The Framework for Ethical Decision-Making
To make an ethical and fair decision regarding the problem in the case study, it is important to apply the framework for ethical decision-making (Carroll and Buchholtz 27). In the scenario, my most important primary values that would be demonstrated are integrity, honesty, and high levels of discipline. It is critical to state that they all have different sources, i.e., law, religion, and culture. The law is applied to business operations with the goal of ensuring that they are not used to cause negative impacts on people, but should result in the most benefits (Carroll and Buchholtz 27). It is crucial to note that the law is used to direct employers to showing high levels of fairness and professionalism. For example, in the US and many other jurisdictions, firms are prohibited from recruiting workers on the grounds of their religions. However, in most cases, ethical issues in the field of business are associated with compliance matters with the law. With respect to religion, it is a framework of values that are viewed as good and should be practiced with the goal of ensuring that employers act with integrity and fairness. Although there are various religions around the world, there are common principles that appear in all of them, which should be adopted by firms. Culture can be viewed as a system in societies that is typified by a collection of values that bind people (Hoffman, Frederick and Schwartz 76). If one does not adhere to the set values in society, then he or she is considered to go against cultural rules, an act that could lead to loss of good will. Thus, I believe that I would be impacted by my primary values in the context of making an ethical decision regarding the recruitment of the most qualified candidate.
It is clear that the ethical problem is in relation to recruiting a marketing manager for our company to market a unique product to restaurants. It appears that we, the co-owners of the company, are not reading from the same script to hire the best candidate. For example, my business partner prefers hiring the second applicant since he attends the same church with her. Furthermore, her grandparents are influential people in society, who have promised to give our company some money to support growth in the short-term and long-term. On the other hand, my opinion is that the first job applicant is more qualified than the second candidate is, and would be a valuable asset to our company.
Although an ethical decision is essential to solve the problem in the case study, it is crucial to assert that the decision-making process would be related to fundamental facts in the scenario. For example, our company has not been operating for an extended period, yet it needs to acquire a significant market share. Any decision that would be made should be supported both of us since we are the only owners of the firm. If either my partner or I adopt a decision that is not backed by the other owner, then it can result in a bad interpersonal relationship, which has the overall negative impact on our company’s outcomes in the market (Hoffman et al. 90). Another key fact is that legal frameworks in relation to labor should be upheld. For example, the two applicants should be treated in a fair manner that is not typified by social and/or religious forms of segregation (Ferrell and Fraedrich 129).
It is evident that two solutions to the problem can be made. One of the solutions is to hire the first job applicant, but this would not be received well by my business partner. However, from an ethical perspective, it would lead to the best outcomes in the future. Another solution would involve hiring the second applicant since she goes to the same church with my partner, but this would be illegal and ethical. In fact, based on my primary values, I would not agree with my partner in this solution.
My partner and I are the internal stakeholders of the business, while our customers are external stakeholders. As mentioned above, we would be affected differently by the two possible solutions. Furthermore, our clients would be impacted either negatively or positively by our decisions. However, the decision would made to bring the most benefits to consumers.
Based on the facts presented in the case study, it would be ethical to hire the first applicant for the reason that she is more qualified, both academically and professionally, than the second applicant. For example, she has a marketing degree, and she was the president of her institution’s chapter of the American Marketing Association. Based on the Badaracco’s four frameworks that are applied to make ethical decisions, I think that it would be essential to use the last element, which is in relation to making decisions that are applicable to the real world. This is for the reason that the first applicant is more experienced. My decision would be ethical since it would be founded on the frameworks of religion, culture, and law.
Carroll, Archie, and Ann Buchholtz. Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management. Hoboken, NJ: Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.
Ferrell, Odies, and John Fraedrich. Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Hoboken, NJ: Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.
Hoffman, Michael, Robert Frederick, and Mark Schwartz, eds. Business ethics: Readings and cases in corporate morality. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2013. Print.