Sample Exam Questions
Given that no single ethical theory is perfect; discuss how ethical theories can assist a person to make an ethical decision? Construct an argument for or against deontological (non-consequential) theories as the preferred option to use for ethical decision making and explain the key differences between this perspective as opposed to a consequential one.
It is argued that utilitarianism is useful for in an organisational context because it gives us an objective perspective that is not clouded by self-interest. It also encourages the decision –maker to consider all whom his or her decisions may effect. Opposing arguments suggest that as we often do not know with certainty what the future consequences of our actions will be, the value of adopting utilitarianism as an effective tool for ethical decision-making can be questioned. Construct an argument defending which of these perspectives do you agree with and why or why not?
In contrast to question 2 above, some theorists argue that deontological theories (non-consequential theories) should be the preferred option for ethical decision making in organisations as opposed to utilitarianism. Construct an argument supporting the use of deontological theories as the most preferred option for organisation ethical decision-making using appropriate theory and your personal experiences to provide evidence of your position.
There are different schools of thought about whether a corporation can be a moral agent. Further the argument is that if a non-human entity (a corporation) can enjoy certain rights then it naturally flows that it also should have certain responsibilities thus taking the view that rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. Discuss the main arguments for and against these two views and take and defend a position on which you think has the strongest case.
The complexity of today’s economy and the dependence of consumers on business increase business’s responsibility for product safety. Some consumer protection advocates argue that more regulation and legislation is needed in regard to product safety. Discuss whether you agree or disagree (using an ethical perspective) and in your answer consider the implications and likely consequences of increased regulation versus the alternative of industry self-regulation.
Do you think that consumers are adequately equipped to conduct sufficient research in order to make informed choices about the products that they buy and that are offered for sale? Are there particular groups in society for whom this option is not viable (for example those without internet access, with poor language skills and those with disabilities)? If this is the case what are the social and ethical obligations for companies in relation to this issue? What do you suggest be done and why?
Evaluate the following statement:
When people place personal information on a public domain (such as Facebook), they consent implicitly to anybody viewing that information. If that information is subsequently used in a manner that harms them, they only have themselves to blame. Employers have a right to make value judgements about their employees based upon what they post on their social media pages. Such information gives the employer an indication of whether that person is reliable, a hard worker and so on.
Do you agree with this statement? Is it morally acceptable to monitor prospective or current employees off the job behaviour using their social networking sites? Justify your answer using ethical theory.
Since consumer demand drives the production and sale of goods and services, the production of which can have a detrimental impact on the environment, do they then have a concomitant social obligation in terms of environmental responsibility? Explain your view and defend with appropriate ethical theory.
Is a company morally obliged to follow the safety guidelines of its home country (where the company is based) when the standards in the host country (where the company operates) are lower? What is the difference between moral obligation and law? In your view which should take precedence and defend your position with relevant ethical and CSR theory? How do your thoughts align with your views about CSR?
In the workplace employees have rights and responsibilities. One such right is the right for free speech. Construct an argument either for or against free speech in the workplace. Issues to consider in your argument should include (but not be limited to) the right to voice an opinion without fear of retribution and whether speech incites violence or hatred toward others should be allowed. Use ethical theory to justify your position.
Outline the steps that a research should undertake to ensure that their study is ethical and discuss the essential ethical components that any researcher would have to consider. In your answer use examples to illustrate your position.