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Ethical Corporations

Essay Assignment #1 Ethical Corporations
Overview & Objectives
What does it mean to be ethical? When considering the word ethical as a quality or trait,
it would universally be something for which most people would aspire. Even if the norm
is not to aspire to being ethical, it would seem most people would abhor the idea of
being though unethical.
When taking the idea of ethical from a personal quality to a manner of doing business,
the idea of ethics gets even more important. If, for example, you had an issue with your
car (for some reason it’s not working), and you were to take it to an auto mechanic –
would you want to go to one who was ethical? If you dropped it off at Mr. Magoo’s
Auto Repair Shop, and someone told you that Mr. Magoo’s grandson, who is currently
the manager of that repair shop, is completely unethical – how would you feel? How
would you interpret this statement?
Auto repair is always suspect since it is a business where the customer has to trust the
mechanic. An unethical mechanic may need only change spark plugs to get a car
running, but perhaps they instead change an alternator, battery, starter, and spark plugs
– running up quite a bill. A customer may be suspect, even if an entire overhaul to the
starting system was warranted.
What does it mean to be ethical as a company though? Is Nike ethical? Is
Samsung? What about McDonalds? All companies attempt to maximize profits and limit
liability, but at what point are they moving beyond smart business practice and acting a
little shady or underhanded? The important factor here, of course, is how you define
Write a five page paper that scrutinizes the ethics of one company, concentrating
specifically on one product or service provided. Nike, for example, makes golf clubs,
shoes, apparel, and many other products. If you were going to write about Nike, you
would need to select one of their products specifically. Is the manner in which the
product is manufactured (how the raw material is produced or how the workers are
treated), advertised (misleading claims or false promises), shipped, sold, or any other
aspect of business – done in an ethical manner?
This is an evaluation of ethics – and I am not anti-capitalism. If you can find a company
that is operating ethically, a good player on the world stage, please feel free to write
about that. You can choose whatever approach you want to the subject; there is no
wrong answer – just ensure that you substantiate your argument with well-constructed
reasoning and pertinent resources.
Part of good scholarship is vetting research to ensure that it is timely and reliable (among
other things). Additionally, use the resources in a meaningful way (defining important
concepts, proving relevant points, etc.). Pay specific attention to the manner in which
you incorporate the research and be ready to explain the choices you made in their
Concentrate on academic tone and appropriateness of material. Please underline your
thesis statements.
Side note: consider the definition of the word scrutinize.

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