The case of the new computers

The Problem:
The Case of the New Computers  You have budgeted money to replace 20 of the computer terminals in your office. As the research is coming in, you notice that if you buy equipment which meets the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) standards, the cost will be about $24,000 less than if you buy equipment which meets proposed standards which were put together by an industry wide group trying to reduce carpal tunnel and other work-related injuries. These proposed standards have not yet been adopted and there are rumblings on the “hill” that the President does not support the new standards.  You don’t know whether or not carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem for your company, but you are trying to make a good decision for your staff.  
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Discrimination  The problem posed this quarter concerns discrimination which explores the obligation that companies have to treat each employee fairly in the work environment. A recurring theme for this topic will be how the goal of equality in salary, work conditions, and hiring practices should be balanced with autonomy, the right of each person to negotiate salary and position based on his or her own qualifications and/or relationships.   

PART 1: for this part of the Assignment, you are being asked to Be Attentive and describe the context for the problem. In addition to identifying the ethical actor—the person making the decision—you will be asked to identify the stakeholders to the problem as well as any assumptions you are making. The facts are brief: feel free to add in information from your own experience. Just make sure that you clearly state the added facts and assumptions in this section of the worksheets.

Be Attentive: Set the Context   
A) Ethical Actor The first step is to identify the ethical actor. In a sentence identify the ethical actor for this problem.  

B) Stakeholders The next step is to identify the stakeholders. List the other stakeholders for this problem. 

C) Assumptions In two or three bullet points, identify any assumptions you are making about the problem. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. PART 2: for this part of the Assignment, you are asked to Be Intelligent and determine the core ethical issue to be resolved and the values in tension. For help with the Assignment, click on the links in the worksheet. The modals will give you tips on how to answer the question and direct you to the section of the textbook that will clarify the process even further. You will notice similar links in every worksheet.   

Be Intelligent: Identify the Issue and the Values in Tension  
a) Issue:
In one sentence, identify the issue for this problem.
b) Values in Tension
In three or four bullet points, identify the values in tension. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….  PART 3: for this part of the Assignment, you are asked to Be Reasonable and apply the ethical norms or expectations of the Results-Based Lens, the school of ethical thought known as Utilitarianism.    Be Reasonable: Explore the Options  1. Influence Factor  In this first step, list the stakeholder groups that will be influenced by the decision. For each group, note the number of stakeholders in the group. Also note the impact that any decision will have on each group. The impact is expressed on a scale from 1 to 10.   Note that the sum of all impact numbers should add up to 10, and each impact number must be greater than zero.  PLEASE NOTE: At least 3 stakeholders must always be defined for the ethical dilemmas.   To add a stakeholder group, click the “+” button. To delete a stakeholder group, click the “×” button next to the row containing the group you wish to delete. Note that these actions affect all tables on this worksheet.  2. Stakeholder Number in Group Impact (1-10) Influence Factor                               10 Remaining   
5. Criteria for Happiness   In this next step, list the criteria for happiness associated with the stakeholders and the issue at hand.  Stakeholder Criteria  Shareholders  CEO  Employees  1. Units of Happiness  After brainstorming with the leadership team, you have identified three options: 

1. Buy computers which meet existing standards. 

2. Buy computers which match the new, stricter standards. 

3. Survey the employees. Replace computers at the higher standards for people who have a history of problems with carpal tunnel syndrome or other problems which the new standards will address. For the rest, replace computers with those which match industry standards.  Analyze each of the three options. For each option, calculate the units of happiness (utils) for each stakeholder group. Utils are measured on a scale of 1 to 10. 1.  Stakeholder Utils Rationale  Shareholders    CEO    Employees     2.  Stakeholder Utils Rationale  Shareholders    CEO    Employees     3.  Stakeholder Utils Rationale  Shareholders    CEO    Employees     4. Greatest Good  Once you have completed your analysis of this ethical dilemma by means of the tables above, it is possible to determine the total weighted units of happiness. In this final step, you can see which option truly does produce the greatest good for the greatest number.  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..   

PART 4: (After completing in the EthicsGame, copy and paste into Word and submit into the Unit 3 Assignment Dropbox as this is a graded Assignment). For this part of the Assignment, you are asked to Be Responsible, where you will to choose an option for action and to write an Inter-Office Memo. The first step is to choose your preferred option for action by clicking on the radio button on the screen.  Now, write an Inter-Office Memo that explains your decision to your colleagues. As you write the inter-office memo, please consider your audience. The purpose of the memo is to inform your colleagues of your decision and the reasons for your choice. The memo should be between 400-600 words long. Write the memo so that other team members can see the ethical problem, know what your decision was, and understand the ethical rationale for your decision.   This portion of your paper does not need to be in APA format, nor should it have citations or references. This memo is designed as an inter-office memo to fellow employees to communicate the decision and your rationale.  

● Background of the Problem: This statement should contain sufficient detail that the others on the team know what the problem is but should not contain any confidential information. The statement should also clearly present the values in conflict in the problem.  

● Statement of Decision: In a sentence, clearly and concisely state your decision.  ● Reasons for the Decision: In the next paragraph, give the reasons for your decision. As this is an ethical analysis, the reader should be able to see which ethical framework or which ethical principles you are using to come to your decision. However, the words you choose should not be technical, such as “this decision is reversible because…” Rather, you might say – “As each of us considers how we would like to be treated in a similar situation…”  

● Forward-Looking Conclusion: The final sentences should be a summary which builds relationship with the other team members and your constituents, leaves the door open for further conversation, and tells the reader what the decision means for him or her.  

Be Responsible  

1. Choose an Option Select one option to implement within your Division:  Buy computers which meet existing standards.   Buy computers which match the new, stricter standards.   Survey the employees. Replace computers at the higher standards for people who have a history of problems with carpal tunnel syndrome or other problems which the new standards will address. For the rest, replace computers with those which match industry standards.  

2. Explain Your Decision Using the guidelines for how to write a memo, write a memo to be shared with the rest of the leadership team which explains your decision.  …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. PART 5 Return to Awareness  

Reflection for Networking 

Write a reflection which discusses whether or not the ethical analysis made sense. In this reflection, also indicate how you have corrected for personal bias, attended to the common good, and acted with courage.

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