M9 (Duffield)

What, if any, has been your experience with the Hawthorne effect on a job?

The Hawthorne effect in the job setting is when worker productivity increases as improvements are made to the work environment. I have experienced this effect within a job before working in food service at a restaurant. When I first started the job, the work schedule was unorganized and there was a lot of miscommunication between employees. The work environment was also messy most of the time and not being cleaned as much as it should have. The boss did not seem to have much concern for these issues at the time. Once he realized how out of hand things were getting, he decided to step in and communicate with all employees. After a staff meeting, we came up with solutions to each of these issues. A cleaning schedule was implemented and two employees took the responsibility of making the work schedule. Once these solutions were implemented, all employees became more productive and it felt like a friendly environment to work in. We all felt respected because we all voiced how we felt and changes were made immediately.


2) Describe a supervisor who was a poor supervisor (un-motivating, indecisive, uncaring, etc.) — what were their characteristics or actions that made you feel that way?

I have had a poor supervisor that seemed to take on the theory X managerial style. They had poor communicating skills with employees and when confronted about issues, the supervisor only seemed to make the situation worse. This supervisor would leave passive aggressive messages about an employee that was made available for other employees to view. The supervisor would talk negatively about past employees to current ones. When asked for help or clarification, this supervisor would expect us to know these things without asking and became frustrated when we did ask. When discussing with other employees about the situation, we all agreed that we felt fearful when the supervisor was around and that some of us have tried communicating with the supervisor, but that only seemed to anger this supervisor even more. Although this job experience was not the most positive, it taught me how to work with others under such circumstances and appreciate future bosses. I learned early on that every job will have its downfalls, but it is important to look at the positives and try to communicate in the most effective way possible.

M7 (Duffield)


This article explains the climate risks and the costs they bring to companies which has given them no choice but to make a change. Although for a long time, companies have increased their profits from treating the environment as a free good by lowering costs for consumers. The damage that has been caused to the environment is now costing them more than the profit they are making off it with natural disasters costing up to $160 billion (Kottasova, 2019). These costs are causing some companies to file for bankruptcy which is a warning to other companies to change their habits. They are pushing for things such as sustainability and becoming carbon neutral to avoid furthering the damages. Shaw mentions the questions that these companies are facing which are what responsibility they have to their consumers and how can their goods be promoted while respecting the choices of individuals (Shaw, 2017).


What obligations do we have to future generations?

Although it is difficult to base our current decisions on future generations that we are unsure of what their interests will be, we should aim to give them the same opportunities to live well as we do. As Joel Feinberg mentions, we can make an accurate guess as to what the general nature of future generations interests will be (Shaw, 2017). On one hand, it is fair to make the judgement that they would not exist without the decisions we make today, so they do not deserve a say. However, previous generations laid the foundation for us and set us up in a position to live well, so it is just as much our duty to not leave them with a completely damaged environment. Though we have a right to work hard to create things that benefit us, just not at the expense of future generations. We should not leave them with problems that we have the power to at least try to fix. Instead, we should give them the opportunity to build on the successes that we have created. Ultimately, neither generation should have to suffer, but it is unfair to leave a mess we made for our own benefit to future generations to deal with. Our obligation to future generations is to keep moving forward toward efficiency, recycling, inventing, etc. and to not purposefully seek our own benefit at their expense.


Does nature have value in itself?

William Baxter and the human-centered believe that nature does cannot have interests or beliefs and desires therefore they do not have rights or value (Shaw, 2017). However, Holmes Rolston III takes on the naturalistic ethic in which humans have a duty to respect landscapes. The value of nature is more than simple human interests, so nature can have value in and of itself, apart from human beings. The naturalistic ethic contends that we have a strong obligation to preserve species from extinction. Nature cannot defend itself in which we have the duty to preserve and protect it. There is no agreement whether nature has value that is relevant to that of humans and what the moral obligation is.


Who should pay the cost for protecting the environment — those responsible for causing the pollution or those who stand to benefit from protection and restoration. Explain your position.

I agree with the text in that it is important that we recognize that all of us contribute to the problem in some way and would benefit from making improvements (Shaw, 2017). Those responsible, both consumers and business, must pay some cost in protecting the environment with the incentive that we can all benefit in some way. Both business and consumers have benefited from treating the environment as a free good by consumers having to pay lower costs and businesses’ increase their profits. Consumers are the ones who create the demand for goods which then causes businesses to provide those goods at the expense of the environment. We all should have a fair share of paying the cost for protecting the environment with businesses paying more because they have the power and are in the position of being able to make the biggest difference. Consumers must take the responsibility of being more conscious of their habits while businesses pay the extra costs to make good environmentally friendly. Consumers have to be willing to pay more for goods with the knowledge that in return businesses are spending more as well to protect the environment. With the rising affluence, consumers should be more conscious of discarding old products that contribute to endangering the environment just to buy a good that is in new condition. Shaw mentions, “Many other companies are finding that going green not only is environmentally responsible, but also improves efficiency and saves them money, thus benefiting the bottom line.’ Ultimately, those who are responsible and those who benefit must work together to pay costs now to contribute to something that will benefit us all in the future.

Shaw, William H. Business Ethics. 9th ed, Cengage Learning, 2017

Kottasova, Ivana C. (2019). Climate is the biggest risk to business (and the world). CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/16/business/climate-change-global-risk-wef-davos/index.html

M6 (Duffield)

In 2014, Snapchat was charged by the FTC for using ambiguity and concealment of facts as forms of deception to their consumers. They were ambiguous in informing their consumers that the photos and messages sent on the app would disappear after a set time. What they failed to mention was that there were ways for recipients to save photos without informing the sender. For example, with an Apple device there is a method that one can screenshot a photo without a notification being sent to the sender. There was also a feature that allowed users to connect the app to their phone numbers to find friends but these numbers were not verified which lead to photos and messages being sent to the wrong people. This lack of security allowed hackers to track down 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers. The case between Snapchat and the FTC was settled in an agreement to be truthful with their privacy promises to consumers and be monitored by a privacy program professional for the next 20 years. This caused the FTC to be more aware and strict in ensuring that companies market their apps honestly to consumers and held mobile app companies to higher standards.


M2 (Duffield)

Kant’s ethics measure the morality of an action on good will and using the categorical imperative (Shaw, 2017). One time when I was buying groceries at Fred Meyer, the cashier did not scan an item that ended up being bagged. After reviewing my receipt in the car due to my total not sounding right and realizing I had an item with me that I did not pay for, I immediately felt the obligation to go back in and pay for it. According to Kant’s ethics, my action was moral because I acted out of duty and honesty to not take something that was not mine even though I could have placed the fault on the cashier. Using the first part of the categorical imperative, it should be universally accepted to pay for an item that is not one’s own in which I believe is the right thing to do for everyone. Following the second part, going back and paying for the item is out of respect for humanity and could be considered as treating the cashier as an end and not a means of benefiting my own self. Opponents of Kant’s ethics would argue the moral worth that one could be acting out of self-interest in receiving praise from the cashier or others for doing the right thing. They could also argue that is it not fair to claim someone is acting immoral if they happened to place the fault on the cashier rather themselves and drive away. Although Kant’s ethics are not dependent upon the results of an action, it recognizes the importance of acting out of a sense of duty.

Shaw, William H. Business Ethics. 9th ed, Cengage Learning, 2017

M1 (Duffield)

Ethics are shaped through our early upbringing, behavior of those around us, cultural standards, experiences and our response to those experiences. The text mentions that the law, religion, and ethical relativism are also sources of ethics. Parental reinforcement on what is right and wrong and acceptable and unacceptable behavior during our early upbringing lays the foundation for how we go about living our lives as we grow up. The environment and how others around us behave have an impact on what we consider ethical through the daily choices that we make. Our culture contributes to the development of our ethics of what actions we think are justifiable. What may seem wrong in one culture may be justified in another. Laws can help us to decide what is bad and good behavior. Religion provides incentives to behave ethically and guidance on what is considered ethical.

The primary sources for us to develop our ethical position are the culture or environment around us and our experiences. Culture and environment exposes us to certain standards of life and when that is what we are surrounded by every day, those ethics become instilled in us as the ethics our parents instilled in us are. Through our life experiences, we reflect and can either decide we want to change the way we handled a situation or stick to what we thought was the ethical thing to do. As we experience life and are exposed to certain environments and cultures, we develop our own set of ethics.