Utilitarianism and Moral
Moral decisions should be guided by the clear conscience based on the expected outcomes of the actions undertaken by different people at all times. Taking into consideration of the involved stakeholders in different situations, the responsibilities assumed by those entrusted with management and custody of organizations should form their key premises in their decision making at all times. Whereas junior staff may be involved in different activities that are demeaning and unethical, the overall head should establish strong and clear evaluation criteria that protects the immediate shareholders for the organization at all times (Kamm, 2007).
Ebbers should therefore go to jail for his actions as the overall bad was much higher than the good from the fiasco. Though the overall architect was more to blame for the whole fiasco, it is clear that there was total disregard of the direct role to safeguard people’s investments. Since the CEO is already very old, 25 years sound more like a death sentence and should have been possibly reduced and the main architect penalty being raised. 2. Background of the fiasco. Worldcom was operating and progressing on well until the entry of Sullivan who became a close friend of the CEO.
Sullivan introduced questionable book keeping systems that led to the company’s huge losses and bankruptcy in the year 2002 (McCafferty, 2004). Through a carefully articulated system (Stlukas model), variable were assigned without major considerations for the actual figures and realities on the ground. As a result, it was hard to monitor the progress of the company and make necessary adjustments and recommendations based on the real situation on the ground. Referring to it as the big lie, the Fiasco led firing of the CEO and the Sullivan as the people in charge of the company being charged in the court of law (Belson, 2005).
With Ebbers getting 25 years, it forms a clear indication of the dynamism in the correct direction for enhancing accountability and careful assessment of actions and duties to enhance the correct consequences. 3. Utility consideration. All actions as indicated earlier must be based on the best possible outcome to the majority of the people in the society. Therefore, there must be a direct relationship of the cause consequence in all the cases that ensures the best good is achieved in the system by the management for the shareholders and others (Portmore, 2008, Hurley, 2006).
CEO’s ignorance to evaluate the books of accounts therefore was tantamount to imposing direct pain to the share holders of the organization. It indicates unethical neglect of duties that results to the company’s bankruptcy in the year 2002. Categorizing the outcomes of different actions, Jeremy Bentham pointed out in his utilitarianism theory that the outcome is based on producing pain or happiness to the people as the main results (Splawn, 2001). The theory continues to say that actions that result to bad consequences must be considered to be bad at all times. Act Utilitarianism according to J. S.
Mill involves conscious consideration of the actions to ensure that the best possible good is achieved through actions and more so by those in the positions of management and leadership (Portmore, 2001, Moore, 2007). The act involves increased conscious management and application of policies that guides and wades to the highest maximum possible returns to the people. Ebbers embarked on friendship with Sullivan which he entrusted for the financial details of the company. This is a sign of irresponsibility as he was endangering the overall good for the vast numbers of the shareholders and other employees whose trust was bestowed in him.
Though, the action itself was not wrong since Ebbers and Sullivan were friends, it hinders and obscures the possible negative impacts from the same actions with untrue records presentation. 4. Rights related to the case. Kantian ethics demands that people must act morally via commitment to their duties in their areas of work (Ridge, 2005). The theory continues to say that people in different positions of duty must always ensure that they use high level intelligence to determine the correct direction is being followed by their organizations.
Individually, he emphasized on the need for ensuring that different actions are ethically good intrinsically for stronger effects. Therefore, extrapolation of various actions is necessary at all times to ensure that there is no losing track in the quest for the best results. As a result, he says that good will must be developed to enhance the inbuilt quest to consider the possible negative effects that would result if the positive impacts are not achieved (Oddie & Milne, 1999, Louise, 2004). Ebbers non commitment can therefore be closely linked to negligence of duty which were fully entrusted to him.
In conjunction with Sullivan, it is clear that Ebbers was ethically guilty of the following actions that resulted to the bankruptcy of the company in the year 2002. His office and those under him neglected duties of beneficence and non-maleficence thereby reversing the trend by increasing stakeholders cries and pain (Scanlon, 2001). As indicated earlier, the accounting was done not on the factual basis consideration but on guess work. Declaration of the company to be bankrupt was the furthest edge of killing the company and the livelihoods of the people who worked in it.
Besides, the shareholders who would loose their immediate hard earned investments, the consumers’ services would be left unattended to. Sounding highly incompetent, it is evident that there was total disregard of the duty to keep the promise and justice in CEO’s actions. In his support to the call for higher link between the cause and consequence in all the actions Shelly Kagan insists that promises as indicated in the agreement between the management and the shareholders should be regarded and therefore ensure that the people are getting what they deserve according to the description.
Posing to be highly ignorant, the losses were very hefty in the company and to be shouldered by the share holders. Following the Shelly Kagan emphasis and advocacy for contractual rights, Ebbers was responsible for the damages due to his failures and therefore was charged correctly (Vessel, 2008). 5. Regulations and punishment. Though the case is very clear on the actions that Ebbers took and their consequences, it is however not clear on the best punishment that would impact maximally to the former CEO and the other managers.
Using the same utilitarianism and deontology theories, the direct punishment should be directed at achieving the maximum good which in this case involves ensuring that the people learn from the same experience while reducing the possibility of the habit spreading to others (Nichols 2002). Therefore, with the CEO being very old, he should get less jail term sentence with other inclusions like ban to hold public offices. 6. Conclusion. Ebbers and other managers in organization managements should be charged in courts of law to ensure that the best possible outcome are achieved from their management.
To ensure highly ethical actions and responsibility is incorporated in the management of organizations, there should be strong link of actions with the resultant consequences at all times. Strong criticism should always be incorporated before different actions are undertaken and direct effects predetermined for better impacts (Wierenga, 2004). For this to be achieved, all the leaders and the managers at the high levels and entrusted with the overall management of the organizations should involve their managers and ensure that they supervise their work and track goals and objectives attainability at different instances.
Total quality management that integrates high ethics and lean management in organizations should be assimilated with direct codes of ethics to be followed and possible repercussions to be attracted for violating them. To add to that, stiffer penalties for ethically derived misdeeds should be incorporated in the legal system to safeguard stakeholders from malicious and uncommitted managers. 7.
Belson, K. (2005). “WorldCom’s Audacious Failure and Its Toll on an Industry. ” The New York Times, 18 January 2005, C 1. Hurley, P. E. (2006). “Does Consequentialism Make Too Many Demands, or None at All? ” Ethics, 116: 680-706.Sample Essay of Edusson.com