Example Of Essay On Making An Ethical Decision: Case Study

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Ethics, Management, Decision, Theory, Actions, Utilitarianism, Virtue, Company

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/25


This paper will analyze the case context from different perspectives in the light of some popular theories in normative ethics such as utilitarianism, deontology, consequentialism, and virtue ethics. It will also help Jill choose the best resolution of the dilemma.

Ethical Decision Making

In the given case scenario, Jill faces a tough ethical dilemma and she really struggles to make a decision that would be in line with her personal and professional ethical values. From her personal perspective, Jill may think that it is ethical not to recommend Henry for the position of CEO despite his successful past career at the Miami branch. Henry had made an unsuccessful attempt to proposition Jill years earlier when she was in a middle management position and made her life miserable. With the awful past in her mind, Jill thinks her future will be even worse if Henry attains the position of her boss. However, she cannot do so from her professional viewpoint considering the great job Henry has done with the Miami branch. It is clear that Henry has the potential to lead the company successfully and to promote the long term sustainability of the business.
It is necessary for Jill to have a look at some fundamental theories of ethics to analyze the situation from different perspectives and to form the most apt decision. In the words of Paterson (2012), utilitarianism is a popular theory in normative ethics which states that an action that maximizes utility represents the proper course of action. In other words, a proper course of action maximizes total utility and reduces the suffering or negatives (p.18). According to the utilitarian approach, Jill should not reject Henry on the ground that he had attempted to proposition her earlier because this decision would not maximize the total utility or minimize the suffering. When she decides to reject Henry’s appointment as CEO, the action would not maximize the benefits for all but only reduce her personal suffering. To explain, Henry is a skilled managerial person with a successful career history and hence his appointment as CEO would benefit the overall development of the company while this decision would hurt the personal interests of Jill. It is obvious that employees and other personnel would gain better earnings and other benefits if the company runs profitably. Therefore, when Jill’s personal suffering intensifies, others derive the greatest level of utility from this decision.
As Sirgy (2014, p.272) purports, the deontological ethics or deontology is another normative ethical theory holding the position that an action’s morality should be judged based on its adherence to a rule or rules. This normative ethical theory also requires Jill not to decide on the CEO appointment based on the candidate’s past behavior but his past managerial performance and company standards. As this approach ‘binds you to your duty’, personal feelings are not important here. In contrast to deontology, the concept of consequentialism states that rightness or wrongness of a conduct should be judged based on its actual consequences. From a consequentialist perspective, a morally right action is the one which produces the best outcomes (Earle, Komaromy & Bartholomew, 2008, p.115). More clearly, if a goal is important to produce better outcomes, then it is acceptable to adopt any method to achieve that goal. Here, it is clear that Jill has an awful past experience with Henry and she is not sure that Henry’s attitude towards his women subordinates would be different once he became the CEO. Undoubtedly, a CEO with such a bad mindset would hurt the fundamental organizational values and contribute to intense worksite issues including staff turnover. In short, the consequentialism approach suggests Jill not to propose Henry for the CEO post.
The virtue ethics is another important ethical theory in this regard. This ethical approach is person-oriented but not action-oriented and it often prioritizes acts and habits leading to happiness. To be more specific, virtue ethics considers the role of character and virtue rather than one’s obligation to produce good outcomes. As mentioned already, Jill had an awful past because of Henry’s bad attitude towards her and therefore it is obvious that rejecting Henry for the CEO post would lead to Jill’s happiness. Under this choice, she does not need to worry about her future as her boss’ son as the CEO. Hence, she can continue to enjoy a relaxed worksite environment and remain loyal to the company in the long term. To conclude, the concept of virtue ethics would justify her decision to reject Henry.


The different theories discussed above reflect various ethical sides of the issue and suggest Jill to respond to the situation in different ways. It is advisable for Jill to follow the consequentialism approach because it is never good for either an organization or its employees to operate under a CEO who has unwanted sexual desires towards his subordinates.


Earle, S., Komaromy, C & Bartholomew, C. (2008). Death and Dying: A Reader. US: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Paterson, C. (2012). Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: A Natural Law Ethics Approach. US: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Sirgy, M. J. (2014). Real Estate Marketing: Strategy, Selling, Negotiation, Management, and Ethics: Strategy, Personal Selling, Negotiation, Management, and Ethics. US: Routledge.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 25) Example Of Essay On Making An Ethical Decision: Case Study. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-making-an-ethical-decision-case-study/
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"Example Of Essay On Making An Ethical Decision: Case Study." WePapers, Oct 25, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-making-an-ethical-decision-case-study/
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"Example Of Essay On Making An Ethical Decision: Case Study," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 25-Oct-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-making-an-ethical-decision-case-study/. [Accessed: 20-May-2022].
Example Of Essay On Making An Ethical Decision: Case Study. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-making-an-ethical-decision-case-study/. Published Oct 25, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2022.

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