MIS610 Advanced Professional Practice Assignment Sample
Individual/Group - Individual
Length - 1500 words (+/- 10%)
Learning Outcomes - The Subject Learning Outcomes demonstrated by successful completion of the task below include:
a) Investigate and reflect on the role of a Business Analyst (or chosen career path) in the contemporary business environment and society more broadly.
b) Cultivate an understanding of who the student is as a professional and what their impact should be to the enterprise, taking into consideration global ethical viewpoints.
Write a 1500 words Ethics Project Report for an ethical dilemma scenario provided and make a professional decision by analysing it from a range of ethical perspectives with the aim of understanding:
a) how ethics is part of your day-to-day professional practice, and
b) how your current thinking about ethical issues influences your professional practice.
Please refer to the Instructions for details on how to complete this task.
Instructions for best assignment help
1. Read the MIS610 Ethical Dilemma that will be in the Ethics Case Study that will be provided in class in Week 3.
2. Reflect upon the incident discussed in the ethical dilemma scenario provided.
3. Write a 1500 words report that comprise of:
• A short description of the workplace event. That is your interpretation of the ethical dilemma (200 words).
• A reflection on how you would decide in response to the ethical dilemma (800 words).
The following questions need to be considered in your answer:
What do you think is the issue in this situation?
What would your response be to this issue?
Justify your answer – why would you respond in this way?
What laws, ethical codes, or personal ethical stance apply to the situation?
Why would you choose one action rather than another?
In what ways do you think your own cultural background influenced the way you would answer this situation?
• Identify two ethical frameworks or approaches (chosen from the the frameworks and approaches discussed in class), that could have helped you with your ethical decision.
• Discuss how the frameworks might have helped you reach the same decision or a different decision as you identified above. This should include reference to two relevant reliable sources that are not part of the subject resources (500 words).
The following questions will help your reflection:
What ethical framework (if any) did you use in reaching your original decision?
How do the ethical frameworks you have chosen apply to the situation?
How does a line of ethical reasoning arrive at your original decision?
How does a line of ethical reasoning arrive at a different decision?
• You need to identify and apply the two frameworks, not describe them. Descriptions of the frameworks can be found in Module 3.1 (Utilitarian approach, Rights approach, Justice approach, Common Good approach, Virtue approach, and Egoism). Additional ethics case studies will be reviewed in class.
4. You are strongly advised to read the rubric which is an evaluation guide with criteria for grading yourassignment. This will give you a clear picture of what a successful report looks like.
Description of Ethical Dilemma at Volkswagen
In September 2015, it was found out by the Environmental Protection Agency of the US that Volkswagen had installed a defeat device or software in its 11 million vehicles across the world for cheating emissions test (Pladson, 2020). It was discovered that this software enabled the vehicles to detect emissions test scenarios and accordingly change their performance for improving the results. These irregularities in tests for measuring emission levels of carbon dioxide were also detected in around 800,000 cars in Europe along with petrol vehicles (Hotten, 2020). This shows that the emissions scandal generated a huge impact in the entire automotive industry of the world. The Volkswagen scandal demonstrated a number of issues in the company culture. This is a perfect example of failure of corporate governance of the company with ineffective leadership that led to such unethical actions (Crête, 2016). It was found out that the VW engineers were unable to meet the emission standards with the given time and allocated budget, thereby pointing out to the pressure given from top executives. In addition, it also portrays the presence of a faulty corporate culture that focuses only on outcomes and ignores how employees perform their tasks.
Response to Ethical Dilemma
The Volkswagen emission scandal pointed out various internal issues present within the organization that prompted the employees to act in such a way with the knowledge of their top leaders. The fundamental issue here is the lack of proper company culture with strict codes of ethics and regulations that shape behaviors of both managers and employees. The corporate culture of VW focused on gaining the desired outcomes of passing the US emissions tests (Arora, 2017). The managers completely ignored the fact how such performance would be generated from the employees without having any ethical considerations of the same. Furthermore, the reward system of the company involves paying bonuses based on individual and team performance and productivity, which is applied to all levels of management throughout the organization (Mansouri, 2016). This might have motivated the engineers in rigging the emissions tests for meeting the unrealistic goals set by the top leaders. Besides, the boardroom controls and peculiar corporate culture resulted in this unethical action, which further demonstrated the lack of proper corporate governance and leadership in the company (Bryant & Milne, 2015). Thus, these issues were evident from the emissions scandal of Volkswagen pointing out to its ineffective company culture, leadership, governance and ethics.
The foremost response to this issue would be to improve the company culture in Volkswagen, which is the primary reason for such unethical conduct. Fostering a positive and healthy corporate culture is essential for survival and success of any organization. VW was suffering from ineffective leadership, unrealistic goals, inadequate reward system and failure of corporate governance, which all point out to its culture (Jung & Sharon, 2019). This shows that building a company culture with the help of policies, practices and people would have been beneficial for the organization. With such an ideal work environment and employees and managers being motivated and encouraged to display ethical behavior, the scandal could have been avoided (Warrick, 2017). The engineers would not have to resort to such unethical actions; instead, the company culture would have itself resulted in higher productivity, increased revenues and healthier workforce, leading to the company’s success. Here, the top executives and leaders should also have played a significant role in demonstrating ethical actions and leadership to create examples in front of managers and employees (Nelson, et al., 2020). Thus, responding in a more ethical way for passing the emissions test in the US would have been the primary focus of the organization.
From the case of VW scandal, it can be seen that the organization failed in its corporate sovereignty. It violated the US Clean Air Act, where both the State and its laws played a significant role in the later period in the different events surrounding this scandal. The International Council on Clean Technology (ICCT) discovered about the presence of defeat devices for rigging the emissions tests by undertaking independent actions (Rhodes, 2016). This helped in showing how the diesel cars of VW could have been made more environment friendly for passing the stringent US anti-emissions laws. In this regard, the automotive company not only violated these acts or laws but also their internal code of ethics available in the organization (Rhodes, 2016). Here, the engineers deliberately violated such ethical codes by installing such cheat software for passing the emissions tests in the US. This shows that managers and employees with the knowledge of their top leaders engaged in highly organized and conspiratorial efforts for defying the law, thereby disregarding corporate business ethics and harming corporate sovereignty (Rhodes, 2016). The organization resorted to great extents for admiring its own ethical values but deliberately hiding its own criminal activities. It bolstered its own sovereignty by acting above the law for increasing its corporate growth. This led to the company being held accountable for its environmental and legal transgressions, thereby questioning its corporate sovereignty.
The engineers might have faced ethical dilemma while installing the software in the vehicles for rigging the US emissions test. This unethical action was undertaken for passing the test within short time and limited budget. The excessive pressure of meeting strict deadlines and showing improved performance to get bonuses could have motivated and forced the employees to act in that way. However, lack of personal values and principles associated with ethical conduct was yet another reason that these employees resorted to such actions.
I would have chosen to act in a more ethical way without giving in to such unethical actions for gaining desired outcomes. In this regard, I would have informed my superiors and managers about how it would be impossible to pass the test in an ethical way within the stipulated time and budget. Here, cultural background would have played a significant role as it helps in shaping an individual’s principles, values, attitudes and behavior. Thus, these cultural values would have refrained me from undertaking such unethical actions.
Application of Ethical Frameworks or Approaches
Two ethical frameworks that can be used here for better understanding the VW emission scandal are Kantianism and Utilitarianism. According to Kantianism approach, the motives for corporate actions of organizations should possess a sense of duty, protect employee values and focus on undertaking moral decisions (Rendtorff, 2017). However, from the VW emission scandal, it is evident that the company made illegal and immoral choices that had negative impacts on employees, customers and general public. The engineers could not act as independent and rational agents, they had no freedom to act based on their personal judgments and their concerns were ignored for meeting the outcomes. This clearly shows that Volkswagen violated this ethical approach by treating both customers and employees as money-making commodities to increase business growth (Ameen, 2020). Furthermore, the company further opposed the principles of duty and morality for forbidding profit-based motives and rather forced the employees to defy goodwill intention. The expansion of corporate sovereignty was the main goal of VW, which motivated it to further violate moral law. This shows that basic business ethics was also ignored by the company for fulfilling its own selfish interests (Rendtorff, 2017). Besides, the company engaged in lying and fraud causing harm to different stakeholder groups by deceiving regulators and customers. This shows that it could not uphold the rights and interests of all stakeholder groups, thereby violating the deontological decisions under Kantianism. Moreover, Volkswagen’s actions were not permissible for being self-defeating and contradictory that could have generated negative results from its universal participation (Ameen, 2020). Thus, it can be said that the company resorted to unethical conduct from the Kantianism approach.
The fundamental purpose of Volkswagen for rigging the emissions test for to increase its growth and enhance shareholders’ value without considering any ethical implications. It has violated the Utilitarianism approach of producing the greatest good for the maximum number of people (Dura, 2017). This violation has been further evident from the harmful impacts caused to all stakeholders like customers, employees, general public and regulators. The emissions scandal resulted in job losses, salary deductions, revenues reduction, damaged corporate reputation, environmental pollution and stock devaluation. This shows that no greatest good was created for any of the stakeholders of the company (Ameen, 2020). VW also violated the Utilitarian principle of maximizing human good instead of only focusing on increasing profits for the company. This is evident from the fact the VW acted only on profit-motives for expanding its market share and revenues in the US by rigging the emissions tests. It did not evaluate the costs and benefits of such unethical actions, thereby harming all the stakeholders in the process. It shows that corporate and ethical policies of the company did not run in accordance with the Utilitarian ethical approach (Dura, 2017). Thus, from both the ethical frameworks, it can be said that the actions of Volkswagen were unethical and unjustified.
Ameen, K. (2020). Failure of Ethical Compliance: The Case of Volkswagen. International Journal of Science and Management Studies (IJSMS), 3(1), 7-13. https://www.ijsmsjournal.org/2020/volume-3%20issue-1/ijsms-v3i1p102.pdf
Arora, J. (2017). Corporate governance: a farce at Volkswagen?. The CASE Journal, 13(6), 685-703. https://doi.org/10.1108/TCJ-09-2016-0078
Bryant, C. & Milne, R. (2015). Volkswagen’s ‘uniquely awful’ governance at fault in emissions scandal. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/04/volkswagens-uniquely-awful-governance-at-fault-in-emissions-scandal.html
Crête, R. (2016). The Volkswagen scandal from the viewpoint of corporate governance. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 7(1), 25-31. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1867299X0000533X
Dura, C. (2017). The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal-A Case Study on Unethical Business Practices. Annals of the University of Petrosani, Economics, 17(2), 69-78. https://www.upet.ro/annals/economics/pdf/2017/p2/Dura.pdf
Hotten, R. (2020). Volkswagen: The scandal explained. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772
Jung, J. C., & Sharon, E. (2019). The Volkswagen emissions scandal and its aftermath. Global business and organizational excellence, 38(4), 6-15. https://doi.org/10.1002/joe.21930
Mansouri, N. (2016). A case study of Volkswagen unethical practice in diesel emission test. International Journal of Science and Engineering Applications, 5(4), 211-216. https://ijsea.com/archive/volume5/issue4/IJSEA05041004.pdf
Nelson, W. A., Taylor, E., & Walsh, T. (2020). Building an ethical organizational culture. The health care manager, 39(4), 168-174. https://doi.org/10.1097/HCM.0000000000000304
Pladson, K. (2020). Volkswagen scandal: Top German court rules automaker must pay 'dieselgate' compensation. https://www.dw.com/en/volkswagen-scandal-top-german-court-rules-automaker-must-pay-dieselgate-compensation/a-53556743
Rendtorff, J. D. (2017). Business ethics, philosophy of management, and theory of leadership. In Perspectives on Philosophy of Management and Business Ethics (pp. 3-16). Springer, Cham.
Rhodes, C. (2016). Democratic business ethics: Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and the disruption of corporate sovereignty. Organization Studies, 37(10), 1501-1518. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840616641984
Warrick, D. D. (2017). What leaders need to know about organizational culture. Business Horizons, 60(3), 395-404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2017.01.011