Professional Ethics, Notes Week 11 Part 1
Professional Ethics, Notes Week 11 Part 1 PHI 1120, Professional Ethics
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PHI 1120, Professional Ethics
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chloe Luyet on Wednesday March 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHI 1120, Professional Ethics at Wayne State University taught by Dr. Ryan Fanselow in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see Professional Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Wayne State University.
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Date Created: 03/30/16
Reading Quiz Orlando argues that corporate downsizing harms workers Learning Objectives 1. Be able to define corporate downsizing 2. Be able to distinguish necessary and unnecessary corporate downsizing 3. Understand Orlando’s arguments against corporate downsizing 4. Understand arguments in favor of corporate downsizing I. LO #1 a. Corporate Downsizing i. practice of closing whole plants of divisions in order to increase profits ii. 2 kinds: 1. Necessary a. We’ll go out of business unless some people are let go b. EX/ cutting off a limb to save entire being 2. Unnecessary a. Letting people go will not prevent going out of business b. extremely successful way to gain profits and become increasingly popular c. losing money in the long run is NOT an argument against this cause it just keeps working d. financial and mental health effects on workers e. other businesses that depend on that business that downsized are impacted badly f. economy suffers…tax revenues decrease when workers’ incomes decrease or move elsewhere g. families suffer and crime increases/abuse h. those who aren’t cut from the company can still have pay cuts (supply of jobs decreases, but demand for jobs increases, so the workers that kept their jobs are more expendable) iii. Property Rights 1. argument in favor of corporate downsizing a. shareholders own a company b. you can do whatever you want w/ your property c. shareholders may downsize 2. EX/ You can throw your phone and break it, but if you throw it at someone else’s face, you must consider the effects on other people (Objection to premise #2) 3. Orlando objects to premise #2 also, saying that using property for profit, you cannot do whatever you want w/ it (EX/ you have a responsibility to the tenants of your apartment building) iv. Fiduciary Duties 1. argument in favor of corp. downsizing a. An executive has fiduciary duties to shareholders b. it would be a violation of these fiduciary duties to not downsize when it could benefit the company c. executives should downsize 2. you still have Prima Facia Duties to not harm your workers/ any other person a. 2 kinds of fiduciary duties: i. Protect the client from outside world 1. EX/ confidentiality for lawyers ii. Protect client from the professional 1. EX/Informed consent for doctors 3. A law requiring engineers to disclose the full costs of a project in advance is to protect clients from the professional v. Risks 1. argument in favor of corp. downsizing also a. shareholders take a risk when investing b. as compensation for that risk, they are entitled to have their interests put first over interests of others (including workers) c. therefore, one should downsize 2. Problems: employees deserve some consideration b/c they invest their time and put in work. There wouldn’t be any product OR profit for the shareholders w/o the workers 3. Workers take a risk too by having the job! a. Risks: passing up other jobs and other training opportunities; buying a house for family and having financial stability. Moving your family; switching your kids’ schools; or spouse taking a worse job (LOOKS LIKE EMPLOYEES TAKE MORE RISKS THAN SHAREHOLDERS!) vi. Contracts 1. THE argument (also in favor of corporate downsizing) a. corporations are, essentially, contracts b. workers agree to trade labor for income; shareholder retains control and receives all the profits c. the executive who refuses to downsize is tinkering w/ this contract and, thus, violating the rights or free people to abide by their agreement d. thus, executives should not refrain from downsizing 2. Orlando’s Reply: a. there’s no actual contract saying any of this b. Tacit Agreement? i. EX/ professors never sign a contract that he won’t share your grades w/ the entire class or grade based on favoritism, but there’s an understanding that those things won’t happen ii. Can be dangerous b/c you can’t invent them out of nowhere since no one is actually aware that it exists c. Shareholders trust managers to take into account their interests and they don’t really consider themselves owners (just investors) d. Employees often understand that, if they perform well, they’ll have a job for life!
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