“Your newly established shoe company has done well in the South African market and has drawn a following internationally which has increased the demand for your company’s presence in the global business sector. You and your fellow executives decide that you want to branch your company out internationally to cash in on the global interest.

Hearing of the success of your company, you and your fellow executives have been invited to present at the annual Iranian global business innovators summit. This international summit is hosted by the Iranian government to highlight up-and-coming innovative businesses.

On receiving the invitation, you and your fellow company executives feel honoured to be considered to present. The summit aims to encourage companies to invest locally within the Iranian business sector. On accepting the invitation, your company was informed by the summit organizers that only the male executives will be able to present. The female executives are welcome to attend but they may not be part of the panel discussion. The rationale is that women are excluded from the business sector in Iran and companies at the summit must adhere to and respect the laws and cultural practices of Iran. Upon discovery of this information, there is internal disagreement amongst the executive members if the company should withdraw their participation from the summit.

Your company decides to hold a meeting with the top executives to discuss this issue internally before announcing your decision – on your public media platforms – to remain or pull out of the business summit. During the meeting, the discussion reached an impasse. Half of the executives wanted to continue with the summit arguing that it would help ensure publicity for the company on the global sphere which in turn could help grow the company and expand its profits. In contrast, the other half wanted to withdraw their invitation. They argued that one of the values of their company is equality and attending a summit that will not acknowledge their female executives as equal participants directly contradicts the company’s values.

To try and resolve this, you and your fellow founding members decide to implement the skills and knowledge learnt in your undergraduate studies in Fil 251 to try to resolve this ethical dilemma. The executives in favour will construct an argument justifying why they want to present at the summit, while the executives that want to withdraw from the summit will justify why this is the better business decision. Both groups of executives will rely on a moral theory for justification. A meeting will reconvene where the executives will analyse their arguments and decide on a course of action from there…”

You are required to answer the following questions:

Question 1: (10 Marks)

You are on the team of executives who are in favour of presenting at the summit.

As a group develop a 250-word Act Utilitarian argument justifying why it would be better to present at the summit.

In your answer you must:
– Clearly demonstrate how and why an Act Utilitarian would justify presenting at the summit.
– Rely on the knowledge you have learnt of Act Utilitarianism when constructing your argument.
– Make sure to include the fundamental rationale of consequential reasoning.

Question 2: (10 Marks)

The meeting has been reconvened. One of the skills you learnt in undergrad courses was how to critique a moral argument. As a group, you decide that in order to assess whose argument is stronger, it would be important to critique one another’s arguments. You are now on the team of executives who has to construct a critique of the Act Utilitarian argument justifying why it would be better to present at the summit.

As a group construct a 250-word Virtue Ethicist critique of the Act Utilitarian argument (created in Question 1) that half of the board members wish to employ as their defence for presenting at the summit.

In your critique you must address:
– Why and how your argument in Question 1 employs Act Utilitarian reasoning.
– How and why a Virtue Ethicist would disagree with the reasoning you provide in Question1.
– Include the fundamental ideas a Virtue Ethicist would employ when critiquing this argument.
– Rely on the knowledge of Act Utilitarianism and Virtue Ethics, that you have learnt, when constructing your critique.

Answers to Above Questions on Ethics

Answer 1: Act utilitarianism is an important concept that explains a person’s action is morally right if and only if it produces the best possible results. In the given case scenario, the application of act utilitarian indicates that it would be better to present at the summit because it would result in the attainment of positive results in terms of what the company is envisioning. The case scenario indicates that the company is aiming to expand globally, and the attendance to this summit would positively support this primary goal of the company of international expansion.

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