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BCO121-BCN15518 ETHICS IN BUSINESS Task brief & rubrics


Individual task.

Instructions: Carefully read the following case and answer the questions below:

Stuck in the middle?

You have recently been appointed to the position of civil engineer in a small town in a developing country. You are responsible for the maintenance of the

town's infrastructure, such as public buildings and roads. You are one of the youngest members of the senior management team and report directly to the

director of public works. All the members of the management team have been working for the organization for a very long time, and you feel like something

of an outsider. The director of public works, the human resources director, and the CEO often have lunch together, and it is generally felt that most

important organizational decisions are made over lunch. Your position had been vacant for a long time prior to your appointment and the director of

public works had assumed responsibility for a number of your current responsibilities. On your appointment, your manager asked you to check with him

before implementing any major changes. He also retained the authority to approve major works. After some time, you realized that despite having a full

staff complement, several outside contractors were doing various jobs within the organization. When you queried this, the director simply put it down to

'rusty skills', 'a significant backlog', and 'quality of work'. However, you have been impressed with the quality of work that your staff have produced on

odd maintenance jobs that you have assigned them. Recently, when you were complimenting one of your supervisors on the way he handled an

emergency, he expressed his frustration at being given the 'boring, odd jobs' instead of the 'challenging' projects given to contractors. You decided to

utilize your own staff rather than contractors for the next project because you felt that you would be able to supervise the work better and ensure the

right quality. You planned it meticulously and wanted to enlist the support of your manager to ensure that all went well. You prepared all the paperwork

and took it to your manager for discussion. He looked disinterested and simply asked you to leave the paperwork with him because he was preparing for

a meeting. The following week, your manager informed you that he had gone through your paperwork and asked one of the more experienced contractors

to submit a proposal for the job. He told you that he had already discussed this issue with the CEO, because he felt that this was a critical job, and the

contractors would complete the work within a shorter time than the internal staff. You were very upset about this and asked your manager why he had

not involved you in the decision-making process. You are increasingly uncomfortable that you are expected to supervise and authorize payments for

contractors whose appointment seems questionable.


Remember to apply the framework discussed in class:

1. Identify the ethical issues in this case. 2. What is the right thing to do in this situation from an ethical point of view? Which ethical theories supports your position? Which doesnt? (Utilitarian

approach is required. Remember to use consequentialist and non-consequentialist approaches)

3. If you were the civil engineer, what would you actually do? Is your response to this question different to your response to question 2? If so, why? 4. What are the external factors that influenced your decision/action? How important are they in this case? 5. Do you think that everybody who reads this dilemma will make similar decisions? Why? 6. Submit your task as a pdf document through Turnitin on Moodle. Please refer to the formalities section for format instructions.


Wordcount: 1,500

Cover, Table of Contents, References and Appendix are excluded of the total wordcount.

Font: Arial 12,5 pts.

Text alignment: Justified.

The in-text References and the Bibliography have to be in Harvards citation style.

Submission: Week 10 – Sunday 03/04/2022 23:59 CEST

Weight: This task is a 30% of your total grade for this subject.

It assesses the following learning outcomes:

Outcome 1: learn how to make ethical judgments and integrate them in the decision-making process;

Outcome 2: understand commonly- occurring ethical issues and dilemmas in managing businesses;

Outcome 3: relate ethics to the performance of organizations


Exceptional 90-100 Good 80-89 Fair 70-79 Marginal fail 60-69

Knowledge & Understanding


Student demonstrates excellent understanding of key concepts and uses vocabulary in an entirely appropriate manner.

Student demonstrates good understanding of the task and mentions some relevant concepts and demonstrates use of the relevant vocabulary.

Student understands the task and provides minimum theory and/or some use of vocabulary.

Student understands the task and attempts to answer the question but does not mention key concepts or uses minimum amount of relevant vocabulary.

Application (40%) Student applies fully relevant knowledge from the topics delivered in class.

Student applies mostly relevant knowledge from the topics delivered in class.

Student applies some relevant knowledge from the topics delivered in class. Misunderstanding may be evident.

Student applies little relevant knowledge from the topics delivered in class. Misunderstands are evident.

Critical Thinking (25%)

Student critically assesses in excellent ways, drawing outstanding conclusions from relevant authors.

Student critically assesses in good ways, drawing conclusions from relevant authors and references.

Student provides some insights but stays on the surface of the topic. References may not be relevant.

Student makes little or none critical thinking insights, does not quote appropriate authors, and does not provide valid sources.

Communication (20%)

Student communicates their ideas extremely clearly and concisely showing strong consistency, respecting word count, grammar and spellcheck

Student communicates their ideas clearly and concisely showing some consistency, respecting word count, grammar and spellcheck

Student communicates their ideas with some clarity, consistency, and concision. It may be slightly over or under the wordcount limit. Some misspelling errors may be evident.

Student communicates their ideas in a somewhat unclear, non-consistent and unconcise way. Does not reach or does exceed wordcount excessively and misspelling errors are evident.

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