Ethical Decision-Making Example

Ethical Decision Making

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            Everyone has a different take on ethics, of what is right and what is wrong. What one-person thinks is right, may be wrong in the eyes of someone else and it may offend them. Ethical decisions are made to promote or grow the company. As a leader it can be difficult to make the right choice and have everyone on board and deal with conflict as well, but it is in the best interest of the company’s reputation and success be in the forefront of everyone’s mind when ethical decisions are being made or when any decisions are being made.

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Synopsis

            At G2G Sensors, there has been an ethical dilemma brought to attention. The company recently developed a new production process that is supposed to help reduce the use of electricity and labor. The marketing team wants to launch a new marketing campaign. This campaign outlines the new development by capitalizing on consumer demands for products that support the greener environment movement. However, the facilities waste output has not been reduced.

            According to the stakeholder theory, “a business should take into consideration the needs and wants of the customers, suppliers, owners, and employees” (Fort, 2017). While G2G Sensors is taking into consideration the needs and wants of customers wanting a greener environment, the company has not reduced any waste. So, by launching a marketing campaign to give into the wants of the customers, the company is lying and if customers realize this, it can be detrimental to the company.

            The company would not be following the ethical principles should they allow this campaign to take place. They are not being honest with themselves, yet alone the consumers, being that the new development has not reduced waste. Should consumers, suppliers, and employees find out, they will begin to lose the loyalty of those, and sales will begin to decline and create a bad reputation for the company. Lastly, the company would lose respect of those that provided their concerns or ideas to the company.

Reconcile Conflicts

            I suggest discarding the green message altogether and launching a new campaign that focuses on the changes that have been made in the company to make them more energy efficient. This increases sales, but damages the company’s reputation, and creates conflict between agency theory thinkers and stakeholder theory thinkers. “The stakeholder theory considers all who have an interest in the company, such as customers, employees, and the public” (ACSEP, 2015). By launching a campaign that focuses on changes that have been made already to make the company more energy efficient is still taking customers, employees, shareholders and the public into consideration and wanting the environment to be greener. Agency theory focuses more on the aspect of making money, sales or profits. The best way to reconcile conflict between the two is to consider everyone’s point of view and take everyone’s opinion into consideration when making a final decision. Allow everyone’s voices to be heard, so no one is feeling disrespected or left out. Creating a different marketing campaign, not only allows the company to keep the customers demands in mind, but it is the best option to increasing sales and profits. It also the best option to keeping ethics in mind. The PR, while costing money, can benefit the company in the long run. It is a way to get the new campaign out in the public’s eyes and explain why the company is going that route and answer any questions the public may have.

Ethical Theories

            Creating a strong ethic environment is a vital part of the strategic decision-making process and the success of the company. When considering ethics, a code of ethics should be created. This should include and consider all stakeholders involved with the company. Which is what the stakeholder theory does. The stockholder theory helps keep the company financially running. The stakeholder theory focuses solely on maximizing the return on investment for the company. The social-contract theory will help the company consider the well-being of consumers, employees and suppliers, but while following the rules of integrity. A company can blend theories to help support ethical principles. G2G Sensors can blend the theories to keep with ethical guidelines and make everyone happy and keep their competitive advantage going.

Strategic Planning Process

            In strategic planning the goal is to develop a plan. The first step is to create a planning team. This should include the CEO, Board leaders, community leaders, business development manager, and the product manager. The reason for the strategic plan should be determined, for G2G Sensors, it is to determine a new marketing campaign that doesn’t cause any ethical dilemmas for the company. The next step is to gather the information needed, this should be done by the business development manager and product managers. The information to be gathered would be the company’s current situation, which is to reduce waste and become more energy efficient, and information on how this can be done. The third step is to decide on what to do. This decision should be determined by the CEO, Board leaders, and VPs. In this case the decision has been made to launch a campaign that will focus on the changes that have been made that had made the company more energy efficient. The fourth step is to draft the plan, which should be the business developer manager, community leaders and board leaders. The executive management team will outline the new marketing campaign launch and what it will do for the company. The final step is to implement plan, which is done by all departments, and that is to launch the new marketing campaign.

Competitive Advantage

            The decision to deal with the ethical dilemma is to get rid of the green message all together and launch a campaign that focuses on the changes that have been made in the company to become more energy efficient. Having the CEO and Vie Presidents involved in the planning of the new campaign launch, will show our consumers, employees, and suppliers that they are all on the same page and support the decision that has been made, and have everyone’s need and wants in mind. The employees will then want to work harder to provide the sensors to the consumers, which will increase the productivity rates. The web manager can help provide information on the launch on the company website and include everyone, such as the public. This creates a competitive advantage by showing that the company cares and respects all who are involved in the company, which will create a good reputation for the company and bring in more customers and suppliers to supply the materials.

            The business developer manager can help create a business plan and gain business relationships, like with the suppliers and PR. This will help the company get their name and goal’s out into the business market community. Lastly, the product manager does the research on what is being demanded by the consumers and helps to produce that. This allows the company to know what is needed to gain an advantage, to lead a new campaign launch to creating an energy efficient company.

Strategic Analysis Tools

            The strategic analysis tool that best fits this situation would be the PEST. The company is wanting to become energy efficient, so they need to better understand their environment and to do so, a PEST analysis needs to be done. “A PEST analysis will allow the company to spot any opportunities and gives an advance warning of any threats” (Mindtools, 2018). It can help work with changes in the environment, the laws that the company needs to be aware of and the best way to go about being more energy efficient. The company needs to take political factors that may be going on around them into mind. For instance, the governments views on ethics in business and business’s being energy efficient. The next thing to consider are the economic factors, such as how globalization is affecting the economic environment. The next thing is to take socio-cultural factors into consideration. For instance, what socio-cultural factors are for being energy efficient are out there and will it drive a change and be a positive factor for the company.  Lastly, technology needs to be looked at, what technology is being used to help companies become more energy efficient.

Company’s Positioning Strategy

            When it comes to formulating a company’s positioning strategy, the first step is to determine the strategic position to be used. G2G Sensor’s is wanting to take consumers demands into consideration and become more energy efficient. Next, is to conduct a summary of “critical topics that should be addressed during the planning stage” (OnStage, 2018). A strategic issue would be consumers wanting a more energy efficient environment or a greener environment. The third stage is to do the PEST analysis. Stage four is to conduct a competitive analysis to see who their competition is and what they need to do to get ahead of them. G2G Sensor’s competition would be other factories who provide green products and have an energy efficient environment when making their sensors. Stage five is to identify their opportunities and threats. Stage six is to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, stage seven it so defines the customer segments. G2G Sensors are wanting to focus on the high-tech segment.

            Everyone has a different view on ethics, of what is right and what is wrong. What one person may think is right, another may think it is wrong. This will create conflict in the chain of command, when trying to make decisions for the company. In the end it is in the best interest of the company to have everyone on the same page and understand why a certain decision has been made. It is also important for everyone to understand ethics and how it can affect a company if principles and theories aren’t followed.

References

Fort, T. (2017 September 26). Ethical theories in business. Retrieved from:

https://bizfluent.com/info-8517746-ethical-theories-business.html.

Mindtools. (2018). PEST analysis. Retrieved from:

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_09.htm.

OnStrategy. (2018). Strategic planning process. Retrieved from:

https://onstrategyhq.com/resources/evaluate-strategic-position/.

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Daniel Fortune

Daniel Fortune is a successful business professional, entrepreneur, father, and lover of travel.

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