This class was a very eye opening experience for me. have taken previous business ethics classes, but nothing compared to the experience of Business Ethics in Action. Through all of the assignments, videos, and especially the discussions saw so many different points ofview that myself had never even considered. Having a fairly diverse class helped foster these different views and are what made my learning experience throughout the semester such an enjoyable and rewarding one.
After completing the course I can say that no longer look at things the same way and I try to look at what how ertain actions might have a longer reach with their effects than many people can see. learned this fact from the various case studies that we worked through and it showed me how there is never simply one or two groups that are being effected but numerous parties that are unseen as well. planning your future (Proseminar outcome) My interests for a career include employment with a federal law enforcement agency. This area has always interested me and is the career path that I want to head down in the future.
In order be apply for a job such as this, work experience is required and a graduate degree is also ecommended. I believe that with my drive to reach this goal I will be able to accomplish all of the steps needed in order to obtain my desired career. To be successful in this field you need a strong work ethic, strong ethical views, and also a good knowledge ofyour field. This knowledge of the overall workings is where intellectual curiosity comes in. When hiring people they like well-rounded individuals who are capable of completing multiple tasks within a given department.
Having strong ethical views and beliefs is also highly important because you are trying to catch people who are breaking the law. In doing so you must conduct yourself ethically or than you are no better than the people you are trying to catch. Some of these ethical issues could be what you do when left alone with evidence (Drugs and Money), how you treat your informants, how you treat those arrested, and in not breaking any laws during investigation (such as invasion of privacy). In the heat of the moment or when trying to close a case all of these areas may not seem very important.
However, if you have one ethical breach that makes another one more likely in the future which causes a slippery slope. would hold myself accountable or all of my actions and also try to hold my peers to the same standards. Many people distrust law enforcement officials and believe them to be unjust, if I am fortunate enough to follow this career path it will be my responsibility to make sure that myself, as well as those around me, do not fall into this category. Real world ethical problems or dilemmas (Ethics outcome) As a result of the Ferguson shooting many people are calling for the addition Of body cameras on to on-duty police officers.
It is believed that police officers are abusing their powers and being unlawfully aggressive against inorities in the community. There have been numerous deaths and it is often unclear if the deaths were accidental or a result of officer misconduct. It is believed that by using these cameras it will become more clear who is at fault in each situation, thus holding the wrong-doer accountable. The community as a whole as well as police officers would be affected by the addition of these body cameras into the day-to-day workings.
On the other side, the use of these cameras could present a potential problem in rights being denied. Ifthey are turned on all the time then it could be seen as an nvasion of privacy if the officers enter into someone’s home. Also the private conversations between officers could be recorded and used against them as well. Along with these harms and benefits the economic outcome could be fairly steep. As far as New York is concerned, it would cost the department $33 million in order to outfit their officers with these body cameras. However, the department also paid over $1 52 million in officer misconduct related settlements.
If they were able to cut down on these settlements by just one fifth because of the body cameras then they would break even. I elieve that it is the ethical duty of the police departments to wear these body cameras. Because Of the legal requirements however, they would have to make it clear to people that they are being recorded and might often have to turn them off before proceeding into a residence. Overall the cameras would be beneficial and morally right to make the community safer and hold people accountable (Lopez). Self and social awareness (Service learning outcome) I did not grow up in a wealthy home or neighborhood.
I actually did not even grow up in one single neighborhood, but had varies experiences hroughout the city of San Jose. Growing up my family was always renting houses and moving from place to place meaning I was also changing schools every few years. It was because of this that was always making new friends and meeting new people. Throughout my childhood I was able to meet a wide range Of people and many of my best friends were people of different ethnicities. never thought anything of this, we got along and they were my friends, that was that.
Race issues were always there, especially in middle school, but I didn’t put too much thought into them. Being one of the few hite kids in the group of people I hung out with I was often referred to as white boy. This wasn’t meant in a mean or hurtful way and I never took offense to it when I was called it playfully. It wasn’t until my dad got a job ata private high school and my grandparents decided they wanted to pay for my education that I was sent to Archbishop Mitty for my freshman year. Going to this school was a big difference for me in the beginning.
The school was primarily white and all of the students had grown up together in the wealthy neighborhoods such as Los Gatos and Saratoga. I immediately felt like an utcast in my hand me down clothes and worn out shoes. Not only was the difference between wealth apparent, but quickly realized my beliefs about race were too. I am not saying that anyone at the school were racists, but they were very uneducated on the matter. There were five African-American students total in my class of almost 400 and they all seemed to hang out with each other. I would hear people explain things simply by saying “well yeah that makes sense because he’s black”.
I had never heard this used as an explanation for anything before and it was very shocking to me. Through this hole experience I kind of shrugged it off and kept to myself, but through this class I have realized how widespread this problem is. I always assumed that the people came across were simply unaware and would change over time, but I now have realized through our talks about privilege and race that the amount of people who are unaware is spread throughout the country and the people who think that things will just change, like I had, are just as common.
Playing baseball with Connor, am able to talk to him a lot about the issue now and he describes comments he gets daily that he simply ignores. I had ot realized that until talking to him in class and it made my previous experiences all that more real to me. Service and social responsibility (Service learning outcome) Businesses have so much more responsibility than just their day to day operations. Before taking this course I thought that that was all businesses were, they took care of things in their industry and gave back to the community when they were prospering and doing well.
I now realize that they have so much more responsibility than this. As long as there is injustice going on in the world there will always need to be a voice speaking out and aying that it is wrong. It is the responsibility of businesses to not give into stereotyping, racism, sexism, or in increasing the gap between the upper and lower class. Businesses need to create jobs within a community and foster its growth. While looking into the corporate responsibility assignment I saw a lot of stats on corporation’s views on human rights.
One of the stats proclaimed that 65% of practioners believed that human rights is a significant priority for their company. was happy to see this stat but also sad because believe that the percentage should be much higher. Another assignment that had a lot of impact in this area was that of the Four Traditions of Philanthropy. This reading stood out because it detailed all of the ways in which businesses tend to help out in the community. A lot of businesses solely lend their hand in the relief stage, they essentially “give people a fish”.
However, these businesses are responsible for more than that and should in tern being to effect social change and actually teaching those in the community “how to fish”. If we could all strive to do this than we would begin to make a tremendous change in the world for the better. Through those two readings I was able to grasp a much better understanding of businesses roles for short- as well as long-term contributions to the community (Human Rights Working Group). Community and social justice (Service learning outcome) For this learning outcome, the case that comes to mind is that of Impure Products.
In this case the store manager, Maria, was faced with a question on what to do with all of the purchased products that had been infested with insects. Not all of the boxes were infested, but about one out of five was believed to contain the insects. Maria’s decision to move these products to a local store in the ghetto was a very immoral and selfish one. She believed that these customers would be lucky to try these high end products despite the insect infestation. This situation and decision is one that directly relates to views about the community and community members.
Maria like many other business managers is concerned with her wellbeing and job security. She couldn’t care less about these people who live in the ghetto and thinks that they would love the opportunity to have these products besides the insects. This very example relates to how many businesses can knowingly or unknowingly foster inequity within the community. This belief that people in the economic lower class deserve subpar products and can be given bad products such as this are the very views that get businesses in trouble. This is a social injustice and this example is not the only time that instances like this occur within society.
It is the businesses responsibility to foster social equity and to give the same quality products to be Of all classes. There is no group of people that should be looked at as second class citizens and businesses eed to view themselves as a part of the community as a whole. Another case that stood out to this effect was that of the Cruise Ship. In this instance the cruise line was not looking at the well-being of the island citizens, but was instead thinking of their own costs. They used their leverage to strong arm islands into letting the issue go, which is not the right course of action for business seeking social justice.
Multicultural community building/civic engagement During my service at the Salvation Army I was able to see how this organization effected so much change in the lives of people within the ommunity of Salinas. The areas that I was a part of were short-term relief oriented and would have liked to been able to see first-hand how they can effect long-term change. This organization was very inspiring for me to be a part of because of how excited everyone who worked there was but also through the people who you could actually tell we were making a difference for.
Whether we were providing them with meals or was working with the children you could see that all that mattered was that they were surrounded by people who cared. Social status, wealth, race none of these issues were mportant when they were at the center. This is something great that this organization has created. It does not matter your background or your appearance, if you need help than the Salvation Army will help you. One of the most rewarding events that was able to be a part of was the event at KSBW news station. There were people coming in at all hours of the day to donate money, food, clothes, and toys to those in need.
This was by far the largest amount of donations that I had ever seen come in from one community and it spoke to me about the type of caring community that had een built in this Salinas area. Although Salinas has its problems with race and violence, there is still a large community that cares and that was something special that the Salvation Army presence has helped to create. All of these donations from people were going directly to those in the community who needed the help regardless of their race, their lives will be impacted greatly by the donations and the generosity of the community as a whole.
Essays The essays that I have read throughout this class were all very insightful and thought provoking. One of the main ones that stood out to me was the eading of the Composing a Life Story. I enjoyed this reading because it talked about the different ways in which you can tell the story of your life. Based off of what you focus on you can make your story sound completely different. I liked this because it really shows you that you have control over your story. It relates to me in that I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career, but figured out that I can write my story anywuay that want to.
In choosing to do so I’m going to pick the future path for myself that makes me the most happy and leaves me feeling fulfilled with my life. There Were many more essays that enjoyed as well such as The Four Traditions of Philanthropy and Drum Major Instinct because these essays all made me think in depth about the subjects being discussed and began to stir up my intellectual curiosity. The essays were a positive experience for me because they were a way of putting thoughts that have had into words and then allowing me to dig even deeper into the topics.
Cases One of my favorite parts of the assignments each week were the cases. After the first case we did for the class which was that of the Health Care Payments, it showed me how in depth issues can go. previously stayed on the surface of most problems, seeing who and what they directly impacted. When we started looking at the cases however it showed me that there are so many more sides and partys effected than had previously imagined. My two favorite cases were that of the Cruise Ship and Green Giant. I liked Green Giant a lot because that is the case that we got to see acted out as a class.
We were able to visually see the varies groups and hear their thought out opinions on the issue. My role as a green giant executive was to listen to all f these differing opinions and desires and chose an overall solution. This was a hard position for me because wanted to make everyone happy, but that simply was not possible in this situation. At the same time however, I need to make the best economic decision for the company or else I risked being fired form my job. This was not an easy situation to be in and really tested as to what I found important as a business manager.
In the end we decided to stay in Salinas to continue employing our loyal local workers and to also begin outsourcing some work to local farms and businesses. This may not have been the best decision as far s costs and profits were concerned but felt that the risk for law suit and the loss of reputation would be too high if the plant moved to Mexico. This whole scenario taught me a lot about the tough situations you can be thrown into in the business world but also that there are so many factors that need to be considered before you make any decisions.
Service Learning My experience at my service learning sight was a very positive one. I was pleased with the level of enthusiasm that everyone in the organization shared nd I was happy to see that I was actually making a difference in the lives of the people we were helping. After helping to serve meals during the senior program, was able to eat lunch with them and I was able to meet many interesting and caring people. One of the ladies that I was often paired with during volunteer hours was a recovering addict and had now been sober two years.
She said that she volunteered now because she wanted to give back to the organization and to the community that had helped her tremendously throughout her time of need. thought that this was such a powerful story ecause it shows you what can happen through giving someone a helping hand. This reminded me a lot of the reading on The Lamb and the Pinecone. Even though you may not know someone On a personal level, simply by going to an organization such as the Salvation Army to volunteer for a few hours could make all of the difference in someone’s life.
It is the bonds that we share through our experiences and our short interactions that let people know that someone cares and that someone is there for them. This whole experience was very powerful to me and is what makes me want to come ack to help out even more. Another event that was impressive was the one at KSBW new station. I had already talked about this event briefly, but one of the greatest things that I saw there was the amount of children who came by with toys that they said they had picked out themselves and that they wanted to donate to another child who could use some toys this holiday season.
The next awesome donation was when the local Food Max store came by and donated 100 hams and 700 pounds of food. They said that they do this every holiday and that it is something that they really enjoy doing. This was just one grocery store that put all of this together to give back to their community which is going to make such a big impact on a countless number of families this season. Overall, my experience was very pleasing and I would definitely like to volunteer more of my time to help The Salvation Army with its mission.
Additional readings/videos One of the first set of videos that stood out to me was the assignment with the five homeless videos attached to it. This stays consistent with the overall class for me because it was another area that thought knew about, but aw things that had not previously been aware of. In these videos what I had not been aware of was the amount of homeless children that there are out in the community. They also showed the various tent cities and the conditions that these people lived in.
It was hard to watch because these parents were trying to do everything they could for their children, but it was never enough. Through all of the videos we watched we watched I always saw things that had not been aware even existed. The David Muir, Made in America videos were another example. I was always aware that some of our lothes were made in other countries but I had no idea that only 2% of the clothes we buy are made in the U. S. In the end, the videos helped me to actually see the reality instead of simply reading about it and it showed me how things really are within society.
Class discussions The classroom discussions were very beneficial because you got to hear a countless number of other opinions. Everyone had a different point of view and there were always people who disagreed on their points of view. One of the best discussions that I think we had was the one about race. Everyone ad a different way of looking at the issue based off of their beliefs and past experiences, it was also a good time to discuss the issue because of the situation in Ferguson.
Other class discussions that enjoyed were when we acted out the Green Giant case and when we teamed up based off of our concentrations and came up with a brief business model. Both of these activities Were fun to See which direction everyone decided to go with their different parts. It was good to be able to see all of the varies pieces fitting together and in the case of Green Giant it was awesome to have each of the ifferent parties split up and voicing their own opinions.
A lot like the videos, these class discussions helped to see everything fitting together as well as to hear another opinion besides my own being explained. Conclusion Overall I had a great experience in this class. It was not a traditionally structured class like I am used to, but it helped me to experience something new. I believe that all of these different parts, especially the cases, will help me to be a better employee or manager someday. This by far covered the most topics and was the most in depth ethics class that I have ever taken.
The use of the stuff that we learned was much more practical than the other classes which were more based on theory and previous writings on right and wrong. I am excited to see where can apply these readings and assignments in my future endeavors.