"Ethics in the News" - Subgroups 1 & 3 (Mondays)

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Ethics in the News - Blog Entry (Subgroup 3)

Post  lpeale15 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:50 pm

The latest ethics news, which involves now former CIA Director David Petraus, is a very interesting case because it ironically reveals what may be considered by some as several ethics violations in the process of exposing one person's (Mr. Petraus') ethics failure. If you have not yet read/heard, Mr. Petraus just announced his resignation due to the discovery of his extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. In addition, classified documents were discovered on Ms. Broadwell's computer. Some who are criticizing the handling of the case say that those 'in the know' did not alert proper officials in a timely fashion, since the link between Petraus and Broadwell was actually discovered back in May. An FBI employee misused their access to the information by sending a tip to a Representative of congress. These issues all relate to the ethical shadow described in chapter one of our text which discusses 'The Shadow of Mismanaged Information.' Moreover, some say that Petraus should have resigned not because of the affair but because he set a poor example as a leader (Shadow of Irresponsibility discussed in our text). As an aside, I found it ironic that this whole case appears to have begun as a result of Broadwell emailing a woman seemingly to question her about a possible affair with Petraus. (Source: Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2012)

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"Ethics in the News" - Subgroups 1 & 3 (Mondays)

Post  mark.pelsozy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:28 am

Subgroups 1 and 3, please post your ethics news blogs in this thread. Thanks!

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Secular Ethical Leadership

Post  tbowen14 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:49 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/presidential-election-what-the-dalai-lama-can-teach-obama-romney-about-leadership/2012/11/05/01d9f850-2780-11e2-b4f2-8320a9f00869_story.html

The recent article by Losang Tendrol from the Washington Post entitled Presidential election: What the Dalai Lama can teach Obama, Romney about leadership examines the recent US presidential elections as well as the current global political climate thorugh the lense of ethical leadership from the perspective of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama stresses the need for leaders with strong guiding moral values. Similar to the textbook, the article stresses the importance of
alturism. Fruther, it stresses the importance of justice as fairness. Some Americans argue that Obama has not been aggressive enough but it is important to recognize the true leaders work for the common good. The Dalai Lama stresses the motives behind a good, ethical leader similar to Krant's Categorical Imperative. He also discussed the relevance of recognizing the interconnectedness between all humans and the need for the President to lead the country through servant leadership. In a time of bad leadership characterized by evil and corruption, the Dalai Lama urges people to elect leaders based on their inner values as they are the guiding principles behing their leadership styles. (6)

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Israel - Gaza Conflict

Post  ndomonkos15 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:26 pm

The most recent events involving Israel and Hamas have obviously been a hot topic in the news as the two sides continue to clash with Israel still on the verge of invasion. This conflict has many layers and unless you have lived in a bubble your entire life everyone is somehow aware that there has always been tension in the region. It is easy to say that these two neighbors could benefit from taking an altruistic or even a utilitarian approach to their conflict. However, their extreme differences have hindered them to even attempt to intervene skillfully as they always seem to turn to a forcing approach to conflict. If one of the two sides were to take a pacesetting approach and reach across the table, inspire a shared vision and compromise they may be able to come to terms. However, they would both be required to make considerable concessions and that is something I would likely bet against. Ultimately, both sides view the other as evil and as our book discusses the only real way to combat evil is through forgiveness, otherwise you head down a road of retribution and the conflict will never likely deescalate.

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The Reason Ethic’s is Not Easy

Post  Jayhall81 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:47 pm

In the news today I read an article about how Israel is poised to invade the Gaza Strip with ground troops. The article points out that in 2008 the UN found Israel guilty of war crimes, reasons they should not invade, and the ongoing dispute with Palestine. There are all sorts of ethical issues at play here between Israel, Palestine, the UN and the US. The most interesting is how in each players mind they are making a correct moral decision. The US could get involved and cite utilitarian reasons as they did with the War on Terror. Israel and Palestine both believe they have a right to the Gaza strip and the actions they are taking are justified. Do Deontological ethics apply here? Both could be making the decisions to fire on each other with no guilt, and I’m sure there beliefs have been imprinted in their conscience since birth. So even if I know as a US outsider that bombing civilians is not moral, but Israel and Palestine believe it’s in their best interest, how do you settle that ethical dilemma? Fat chance at convincing either one they are wrong. As the globe shrinks due to technology and the ability to travel to faraway places easily, and cultures divergence into one another making ethical and moral decisions becomes a real challenge. I suppose this is where supportive communication techniques are invaluable.

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Market Manipulation

Post  lpeale15 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:33 am

There is an article in today's WSJ regarding alleged manipulation of energy markets entitled "Clashes Coming On Energy Trades." FERC has a fraud case against Deutsche Bank AG for allegedly manipulating electricity markets. FERC has cases against other several other financial firms but if they succeed against Deutsche Bank they can assign significantly larger fines to future cases. What is interesting about this article from an ethical perspective is that Deutsche would rather take the much more expensive route of fighting the case than paying the current fine, not because of ethical fading (truly believing they've done nothing wrong) but to try to prevent FERC from having the ability to charge heftier fines in the future. This mindset to me suggests a possible intent to repeat the alleged offense which points to a lack of moral sensitivity (recognition) and a shadow of mismanaged information. Also, the saying goes 'where there's smoke there's fire;' so if Deutsche's leadership condones trading practices that are questionable at best, they are unfortunately casting a shadow of irresponsibility upon the bank. The FERC must continue to be authoritative to discourage these types of ethics violations. (5)

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College football ethics

Post  Kyra.Pritchard on Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:53 am

Recently on the news, there has been much discussion around the ATTRIBUTES OF TOXIC LEADERSHIP and UTILITARIANISM around two specific Big Ten football programs. Obviously football in the NCAA is a highly profitable business. However, the POSITIONAL LEADERSHIP and the tendencies to WITHDRAW from ENCOUNTER STRESS do not always leave the programs in the place where they need to be to succeed. Ohio State is having a fantastic season, and yet is not able to realize the CONTINGENT REWARD that is the BCS bowl games due to ENGAGING IN UNETHICAL ACTS. Also, a year after the scandal at Penn State, there is continued talk around IGNORING CORRUPTION and VIOLATING HUMAN RIGHTS. Who would have ever thought college football would become so tainted in these times?

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Don't Shoot the Messenger

Post  lpeale15 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:58 pm

There is an article in today's WSJ (Opinion - Where Are The Criminals?) about the Obama Administrtion's lack of success at utilizing the coercive side of their leadership to prosecute financial professionals as relates to the financial crisis. Edward Steffelin was one person named and prosecuted for allegedly casting a shadow of mismanaged information by withholding knowledge of a hedge fund both choosing and shorting some of the mortgages that comprised the synthetic CDO Steffelin had created. Steffelin denies that the hedge fund had such a role and says he properly explained the structure of the CDO to JP Morgan who was responsible for explaining to investors. What's interesting about these types of cases is the seeming expectation that those who lack moral sensitivity (by consistently say they've done nothing wrong; not to say that Steffelin in particular is indeed guilty) will somehow demonstrate moral character at some point in the process by acknowledging wrongdoing. I also believe that there are some investors who were unethical and greedy in their desire to profit to the point of making riskier and riskier bets and when they loss money blamed the financial professional. However, I do agree that those who did indeed cast ethical shadows should be held responsible for leaving followers worse off. (5)
-LP

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Re: "Ethics in the News" - Subgroups 1 & 3 (Mondays)

Post  ndomonkos15 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:17 pm

The recent fire in Bangladesh is a perfect example or lack thereof ethical leadership on many levels. First an foremost Kellerman's bad leadership is all over this atrocity from Wal-Mart who is trying to pawn off the fact that they were not doing business with factory and the supplier is at fault is near evil because it's apparent that regardless of what they may or may not have said about that factory they indirectly set the tone for how business is done in Bangladesh and other countries. Wal-mart wants everything cheap but doesn't want companies to cut corners, I have heard horror stories of how Wal-Mart bullies companies and is insular in it's dealings. Next in general the American public is somewhat to blame due to incompetence. No one wants to work for minimum wage but they want jobs to stay here in the US and at the same time everyone wants cheap stuff. Well talk about having your cake and eating it! The management of the company was rigid and callous due to the fact that they downplayed the alarm and told people to get back to work! Lastly, the government of Bangladesh seems somewhat corrupt. I cannot be certain of this but it sounds like there is little to no accountability for fire safety and they even tried to blame outsiders for setting the blaze because of sabotage. Which even if it was, still doesn't alleviate the blame for lack of safety measures as described by the fire chief as the reason the fire was so devastating. Basically, it sounds like everyone is doing damage control and identifying scapegoats as opposed to getting on the balcony and identifying why...

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toxic leader

Post  Kyra.Pritchard on Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:36 pm

There is some TOXIC LEADERSHIP in the Salvation Army organization in Canada. It was reported today that the executive director of the Toronto warehouse has been fired, due to the suspected involvement of stealing over 2 million dollars worth of donations. Clearly, this is not properly MODELING THE WAY and he was not a very TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER. Additionally, he LEFT FOLLOWERS WORSE OFF and ENGAGED IN UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR. Salvation Army is one of the most recognized charities in the world, and the Toronto division is now disgraced due to a poor and toxic leader.

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Stealing Company Secrets

Post  Jayhall81 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:49 pm

Read a great article relating to ethics about how the company Dyson is accusing Bosch of paying Chinese electrical engineers to steal secret designs. This is an obvious ethical issue and I think it goes right to the core of leadership. I doubt there is a rogue employee at Bosch since it involves paying companies off. This shows corrupt leadership as well as a lack of follower’s responsibilities to blow the whistle on these type of practices within Bosch. I think some transformational leadership is needed at the company to change the way they do business. This could have obviously been avoided if Nash 12 questions were applied when deciding to take this course of action. (5)

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Codes to Promote Ethical Leadership

Post  tbowen14 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:50 am

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c4b57092-2812-11e2-ac7f-00144feabdc0.html This article entitled “Ethics and Integrity in Governance” written by John Plender of the Financial Times discusses celebration, or lack thereof, of the 20th anniversary of the UK Governance Code. The code was designed to outlines standards for corporate boardroom leadership and effective governance practices. Yet many argue that the anniversary of the code is not worth celebrating because it has not prevented evil or corrupt leadership as evident by recent corporate scandals. The author argues, however, that there is no observable way to measure justice as fairness or good leadership. He goes on to argue that the code serves as a means to promote altruism, utilitarianism and communitarianism. (6)

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Fiscal Cliff

Post  Jayhall81 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:22 pm

A lot in the news about the fiscal cliff and the posturing that seems to be going on between democrats and republicans. I obviously don’t know what the answer is but it doesn’t feel like they have any ones best interest in mind except themselves. This issue has a pretty utilitarian feel because there are going to be “winners” and ‘losers”. I would like to see some transformational leadership from Boehner or Obama but it doesn’t feel like it’s coming anytime soon. Inspirational motivation is much needed, but somehow toxic leadership seems to be happening. It seems both sides are rigid and not looking to compromise and insular. Hopefully they get this together soon and avoid the cliff.

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Walmart your mortgagor?

Post  Kyra.Pritchard on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:06 am

I read an article today about how Walmart may be offering home mortgages. After the recession that started in 2008, there is potential for TOXIC LEADERSHIP in IDENTIFYING SCAPEGOATS in order to make a quick buck. Now that the housing market has started to come around, more companies are trying to get involved. Walmart needs to have AWARENESS with what went wrong before so that they can take ACTION to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Hopefully POSITIONAL POWER of the executives will lead the company in the right direction to DETERMINE ALTERNATIVES to what was done before and create an action plan.

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Re: "Ethics in the News" - Subgroups 1 & 3 (Mondays)

Post  ndomonkos15 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:37 am

Yesterday Bob Costas took a pacesetting approach to discuss the topic of gun control laws when commenting on the tragic murder-homicide case of Jovan Belcher that occurred this past weekend. While his method may be viewed as utilitarian it may fall into Kant's categorical imperative because the cost of attacking something so controversial, especially in the context of a halftime show, may be devastating. The fact that he used a change approach given the context of a football game he undoubtedly took on the courage to challenge what he feels is destructive in society. In reality I think he may have benefited from running through Nash's 12 Actions prior to taking on this topic during a halftime show.

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Troubles of Passive Leadership

Post  tbowen14 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:41 am

There was an article by opinion writer Dana Milbank in the Washington Post today (December 3, 2012) entitled The Open-and-Shut Administration (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-open-and-shut-administration/2012/12/03/0fe12754-3d9f-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html) that discusses the lack of effective leadership by President Obama and the executive branch. Specifically, Milbank argues that the President has not been very congruent. She points out that the President promised to be an authentic leader that serves as a change agent by inspiring a shared vision. Yet although the President was very inspirational during the campaign season, the author argues, that the President lacks influence and is not very convicted in his beliefs. Milbank accuses the Present of approaching conflict through avoidance and accommodating rather than the forcing approach that she expects. ( 8 )

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Mutual Antagonism

Post  lpeale15 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:29 am

Today's WSJ (Egypt Court Delays Contest Ruling) contains an article regarding protesters gathering at the supreme court to interrupt ruling on the panel that was formed to write up a draft constitution. While protestors believe the constitution created by the majority Islamic panel violates human rights and, consequently, leaves followers worse off, Islamist supporters believe the protestors are made up mostly of toxic leaders. Since both sides are questioning the ethical behavior of the other, it will be tough to get passed the personal differences and mutual antagonism in order to reach a place of compromise. (5)

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x's and o's

Post  Kyra.Pritchard on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:57 pm

There was an interview video clip that I watched today that discussed the ever increasing presence of "x's and o's" in formal emails. The POSITIONAL LEADERS' MORAL REASONING might be questioned when it comes to using this sign-off formally, as it diminishes LEGITIMACY. One of the speakers even notated that a senior executive in the EPA signed legal documents with this sign off. Clearly, the PERSONAL CHARISMA is present here, otherwise the EXPERTISE may be questioned as well.

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Re: "Ethics in the News" - Subgroups 1 & 3 (Mondays)

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