Business writing paper -02


Paper Assignment

Outcome: Complete and use a set of guidelines for ethical decision making

1. As you gain more information about ethical decision making, you will be better able to develop your conception of the “ideal” ethical manager. The PRIMO article attached below, by Thompson (2008), will give you some practical guidance. Read this article and make a short, minimum 1-page, word count at least 350, easy to use list of principles that will serve to guide ethical decision making for your “ideal” manager in the ideal workplace:

The assignment concept is to evaluate 1) how you are personally as an individual, 2) how you conduct yourself at work, and 3) what you’d expect from your company. Do you hold your personal standards at work, are you tougher at work and expect more from your employees, do you expect more from the company than you are willing to provide, etc…??

Guidelines for decisions in the workplace (bullets are fine):


Professional (as an agent of the organization):

Organizational (values commonly held by decision makers):


Thompson, R. (2008, September). Short-Term Profit vs. Long-Term Gain: Is Honesty Still the Best Policy? Physician Executive, 34(5), 80-82. Retrieved December 18, 2008, from Business Source Premier database.

2. In addition to submitting your guidelines for personal, professional, and organizational decision making, write a 2-page minimum paper answering the question posed by the case study (listed below).

Case Study:

Procter & Gamble: A Problem for the CEO,

one-page minimum, word count at least 350

Headquarters, Cincinnati, Ohio . “What’s that?” you wonder as you look out your window. A small group of people is gathered on the sidewalk at the end of the wisteria gardens in front of the main headquarters of Procter & Gamble. If you squint, you can see they’re holding signs, but the only text you can make out is the word “PETA” in big letters across the bottom. “Just great,” you think to yourself.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal-rights group more commonly known by the acronym PETA, raises more than $25 million a year from its 1.6 million members and supporters. PETA not only campaigns for animal rights, but also funds less known animal-rights groups to engage in activism. PETA is extremely adept at organizing public campaigns and mobilizing the public to boycott companies. Its public-relations tactics include celebrity endorsements, traveling displays of animal abuse, and creative on-site demonstrations. Even large international companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC have bowed to pressure from PETA. In response to aggressive campaigns, all three have issued strict humane animal handling guidelines to suppliers of beef, pork, and chicken and enforce those standards with unannounced audits of production farms and processing plants.

PETA has been known to use pretty crude tactics. In one instance, a viral ad featuring scantily clad women with cow udders instead of breasts was distributed in the UK as part of a campaign against milk drinking and production. PETA had hoped to air a television version of the ad on the ABC network in the United States during the Super Bowl, but was told the execution “falls outside boundaries of good taste.” Mimicking television shows like Girls Gone Wild, in which women are encouraged to disrobe for cameras, PETA’s “Milk Gone Wild” ad shows models dancing in a bar, surrounded by men drinking glasses of milk. When the women tear off their tops, they expose cows udders. In another instance, PETA successfully launched a six-year campaign of intimidation against the owners, staff, and suppliers of a farm that bred guinea pigs for scientific research. Their tactics, denounced as mob rule by some in the medical research community, included hate mail, malicious phone calls, death threats, fireworks, a pedophile smear campaign, car vandalism, arson attacks, and finally the theft of the remains of a relative of the farm owner from the churchyard cemetery. It is clear that PETA will do anything to achieve its goals.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) does not use animals to test the safety of its cosmetics, shampoos, detergents, cleansers, and paper goods; it does, however, use animals to test the safety of new drugs, health-care products, and products intended for use on babies and children. Nonetheless, P&G still draws protests from PETA in the form of PETA’s “Died” advertising campaign, based on P&G’s best-selling laundry detergent Tide. The “Died” ad shows a woman holding a box of “Died” detergent with the words “Thousands of Animals Died for Your Laundry” boldly written on the box. PETA is urging consumers to boycott all P&G products until the company ends all forms of animal testing.

From P&G’s perspective, eliminating animal testing altogether could compromise safety, as testing is critical to producing safe products for its customers. P&G has to know, for example, that a product will not cause injury if children accidentally swallow it or get it into their eyes. Furthermore, in the event that a product liability lawsuit is filed against the company, its best legal defense would be the scientific testing it performs on rats and rabbits.

As the CEO of P&G should you, as PETA demands, eliminate all animal testing? Or, by minimizing but not eliminating animal testing, has P&G achieved a reasonable balance that still allows it to make sure its products are safe? The last things you need are product liability lawsuits against P&G. PETA is at best a secondary stakeholder. Customers, on the other hand, are a primary stakeholder group, so customer safety is a critical concern. If PETA launches new campaigns and boycotts, it could rally primary stakeholders including potential customers against the company, which in turn could hurt revenue, and declining revenues could affect stockholders (another primary stakeholder), and may even lead to downsizing affecting employees, yet another primary stakeholder group. PETA’s aggressive tactics and history of misrepresentation of facts are cause for concern. The buck stops with the CEO! What is the most socially responsible thing to do?

Describe how P&G’s CEO would identify the problem presented by PETA to each stakeholder group, state what steps to take (using the ethical decision-making guidelines you developed), and explain how to approach each group.

Tip: Remember to draw from the material you have been reading in both texts.

NOTE: Please ensure assignment meets formatting and length requirements as dictated in the syllabus.

Proofreading is a must. Poor misspellings, punctuation, grammar, fragmented / incomplete / run-on sentences, or deviations from the instructions in this paragraph will be deducted from the overall grade of the paper.

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