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Mini Case – Ethics and The Environment Assignment Answers
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MINI CASE – ETHICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Kirk is a bright individual who was being groomed (prepared) for the Controller’s position in a medium-sized manufacturing firm. After his first year as Assistant Controller, the officers of the firm were starting to include him in major company meetings. For instance, today he was attending the monthly financial summary presentation given at a prestigious consulting firm.
During the meeting, Kirk was fascinated at how all the financial data he had been collecting was transformed by the consultant into informative charts and graphs.
Kirk was generally optimistic about the presentation and the company’s future until the consultant started talking about the new manufacturing plant the company was adding to the current location and the costs per unit of the chemically plated products it produced. At that time, Bob (the President) and John (the chemical engineer) started talking about waste treatment and disposal problems. John mentioned that the current waste facilities were not adequate to handle the waste products that would be created by the “ultramodern” new plant. They would not meet the industry’s fairly high standards, although they could still follow the government standards and legal regulations.
Kirk’s boss, Henry, noted that the estimated cost per unit would be increased if the waste treatment facilities were upgraded according to meet recent industry standards. While industry standards were presently stricter than government and legal regulations, environmentalists were strongly pressuring the government to improve and change legal regulations.
Bob mentioned that since their closest competitor did not have even the waste treatment facilities that already existed at their firm, he was not in favor of any more expenditure in this area.
Most managers at this meeting clearly agreed with Bob, and business continued on to another topic.
Kirk did not hear a word during the rest of the meeting. He kept wondering how the company could possibly have such a casual attitude toward the environment. Yet he did not know if, how, or when he could share his opinion.
- What are the important facts in this case?
- What are the ethical issues, if any, in this case?
- What are the possible alternatives available to Kirk?
- What arguments and proof could Kirk use to support the alternative of his choice?
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