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Business Ethics Assignment: Ethical Dilemma Of Gender Discrimination At Nike


Task: Critical reflection is a meaningful exercise which can require as much time and work as traditional essays and reports because it requires you to be a purposeful and engaged participant, reader, and thinker. It allows you to make abstract concepts concrete or draw relevancy to current issues by considering them within the context of your own experiences, often allowing for growth as well as personal and professional development.

The total length of this two-part reflection paper on business ethics assignmentneeds to be between 750-1,000 words. Your writing must be focused and organized. It must demonstrate your ability to reflect, to draw a connection to the course, to compare and contrast situations, and to express your thoughts in a clear and concise manner.

Part I
Keeping in mind the definition of ethical dilemma as discussed in class, think back to a time when you faced an ethical dilemma at work, at school, or at home. Choose a situation in which you had to choose between two or more options (a true dilemma), with negative consequences for the different stakeholders. Explain your situation using the following questions as a guide:

What was the ethical dilemma
What were the potential actions?
What stakeholders were impacted by your decision and how?
What choice did you make?
What were the facts that influenced your decision?
Did you learn anything about yourself?

Part II
Business ethics is the application of a critical thinking skills, as you demonstrated above, to the moral standards that apply to the world of commerce. Ethical issues have the potential to impact businesses in a profound way. There is no shortage of issues that businesses are faced with daily. Below are three examples of ethical issues that some businesses faced recently. Select one (1) of the following topics (security, health & safety, or gender discrimination) and read the linked story. Consider how the leader in that situation dealt with the ethical issue they were presented with.

Please respond to the following questions:
How do you feel the leader handled the dilemma?
As a future business leader, what would you do in a similar situation?
Would adopting an ethical framework (such as the one in Chapter 2-3a) to help you make decisions in a clearer manner? If yes, what would your ethical framework look like? If no, what would guide your decision making?

Topic 1 – Security – Zoom, CEO Eric Yuan
At the onset of the pandemic, many people turned to Zoom to serve as their connection to work and the outside world. Unfortunately, a lack of security caused issues for users when meetings were infiltrated by offensive spammers. It was soon discovered that Zoom neglected to use the proper encryption for video meetings which exposed the personal information of millions of users.

Topic 2 – Health & Safety – Telsa, CEO Elon Musk
During the pandemic, many businesses, including Tesla, deemed non-essential were directed to cease operations. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, was very vocal about his opposition to this order and called his workers back to the factories. Debate ensued and eventually Tesla was deemed an essential business and allowed to operate. Employees were told they could remain home if they felt unsafe but some of those who did were terminated.

Topic 3 – Gender Discrimination – Nike, CEO Mark Parker
Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. Its moto is to inspire the worlds athletes but a group of women find working for them anything but inspiring. They have accused Nike of fostering a hostile workplace citing issues of pay, promotion and conditions of employment in a new gender discrimination lawsuit. CEO Mark Parker responded quickly but accusations suggest that his actions came well after complaints were brought forward through other channels.


Business Ethics AssignmentPart I
The Ethical Dilemma

Ethical dilemmas create problems at the time of making decisions through straightforward solutions. Professional, social, and personal aspects become important when it comes to making decisions by going beyond ethical dilemmas. It was no different in my case when I encountered a dilemma regarding taking credit for the works of others in my team . I was working as a team leader in my team while completing a project and a teammate of mine complained to me about another team member regarding taking all the credit for his work. This situation startled me for a while regarding the most suitable action that can help me to resolve the issue. The Potential Actions I had options to ignore the situation and tell the first employee to avoid such a fact, and stay careful towards future actions. Another potential action was to directly talk to the second employee related to such behaviour and analyse the truth behind such a fact.

Impact on Stakeholders
Stakeholders of this case were the two employees, and the future of them in the team depended on the decision taken by me. Primary reason for such a fact was that both of them were part of this team, and this decision was going to affect their working relationship, and future of the team.

The choice
I chose to find out the truth related to the complaint, and then I talked to both of them regarding the situation. The second employee accepted his guilt and promised not to repeat it . Taking credits for works of others can affect the motivation level of other employees.

Influential facts
Behaviour of the employees and their complaints has influenced me to make decisions. It is quite tough for organisations to maintain working ethics without providing the proper training and development to employees related to professional, social, and personal approaches.

Lesson learnt from the incident
I learnt that I am aware about making ethical decisions that could help me in becoming a better leader in future. Most importantly, I became able to use a framework of ethical decision making that can help me in future to improve the entire condition regarding evaluating every aspect of any situation.

Part II
Handling the dilemma

Parker, the CEO of Nike made some swift decisions to handle the ethical dilemma and worsening conditions regarding the brand image of Nike. Most importantly, Nike reacted to the situation efficiently by changing the leadership team from the core. The issue and ethical dilemma in this organisationwere all about gender discrimination and paying less to women, and considering women as less efficient compared to men. However, the entire picture changed with the hand of the CEO with his formal apology. The situation was efficiently handled by him by accepting the issues identified in the company. Discrimination in the workplace is against the law, and it is insulting for the women to show inequality when it comes to providing them less opportunity and low bonus only because of their gender. Business ethics firmly supports providing equal opportunity to the female employees to that of male employees on the basis of their skills, talents, experiences, and job roles rather than only of the gender. Parker was right in his statement regarding the apology by saying that the team, the company and he missed in some areas when it comes to providing the same opportunities. Exclusion of women is not an accepted culture of any company, and Parker handled the situation by promoting a changed approach of the company towards providing equal opportunity to every employee regardless of gender.

Doings in a similar situation
If I were in the same situation, I would like to eliminate the root cause of the discrimination along with the ethical dilemma. Management team requires being aware of the company policies and procedures regarding providing equal opportunity to every employee on the basis of their skills and job roles . However, before that, it is essential for me to develop company rules and regulations along with the procedure of implementing policies related to discrimination.

< Along with that, I would provide training and development to the management team regarding the process of managing talent and retaining employees. At the same time, I would like to work efficiently for the entire team when it comes to allocating salaries, bonuses, and opportunities to become a part of the leadership. However, to implement the policy I would develop a vision and mission statement clearing the confusion regarding equal opportunity and inclusive approach of the company. It is also essential for me to focus on eliminating issues regarding gender discrimination that can avoid any lawsuit related to such a sensitive issue. Primary reason for such a fact is that talent is not bound to any specific gender, and it is essential for the company to provide equal opportunity to every employee to lead the company only based on their experience and quality of work rather than their gender . On the other hand, after occurrence of such a condition, I would imply an ethical decision-making framework by recognising the ethical issues to get the facts. This approach would like to help in evaluating every alternative action that could help me to get over this situation. Therefore, making decisions along with testing it is also essential to reflect on the situational aspects.

Ethical framework
I would use the following framework for ethical decision making to go beyond the ethical dilemmas:

Identifying the ethical issue

On time identification of the ethical issue regarding gender discrimination that can minimise the consequences

Getting the facts

Gender discrimination and employee dissatisfaction

Alternative actions

Identifying the alternative actions and evaluating them is essential to reach the expected outcome

Making decision and testing it

Testing the consequences and ethical aspects of the decision is essential after implementing it in real-life scenarios.

Reflecting on the outcome

Reflection on the outcome will complete the framework, and it will help in future.

Table 1: The Ethical framework
(Source: Created by Author)

Reference list
Cheah I, Shimul AS. Factors influencing students' reactions to ethical dilemmas in advertising'. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics. 2020 Jul 9.
Lefkowitz J. Forms of ethical dilemmas in industrial-organizational psychology. Industrial and Organizational Psychology.Business ethics assignment2021 Sep;14(3):297-319.
Ngozwana N. Ethical Dilemmas in Qualitative Research Methodology: Researcher's Reflections. International Journal of Educational Methodology. 2018;4(1):19-28.
Sholihin M, Sari RC, Yuniarti N, Ilyana S. A new way of teaching business ethics: The evaluation of virtual reality-based learning media. The International Journal of Management Education. 2020 Nov 1;18(3):100428.


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