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Project 1: News Event


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BMGT   496 – Project 1: News Event (20%)

Purpose:  In the first assignment, you have the opportunity to see   how ethics can play out in a real-world scenario.  You will read the   case scenario and answers the questions in a narrative format. Use headings   for each question.  Headings are not the question.  You are   required to use the course material to support your reasoning and the   conclusions made. 

Outcomes   met by completing this project:

1.   identify ethical issues that arise in domestic and global business   environments using an understanding of ethical concepts and of legal and   business principles

Case   Scenario:

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic required Americans to   shelter in place thus causing the U.S. economy to freeze-up, resulting in   millions of lost jobs.  The U.S. Congress passed legislation to try and   limit the economic damage.  Included in the legislation was a stimulus   package that would give $1,200 to single tax filers making $75,000 or less   and $2,400 to married couples making $150,000 or less.  The purpose of   the payment was to give people emergency funds and to stimulate the   economy.  Also included was the CARES Act that provided the Paycheck   Protection Program (PPP).  The PPP was a program administered by the   Small Business Administration that was targeted at small business.  It   provided for a government loan that was forgivable if used to pay employees’   salaries and benefits, mortgages, rent, and utilities. According to the SBA   website, “[t]he Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to   provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the   payroll.”

USAA is a member-owned organization that provided insurance   and financial services exclusively to current and former members of the   military as well as their family members.  USAA has an excellent   reputation as a well-run organization and for giving its members good   service.  Many USAA members maintain checking accounts with it.    Some of those members who have checking accounts had overdrawn their balances   and had a negative balance in their accounts.  When the $1,200 or $2,400   stimulus check were deposited, USAA used those amounts to offset the negative   balances in some of its members’ accounts.  Members were not informed in   advance that this would be the case.  This resulted in some USAA members   not having any access to the stimulus money.  The action USAA took in   crediting the funds to existing account deficits was perfectly legal.

Shake Shack is a corporation that owns and licenses restaurants   selling traditional American fare like hamburgers and milk shakes.  It   currently operates 124 locations in the U.S. and overseas.  As of May 4,   2020, the company had a market capitalization of $2.06 billion.  The   company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.  In 2019,   Shake Shack’s CEO received $2.3 million in compensation.  Shake Shack   applied for and received a loan of $10 million under PPP.  The loan was   permissible under a provision in PPP the allows restaurant chains to apply   when each location has fewer than 500 employees.  Shortly after Shake   Shack received the loan, the PPP ran out of funds and many small businesses   did not receive loans.

Small Business Administration. (2020) Retrieved from

How   to Set Up the Paper

Create   a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is double-spaced, 12-point   font.  The final product will be between 5 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page.  Write clearly and   concisely.

Create   a title page with a title, the course number and section, the instructor’s name and your name. 


Course   Material

For   this project, you are required to use the case scenario facts and the course   material.   External sources are not permitted.    You are not researching on the Internet or using resources from outside the   course.  You are expected to answer the requirements identified below   showing the connection between the case scenario facts and the course   material.   Using course material goes beyond defining terms and   are used to explain the ‘why and how’ of a situation.  Avoid merely   making statements but close the loop of the discussion by explaining how something   happens or why something happens, which focuses on   importance and impact.  In closing the loop, you will demonstrate the   ability to think clearly and rationally showing an understanding of the   logical connections between the ideas presented in a case scenario, the   course material and the question(s) being asked.  Using one or two   in-text citations from the course material throughout the entire paper will   not earn many points on an assignment.  The use of a variety of course   material is expected consistently supporting what is presented.  The   support must be relevant and applicable to the topic being discussed.    Points are not earned for mentioning a term or concept but by clearly and   thoroughly explaining or discussing the question at hand.

NOTE: If external sources are used, what is presented will not   count and a penalty for following instruction will apply.

Project   Requirements


· Write an   Introduction paragraph. The Introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of the paper and will be used to describe to the reader the intent of the paper explaining the main points covered in the paper.    This intent should be understood prior to reading the remainder of the paper so the reader knows exactly what is being covered in the paper.

· Consider writing the introduction last to ensure that all of the main points are covered.

Ethical   Issue(s)

·  Identify   and discuss the ethical issue(s) related to USAA and Shake Shack

Stakeholders   Implications

· Identify the stakeholders involved in the actions of both companies.

· Discuss the potential implications of the company’s actions on each stakeholder or stakeholder group.  Give examples.

Kantian   Viewpoint

· Explain how Kant would view the actions of both USAA and Shake Shack.

Utilitarianism   Viewpoint

· Explain how a utilitarian would view USAA and Shake Shack’s actions.

Recommended   Actions

· Regardless of what these companies actually did, recommend the actions that you think they ethically should take.  There is no right or wrong action, but rather it is about supporting the actions you choose from your ethical arguments.


· Write a   concluding paragraph that is brief and summarizes the main points.    Provide specific information related to the major topics discussed in the paper. 

Bottom of Form

The Business Ethics Workshop (2012) Washington, DC: The Saylor Foundation

Chapter 1: What Is Business Ethics? (pages 4-32)

· Ethical Issues, Ethical Dilemmas, & Legal Issues

· Corporate culture: The second ingredient in a world-class ethics and compliance program

The Business Ethics Workshop (2012) Washington, DC: The Saylor Foundation

· Chapter 3: Theories of Consequence Ethics: Traditional Tools for Making Decisions in Business When the Ends Justify the Means (pages 91-125)

· Utilitarianism

The Business Ethics Workshop (2012) Washington, DC: The Saylor Foundation

· Chapter 4: Theories Responding to the Challenge of Cultural Relativism (pages 137-176)

· Aristotle & Virtue Theory

· Kantian Ethics in a Nutshell: The Moral Philosophy of Immanuel Kant

The Business Ethics Workshop (2012) Washington, DC: The Saylor Foundation

· Chapter 7: Employee’s Ethics: Making the Best of the Job You Have as You Get from 9 to 5

· Chapter 8: Manager’s Ethics: Getting, Promoting, and Firing Workers

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