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Theme One: Decision Making Theories


Continue to refine your understanding of the relationship between
ethics and the law. Your first learning activity will require that you
respond in writing to the following scenario:

Learning Activity #1

You are the CEO of a business that employs 25 employees and owns and
operates a clothing design company, which uses locally sourced and
organic cotton material, hand-sews its clothes, uses artisans in the
community, pays a fair wage (with “benefits”), and is attempting to
revitalize the clothing industry in the South. Your biggest challenges
consist of trying to keep your prices down, while purchasing
locally-sourced organic material which is hand-sewn by American workers,
while other companies have out-sourced their supply chain and
manufacturing to 3rd world countries at a fraction of the cost. In
addition, your open source approach to patterns and techniques mean that
other companies have access to your designs, which they can manufacture
much more cheaply either using machines or using workers in 3rd world
countries. Your primary value lies in your integrity, devotion to local
sourcing and paying a fair wage to the local artisans you are committed
to using for the production of your clothing line each year.

You have decided that a code of ethics is required in your company.
What should it look like? To be workable, it should probably be clear,
succinct and easy to understand. But how will you approach it? Will it
be aspirational (containing statements of values aimed at or good
things to do) or regulatory (statements of rules and prohibition, i.e.
“You may not ______”)? How will you provide for feedback or
enforcement? What good do you hope to accomplish with this code of

Draft a code of ethics that you think will work;

When I say “draft” – I mean that you should write this, after thinking through the ethical approaches we’re studying. Please
do not consult the internet, other corporate ethical codes as examples,
or any other how-to guides beyond the course materials
. This
exercise is meant to get you to think through how the ethical theories
might actually apply in practice, as well as for you to experience the
shortcomings of each approach.

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