Cornell Ethics in America – Corporate Responsibility Programs Assignment

Assignment 1

Directions:

1. View the video at http://www.learner.org/series/ethics2/risk_reward/index.html (open in new window)

2. According to the video, if you are a board member of a corporation, who do you owe your loyalty to? Please respond to one of the following questions:

  • Is there a difference between the company, the shareholders, or to society at large?
  • As business executives, can you engage in actions that are not illegal and that might help the company but you are personally offended by on moral grounds?
  • Do you find a difference between the two or three different scenarios presented in terms of how you would react? Why?

3. Post your answer under the Discussion Board forum “Ethics in Business”

4. Reply to at least one of your classmates ( later)

Assignemnt 2

Reaction Paper II “Corporate Responsibility Programs”

Directions:

Begin working on Reaction Paper II “Corporate Responsibility Programs”

1. Do an Internet search on “corporate responsibility programs.” Here are some sources to get started. You are not restricted to these sources:

100 Best Corporate Citizens 2008 (all links will open in new window)

CRO’s Top 10 Executive Training Programs in Corporate Responsibility 2008

As You Sow: Corporate Social Responsibility

Starbucks: Corporate Social Responsibility

The Coca-Cola Company: Protecting the Environment

Merck: Corporate Responsibility

Note: To find more sources, use the Research Toolbox from your left menu bar.

2. Choose one company and be sure to include the following:

Describe a corporate responsibility

What the company thinks they gain by engaging in it?

How the employees feel about the program?

Do you think the company should be doing this program at all?

3. Write 2-3 page paper on one company. Remember that you are required to follow MLA formatting and are to use and cite both commonly accessed information (such as newspapers or websites) and scholarly resources or legal documents (such as references to state and federal laws, proposed legislation, and applicable federal or state regulations).

You must include in paper citations (if you use material from other sources and a Works Cited). See the grading criteria for detail. See the Course Calendar for due date.

Assignment 3

The United States Supreme Court recently reversed two precedents regarding the First Amendment rights of corporations. A bitterly divided Court held that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. The Court also rules in an important health insurance case dealing with the religion freedom of cooperation.

Follow the directions below to complete this assignment. I am interested in your reaction to this ruling from a legal and personal point of view. A short statement will be sufficient.

Directions:

1. Read the article by Liptak, Adam “Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit” N.Y. Times. 22 Jan. 2010. at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

2. Read HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC., ET AL v. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12a644_k53l.pdf

3. Read one commentator’s analysis there are many on these topic: Legal Analysis of the Supreme Court Ruling on Hobby Lobby-an interesting power point

4. Read both the majority decision and the decisions by those Justices who did not agree and dissented from Supreme Court’s ruling and the Dissents from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.html

5. Go to the Discussion Board forum “Corporate Freedom of Speech and Religion” and discuss the following issues:

Do you agree with the Court’s decision that corporations are entitled to the same degree of freedom of speech and religion as individuals? Why or why not.

What impact do you think this will have on elections, on community issues, or how you receive the news?

Does the possible unlimited amount of money that corporations might be able to spend in support or opposition to a candidate or cause give you any concern? Why or why not?

Do you think this will impact where employee work? Is that fair?

6. Reply to at least two of your classmates using the discussion grading criteria

Assigment 4

PART A:

Give an example of three of the six settings in which the law applies to conducting business on the internet and your personal experience with each. Did you feel you were legally protected? Were you aware of what your legal protections were?

PART B:
Read

oThe U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in City of Ontario, California V. Quonat http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1332.pdf

oThe U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in City of Ontario, California V. Quon summary athttp://www.palaborandemploymentblog.com/2010/06/articles/public-employers-1/supreme-court-issues-highly-anticipated-city-of-ontario-v-quon-decision/

oThe Article by Adam Lipkin that appeared in the New York Times athttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

o The Article by Justin Jouvenal that appeared in the Washington Post on August 9,2012, “If you hit “like”, is that Free Speech?” Front page. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/a-facebook-court-battle-is-liking-something-protected-free-speech/2012/08/08/538314fe-e179-11e1-ae7f-d2a13e249eb2_story.html

Answer the following:

What did the Court rule with regard to the California police department right to audit the text messages on a pager the city had issued a police officer.

Did the Court hold that an employee has no right to privacy in the work place?

Do you agree or disagree with the decision – why or why not?

Given the Supreme Court’s ruling in City of Ontario – what do you think of the lawsuit in VA regarding whether hitting “like” is protected free speech? How do you think the court will rule in this case?

3. Reply to at least two of your classmates using the discussion grading criteria

Assignment 5

Directions

Develop an Organizational Code of Ethics for a company you either work for , a fictional company or a known company you are interested in

1. Given the work-related attitudes and behaviors in the company you have selected :

  • Identify at least eight (8) principles, values, attitudes, behaviors, policies, etc. your organization should establish to promote ethical behavior and decision-making among its employees.
  • Explain how the Code of Ethics you propose will influence and affect your organization.

2. Sometimes corporate decisions involve more than just legal versus illegal considerations. Think of various situations in which some ethical decisions are legal and some are legal but unethical. Hence, the difficulty for business in making decisions.

  • View the video: Ethics in America II – Risk, Reward, Responsibility: Ethics in Business at http://www.learner.org/resources/series207.html. In the video, eminent leaders from government, business, science and academia debate the following hypothetical cases that are drawn from the front pages of today’s papers.
  • Consider different situations that pose challenges to you and/or your company to make hard choices and decisions, which can fall within Legal and Ethical, Legal and Unethical, Illegal and Unethical, Illegal and Ethical, and use the following matrix to record laws, values, behaviors, activities, etc. manifested in different situations. Please make these business ethical decisions! ( example provided below. Please think about your choices)

LEGAL AND ETHICAL

LEGAL AND UNETHICAL

Honesty – serving high-quality pizza

ILLEGAL AND UNETHICAL

ILLEGAL AND ETHICAL

 

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