Utilitarianism And Deontology Critical Thinkings Example
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Utilitarianism advocates for the greater good in the decision making for an ethically confusing situation. According to this approach, Antonina is supposed to consider her options when considering what to do with regards to the false representation of the receipts by the sales team. She finds herself in a dilemma, as she states she want to show her expenses as they are truthfully without following the method that has been used by the sales people. However she is just an intern and the harsh response from her boss who is head of the best performing sales team in the west coast may lead her to weigh her options carefully. The direct application of utilitarianism would require her to consider Robins’ statement, the act does not really affect the company monetary base or any profits, but also robin claims that when they state the real value of their expenses they are not paid fully. Therefore inflating their cost is a way to ensure that they get the total value of their expenditure fairly. From her response it is clear that Antonina does not advocate for the practise that the sales people have been doing and this is a big moral issue for her. From a utilitarian perspective it would be simple for her to just go with the flow as after all it doesn’t harm the company in any way visible and if she goes ahead and reports the matter she may cause the loss of jobs to many sales people. These are the factors that she needs to consider before making a decision.
Antonina is an intern; this means that she has to be in her best behaviour if she is to actually get employed in the company in future. Since she has had the opportunity to work with such a respectable woman it would be to her advantage that she accepts the way of things in order to get on her good side and possibly secure the job in the future. In case she decides to report the action she may end up losing a potential job and possibly any other job she may apply to, where she happens to come across the reported sales people. This is due to the unpredictable nature of people who may feel they have been wronged by the act of getting exposed and they would try and sabotage her career in an act of revenge, assuming some of the sales person has a tendency towards revenge. In the same way, if Antonina does report the fraud it could lead to retrenchment of very many sales people, and in this economy this may be a big blow to the peoples’ families as some of them may not be so lucky to find other jobs, and even if they do it may not be enough to take care of their families. By reporting the issue she could singlehandedly lead to homelessness of many families, others may lack enough food, and some of their children may not go to school and others may not have any medical cover. Her simple action to report the fraud may lead to a bigger damage to many more people than just the sales people as compared to the fraud.
In this case it seems that from a utilitarian perspective the right thing to do is to join the other sales people in committing the fraud. As robin explains the action has no much effect to the company at all. It is also important to consider the reason why the company does not pay the sales people fully for their expenses. This may also mean that the company itself is fraudulent and Antonina bringing this forward may not bring any change to the general operations of the company with regard to expenses. Antonina therefore ought to understand the various positives that would rise from choosing the greater good, she could secure the job permanently in the future and it also means that other sales people get to keep their jobs and since the action doesn’t really do much harm it should be acceptable as the benefits are better.
Deontology advocates for what is morally right, this is all about following rules and not necessarily considering the aspect where breaking the rule may be more beneficial than not breaking it. In Antonina case it is clear that she is having a dilemma and from her first statement she can be viewed as a very morally upright person. According to deontology the best decision she should choose as it is truthful and very honest. It doesn’t matter what would happen to the other sales people as long as she stood for her honesty. If Antonina does actually indicate the right amount in her receipts she would only be stating the truth and not necessarily directly inflicting harm to any of the other sales persons. This action however would be to the benefit of the company as it is first and foremost supposed to be her priority. In this approach however she would still be in the wrong as she would have witnessed the fraudulent act and still not do anything about it which is not acceptable in absolute deontology. She rather would have to also report the other sales people who have been committing fraud for in their expenses. By doing this, Antonina will have made the most reasonable decision from an absolute deontological perspective. This is the ethical thing to do with consideration of the company potential loses and with regards to basic laws that govern employment, this action may however lead to a number of negative outcomes as close investigation may lead to the loss of jobs this may in turn affect the stability of the company.
Another way to approach the situation is from a moderate deontological point of view. Unlike absolute deontology, moderate deontology does allow for breaking of the moral rule provided that the benefits from the act could be tremendous and enough to break and surpass the threshold. In this case the act of committing fraud though unacceptable could be classified as a necessary evil. The fact that exposing the fraud can have numerous negative effects than any positive affect should be reason enough for Antonina to allow for the fraud. However this is not enough evidence to break the threshold, until the after effects of the immediate consequences caused by Antonina decision to expose the fraud are analysed. The effect on the job loss for sales person’s families can be considered enough leverage. The fact the fact that the loss of the jobs would lead to potential homelessness lack of education for their children and possibly the loss of medical cover should be enough factors to break the threshold as the impact of correcting the wrong has resulted in the suffering of innocent people. The act of fraud to the company does not in any way compared to the magnitude of the outcome of the events for the sales people losing their jobs. In this context Antonina can allow for the fraud with the aim to avoid the immense negative outcomes.
Antonina decision and action from an absolute deontological point of view would require bringing into light the fraudulent activity of the sales persons. This decision would potentially lead to a lot of negative consequences to the company the sales people and also to herself but it is the right thing to do. Antonina should therefore chose to approach this situation from a moderate deontological point of view, it is the most practical way to deal with this situation as the act itself does not do much harm as compared to the harm it would do if it was exposed. It is important for her to consider the wellbeing of other sales people and acknowledge that absolute deontology is impractical in this case.
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