided to work for HappyPlace, Inc., where he designed ergonomic office and assembly line equipment.  He enjoyed his job and was very good at it.

One day, after he had been working for 10 years, he got some bad news.  HappyPlace, Inc. was being taken over by Bigfoot, Inc.  Bigfoot had its own design staff, so Keegan and his colleagues at HappyPlace were no longer needed and their employment was terminated.

Keegan didn’t expect much trouble finding a new position, but the economy was very different from when he left school, and several months went by with no success.  Soon it was two years and Keegan was very discouraged.  His wife was working two jobs and he and the children hardly saw her.  They were having trouble making their mortgage payment, and were in danger of losing their home to foreclosure.

Then Keegan was contacted by a recruiter about a job at Devious, Inc.  Devious was supposedly working on hardware for video game systems, and though Keegan wasn’t much of a gamer, the company was confident he would do well.  He took the job, which paid much more than his old job and included many benefits.

Keegan’s wife was able to quit both of her jobs and the family was finally financially stable.  Things were going very well until Keegan discovered that his company was not really making video game systems.  Instead they were making weapons systems which they planned to sell to various governments.

Keegan did not want to be involved in weapons research but when he talks to one of his former professors about it, the professor says that work is going to be done with or without him, and he’d be a fool to quit such a well-paying job.

If Keegan were a Utilitarian, would he stay or quit?
If Keegan were a Deontologist (Kant), would he stay or quit?

Answer for each theory in a one page, double spaced, 12 point font essay. Print on both sides of one sheet or staple your two pages together. Describe the process Keegan would use to make his decision.

*scenario is inspired by a similar one in Smart and Williams, Utilitarianism For and Against

Group Presentation

Each group should prepare a PowerPoint presentation of 15 to 20 slides.  Include the following information:

Brief biography
Career Description
Event that makes the person of interest to us in a Business Ethics Class
Analysis of the person’s actions using at least two of the moral or justice theories we have covered.
Where are they now?

You may include brief video segments.  Do not use page transitions.  Avoid long lists of awards or indictments.  Review your presentation to avoid repeating  information on multiple slides.  Be sure to include enough information to make your audience aware of who your subject is.

Do not cut and paste information about your subject. Tell the person’s story in your own words. Make the presentation flow by telling it from start to finish.  I will talk about this in class.

You must cite ALL sources used, on or off line, text, photos, videos, clipart, etc.  You may do this on the last slide.

Community Service

We will discuss this in class.

Final Evaluation

At the day and time of the final evaluation for your section, you will submit an interview/analysis assignment.

You will interview a working person about

  • the ethical issues that person faces at work or sees others face
  • how those issues are resolved
  • whether your subject believes the issue was handled fairly for all concerned

The interview description should be about one to two pages. Include an additional page showing how this issue relates to one of the lectures from this semester.