Learning Objectives & OverviewCourse Syllabus | LH's Virtual Office

Business Ethics: Concepts & Cases: Chapter 8 Outline
The Individual in the Organization


8.1 The Rational Organization

8.2 The Employee's Obligations to the Firm

Conflicts of Interest

Employee Theft

Insider Trading

8.3 The Firm's Duties to the Employee


Working Conditions: Health and Safety

Working Conditions: Job Satisfaction

8.4 The Political Organization

8.5 Employee Rights

Right to Privacy

Freedom of Conscience


The Right to Participate and Participatory Management

The Right to Due Process versus Employment at Will

Employee Rights and Plant Closings

Unions and the Right to Organize

8.6 Organizational Politics

Political Tactics in Organizations

The Ethics of Political Tactics

8.7 The Caring Organization

Cases for Discussion

ABC News CD-ROM: The Gap's Labor Problems

Questions for Discussion

  1. In your view, should Gap have given in to the union's 1995 demand that it should hire a third-party independent group to monitor the Mandarin plants instead of relying on its own inspectors and the word of factory owners?  Should Gap have done anything more?  Explain.
  2. Is a company like Gap morally responsible for the way its suppliers treat their workers?  Why or why not?
  3. Should companies like Gap attempt to get their suppliers to pay more than the local industry standard when it is insufficient to live on?  Should they pay wages in the Third World that are equivalent to U.S. wages?  Should they provide the same levels of medical benefits that are provided in the United States?  The same levels of workplace safety?
  4. In your view, is Gap's use of the labels "Made in the USA" or "Made in Northern Mariana Islands (USA)" deceptive?  Explain.
  5. In your view, and in the light of the fact that Gap's own monitors had not reported the sweatshop conditions and unpaid overtime in its Saipan factories that these were in compliance with all applicable worker health and safety laws, was it right for Gap to settle the lawsuit?  Should Gap have settled the lawsuit?  Explain.
  6. In light of the long history of labor problems that Gap has had to contend with, what recommendation or recommendations would you make to Paul Pressler concerning what the company should now do to deal with these and future problems?  Explain how your recommendations will effectively solve these problems for Gap.
  7. In your judgment, how effective would you expect the release of the company's Social Responsibility Report 2004 to be?  From an ethical point of view, in in light of the company's responsibilities to its various stakeholders, should the report have been released?
  8. From an ethical point of view, assess Kernaghan's ending statement concerning the issue of unions.  Should Gap require unions?
  9. What other issues do you believe this case raises or what else to you think it shows?

Who Should Pay?

  1. In your judgment, and from an ethical point of view, should Turner Construction and/or B&C Steel pay for all or part of the $2,428,000 (if part, indicate which part)?  Explain your view.
  2. In your judgment, and from an ethical point of view, should Elliot be held wholly or partially responsible for his injuries and left to shoulder all or part of the $2,428,000 cost of his injuries (if part, indicate which part)?  Explain.
  3. In your judgment, is the Colorado worker's compensation law to which Turner Construction appealed fair?  Explain your view.
  4. What other issues do you believe this case raises or what else to you think it shows?

Learning Objectives & Overview | Course Syllabus | LH's Virtual Office