Question

You have been retained by Macardle Davis, one of the nation’s largest financial services firms, to assess their ethics culture and the ethical nature of their policies and practices in light of the episode described in the attached case (the case is dated 2001, but you can proceed on the basis that it is current) and also to help them begin crafting a formal code of ethics. You are asked to provide a report (one single Word document) in two parts:

Part One

a) In 300 - 400 words (and no more), argue for the necessity of grounding the company’s formal code of ethics on a single moral theory, which will be used to develop a set of guiding principles and as the basis for subjecting individual actions and corporate policies to moral judgment. Specifically, you need to present either a valid deductive argument or a strong inductive argument for this conclusion and against the alternatives of not grounding the company’s code of ethics upon any moral theory or doing so upon more than one theory.

b) In 600 – 800 words (and no more), argue for the specific theory upon which the company’s formal code of ethics should be grounded. You may choose from:

1. Ethical egoism
2. Consequentialism (or specifically, utilitarianism)
3. Kantian ethics
4. Rights-based moral theory
5. Virtue ethics

You may NOT argue for moral relativism (cultural or otherwise), as it is not a logically coherent theory. Once again, you need to present either a valid deductive argument or a strong inductive argument for the moral theory you recommend. You should also consider the arguments that could be made against your recommendation (objections to the theory you choose and/or arguments in favor of a different theory) and argue against those objections and/or counterarguments.


Part Two

In 400 – 600 words (and no more), and on the basis of the single moral theory you argue for in Part One, argue for a moral judgment (the moral permissibility, impermissibility or requirement) about the following actions, behaviors or policies described in the case:

1. The incentive programs at Macardle Davis (be sure to consider both programs; you may produce different moral judgments about each);
2. Buddy Sampson’s decision to make ten Navigator’s a prerequisite to earning membership in the traditional, revenue-based recognition clubs;
3. The refusal by senior FCs to present the Wealth Navigator product to at least a portion of their client base;
4. The refusal by Kenneth Dinnerstein to become involved in response to complaints by senior FCs.

Remember that to argue that something is morally permissible, you must also argue why it is not morally required. To say something is morally permissible is not to say that you just can’t decide.

Once again, you need to present a valid deductive argument or a strong inductive argument in support of each of your four judgments.

Solution Preview

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Part One
a) When dealing with the ethics of an organization, a company in particular to be taken as a place of commerce such that the behavior of its constituents is ideally profitable to the collective whole and the individual employees, without sacrificing sight of the overarching whole and doing business in a way such that is perceived unethical, undesirable, or deterring to people outside of this particular organization.
In such situations, we may ask ourselves, “What requires our commitment to the group? Why can we not act individually in a nearly renegade sort of way to produce the overall affects we desire at the outset?” While many individual people may aspire to achieve their own independent ethical ideals, the interest of the individual is by large diffused into the greater whole interest of the company....

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