#4 Ethics & Morality

The hydroelectric power plant facility has begun operations under the operational management of WOW. The adjacent eco-tourism development is now under construction as well, and BFAC has become the sole provider of auditing, assurance, and advisory services to WOW.

However, the Blue Frog species has declined to the point of imminent extinction. The last of the species is expected to perish within three to five years, and religious leaders across Vastaria have launched a series of protests on ethical and theological grounds.

On a trip through Africa, Pope Francis declares his solidarity with local Catholic priests who have joined the protests. BFAC’s partner asks you to consider the ethical ramifications of the situation on BFAC’s relationship with WOW.

1. You must demonstrate that you can review different sets of authoritative literature, and that you can select the set that best provides relevant guidance to a vaguely defined business question or challenge.

In other words, you must: (a) identify the objective that the organization is attempting to achieve, and (b) select the set of authoritative literature that best applies to the situation.

Required:

a. Discuss three or more ethical, moral, or theological references in the historical literature about bribery and environmental stewardship.

b. Assess the applicability of these references to the issue of bribery in contemporary global business.

c. Assess the applicability of these references to the issue of sustainability in contemporary global business.

d. Describe any metaphorical imagery that exists in the Blue Frog case pertaining to these issues.

2. You must interpret and apply the relevant authoritative guidance to the question or challenge in a manner that supports and defends a business recommendation.

In other words, you must make a recommendation to the organization, and must describe how your recommendation will help the organization achieve its objective. You must also describe how well the authoritative literature supports your recommendation.

Required:

a. Define the concept of social license in relation to the WOW scenario.

b. Identify three or more benefits of the Vastarian project that may enhance WOW’s social license.

c. Discuss how WOW should assess the trade-offs between these benefits and the project’s ethical and moral risks.

d. Assess the impact of the ethical and moral risks on the brand image and valuation of WOW’s intangible assets.

3. You must assess how well, or how poorly, the business recommendation has been implemented in similar situations that have been confronted by similar organizations.

In other words, you must describe how other organizations in the “real world” have achieved this objective. You must note whether these organizations followed your recommendations, and (if so) whether they achieved their objectives.

Required:

a. Discuss the distinction between “legality” and “morality” in reference to the Vastarian project.

b. Locate and describe the relevant codes of conduct that has been published on the web sites of three or more energy firms. Assess the applicability of these policies to the WOW scenario.

c. Locate and describe the code of conduct regarding employee gifts that has been published on the web site of Walmart. Assess the applicability of these policies to the WOW scenario.

d. Assess the potential effectiveness of “zero tolerance” policies, like the Walmart policy, in the situation confronting WOW.

4. You must develop a plan of action that addresses the possibility that your business recommendation may fail to achieve the business objective.

In other words, you must define how success or failure should be measured. And when measurements indicate that failure is likely, you must describe what the organization should do.

Required:

a. Recommend two or more “zero tolerance” internal control policies for WOW. Assess the impact of the strength of these internal controls on the ethical and moral behavior of WOW employees.

b. Differentiate between the prevention controls, the detection controls, and the response controls within your recommendation.

c. Review “real world” case information regarding the salmon ladders of the Bull Run project in Oregon. Assess the extent to which ethical and moral considerations resulted in the implementation of a zero tolerance response strategy.

d. Estimate the impact of implementing your suggestions on the financial results of the Vastarian project. Consider modifying the spreadsheet model in Module #1, as well as your conclusions in Modules #2 and #3, to address these considerations.