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Resolving Ethical Business Challenges

Response to the Questions on Pages 51-52

  • There are several legal issues in producing and selling video games. In many countries including the USA, nudity and violence in video games are restricted. Such games can be sold as adult product. However, in some countries including Taiwan and Mexico there are fewer restrictions connected with video games. Ethical issues may also arise as some people may be upset about nudity; moreover, much violence in video games may cause psychical problems when a person plays often.
  • Kent has two main options. He may choose the profit of his company as the most important goal. In such case, he would support distribution of games with gambling, nudity and violence, because they are the most profitable ones. Kent may also choose some kind of “ethical way”. It means that he would refuse to sell games with gambling, nudity and violence. Such games may be harmful for gamer’s psychical health, especially the health of children and teenagers.

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  • Acceptability and commercial use of sex, violence, and gambling in the United States depends on the area of their use. In video games, the presence of violence and gambling is acceptable, but with restrictions. The presence of nudity is permissible, but such games can be sold only in internet-shops, not in the local malls. Games with sex, violence, and gambling can be sold only as an adult product in internet-shops.
  • Marketing sex, violence, and gambling are acceptable in some countries if they fit their culture, and in other countries, including the USA, the use of them is restricted. This issue regards also video games industry. For example, in Mexico, the restrictions are not so wide as in the USA, but the use of violence is limited, too. In Taiwan, the use of violence, nudity and gambling is almost unlimited.

Response to the Questions on Pages 175-176

  1. All the decisions of Elaine in which she decided against loans have one main disadvantage:  UBC loses its profit. Elaine decided against a loan to Graphco Inc., and it has some benefits to society, because that company was embroiled in litigation concerning the promotion of tobacco products to children. Graphco Inc. might have used the loan to continue this process. The decision against a Canadian company that was exporting cigars from Cuba also has social benefits, because the U.S. policy is dominated by the embargo on Cuba. Refusing to give a loan to Electrode International can be acquitted, because this company was involved in illegal monopolistic collusion that fixed their prices. Elaine’s refuse to sign a loan to a company in Brazil has advantages for environment, because that company was going to cut down the part of the rain forest. Elaine’s decision to give a loan to ABCO also has advantages and disadvantages. It might have been bad for UBC, because dealing with the company was risky as its financial state did not meet the required standards of UBC. However, ABCO could be beneficial for society, because this company provided research of fetal tissue that would help in medicine.
  2. There are several legal issues. It is illegal and unethical to support companies that sell drugs, fix their prices, trade with Cuba regardless of the policy of the USA or promote tobacco products to children. It is also unethical to give loans to companies that make harm to environment.
  3. Moral philosophies consider two ways: to choose increasing of profit and compatibility or to choose not to cooperate with firms that make harm to society or environment, even though that cooperation is gainful. At the same time, it is morally good to cooperate with the companies that are beneficial to society, even though that is risky.
  4. Elaine could have decided to cooperate with companies that are harmful to society and environment. It would be profitable to UBC, but harmful for society and environment. Elaine could have decided against a loan to ABCO, but it would be a loss for society, because that company provided important medical research.

Response to the Questions on Pages 237-238

  1. The legal issue is: to whom Jim should pay. According to the law, he must not pay Ralf, except for the fines that EPA charges. Payments to Ralf in order to continue production on the plant are illegal. Of course, Jim might choose to pay Ralf, because it is cheaper and the plant will not be closed for waste disposal into the river. Nevertheless, such decision is unethical, because it is illegal and harmful to the environment.
  2. The decision to pay Ralf has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand it is beneficial because it is cheap for Jim’s mill; the mill continues production and Jim may get a better post in the company. On the other hand, Jim can be punished by the law: moreover, the activity of the plant continues making harm to the environment. Jim may choose a legal way – paying charges to EPA. It can be negative for Jim because of a large cost and a potential conflict with Ralf. However, Ralf will be punished for his violations and harm to the environment will be diminished.
  3. The main pressure is Ralf’s pressure. Jim is a freshman, he does not know all the details of work of his plant, and Ralf uses it to manipulate Jim. Ralf will not propose Jim a better post if he does not listen to him. Jim might be afraid of termination of employment in case he has a conflict with Ralf.
  4. Jim is not a good leader at the plant. He is a freshman and does not know many details. If he wants to continue working there, he must be involved in illegal operations; otherwise, he loses his job.

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