Instructions for Dentex Corp. Case
This is a largely fictional case—it involves fictional characters and companies. However, it draws on a variety of actual cases. Imagine yourself in the position of an ethics analyst who is asked to go work for the company and draft a report analysing the situations, identifying the main moral wrongdoings, justifying the conclusions why they are wrong, and providing management and policy advice on how the company should deal with these problems in the future.
In writing the report, identify the main issues and discuss each separately. There are four to six distinct situations–you should identify them all (for example, health and safety issue, privacy issue, etc…). One or one and a half single-spaced pages per issue should be sufficient, but it can be a bit more or a bit less depending on the complexity of the issue. Although you have some freedom in how you can approach the analysis, I suggest that each section contains the following parts:
• Identify the problem and assess it. This is a good place to ask yourself this question—where does this situation fit as far as legal and ethical responsibilities are concerned? For example, if there (hypothetically) were a workplace safety issue where the employer ignores the dangers to employees and their objections, you would evaluate the actions of employers and pass a judgement on whether and why they were wrong as far as regulations and expectations of responsibility are concerned. If there were a privacy issue, you could determine whether there was a privacy violation by considering the workplace relationship, the nature of the infringement, and possible justification. Here you could appeal to legislation (i.e. Health and Safety Guides from the Legal Perspective uploads or PIPEDA guidelines), but note that not every situation in the case can easily fit the assessment on the basis of regulations or legislation.
• Discuss and justify your moral assessment in a normative theory (theories) we have discussed in class (this could be deontological rights approach; utilitarian analysis; ethical egoism, but also values like freedom, justice, and fairness). To ground your analysis of the situation, keep these questions in mind: Who is harmed by the activity? How serious is the harm? Who is responsible for the harm? Is this harm legitimate, justifiable, or fair? What normative theory can illuminate or ground the moral wrongdoings? What are the motivations of the parties involved (e.g. perpetrators and critics)? Can they be justified? If so, from what theoretical position? Appealing to this normative foundation should justify your analysis and help to clarify moral values involved. You need to show how moral obligations identified in a) follow from the normative value theory discussed in b).
• In this section, you should think about the problem from a managerial perspective—suggest policy changes to ensure that these problems do not arise. But do not spend too much time on this section: it should be relatively short.