Case Study Analysis: Personal and Organizational Ethics and Values Angela Haven PHI 445 Personal and Organizational Ethics Safiyyah Al-Amin September 30, 2012 Case Study Analysis: Personal and Organizational Ethics and Values In this scenario, I play an ethnographic researcher that is writing a case study for a popular organizational behavior research journal. My purpose is to identify key problems related to business ethics in a Not-for-Profit and For-Profit organization. My personal perspective will also be discussed as I seek to analyze the ethical perspectives of all three entities.
The Star of Hope Mission is the not-for-profit and Best Buy is the for-profit. I will be drawing comparison from the business ethics of each organization and sharing how each perspective aligns with my own. The purpose of this case study analysis is to do just that by drawing comparisons across an array of social conditions. STAR OF HOPE MISSION Background- Began in 1907, by Reverend Dennis R. Pevoto and Evangelist Mordecai Ham, the Star of Hope has been a beacon for those seeking shelter in their time of need.
It was the first shelter for the homeless in Houston, Texas. It has had to relocate several times in its history, but has always remained in the heart of the city. As the times passed, homelessness broadened its scope and the organization rose up to meet the rising need to shelter women and children. Today the Star of Hope offers an honorable selection of services to aid this growing population. The Star of Hope provides shelter, food, day care services, healthcare, education, employment, and substance abuse recovery and life skills management.
All this is made possible by public and private donations, the United Way, churches, civic and community groups, corporations, grants and foundations. The Star of Hope is a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women, and children. The obstacles that face this organization funding and the increased number of homeless persons is the city of Houston. More women and children are homeless now than ever before. The most recent factors have been the masses of unemployed people een unable to maintain their subsistence. Subsistence means the minimum (as of food and shelter) necessary to support life (http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/subsistence). This means the mission has to do more to provide for the people it shelters. Even though in some cases the homeless person is responsible for their situation, today the most likely culprit is the economy and the increase in unemployed people. There is no cure all for homelessness. What could do some good, especially when children are concerned, is prevention aid.
Something along the lines of offering assistance to those on the brink of homelessness; whether is job assistance or a monetary donation or both. The organization already offers many programs, but I believe if they offered services that were aimed toward prevention rather than wait for the homeless to come to them, they could be more effective in their mission. This means that more contributions would be needed to fund such an endeavor. While my solution sounds like a viable option, there are obstacles that are sure to block or strain its impact. More personnel or volunteers would be needed.
A system or a process would have to be developed to stipulate terms of eligibility. The Mission would also have to seek funding for this endeavor. Currently, it is funded by grants and donations. The organization would then need a way of verify claims and verifying that once help is given it is used for the purpose in which it was given to prevent misuse and abuse of the organization. BEST BUY Background-Best Buy Co. , Inc. was founded in 1966. When it opened it was called Sound of Music. The company had great success with its blowout sales called Best Buys, so in 1983 the company adopted its new moniker.
Founder Richard Schultze, until recently, served on the board of directors. Best Buy, now struggling to stay afloat, is a purveyor of a wide range of electronic devices and home and office appliances. Currently, it has over 1,000 stores in operation. Under attack from recent scandals and plummeting revenues, the store is in need of an overhaul. There has been some discourse in management that led to the CEO stepping down and the founder vacating his seat on the board of directors. Both of these occurrence stem from the same incident. This is one of its main issues.
The first problem existed because the former CEO and the founder both acted unethically. The CEO acted unethically when he carried on an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. This relationship was said to be the cause of some stress in the work environment. The founder of the company knew of the relationship and did not take the appropriate steps the situation called for. These positions are now filled by new members, who hopefully will be more company minded. The second issue this company faces is decreasing profits. In this current market, people are using the plethora of stores as a showroom.
A place to see the product up close, find out all of its capabilities and then they go purchases from an online store, like Amazon. com. This is an issue because often times it is cheaper to buy from an online vendor. The stores showroom effect exists because people want to see what they will be getting. They want to experience the product up close before they spend their money. The problems this company is facing are not uncommon. I would say the company is responsible for its own situation, of that I am most certain. The chain was too large and it failed to keep up with the trends of the current market.
In its quest to be the biggest chain, it failed to be the best. It failed to stay competitive. To compete I think overhead must be cut. This is where there plan for restructuring would come in. They should eliminate departments that have been struggling the most; such as their large appliances (refrigerators, washer and dryers, etc. ) and tech services. Retraining of staff, as far as product knowledge and customer service is concerned, should also be on their to-do list. I have been to one of these stores and customer service and store cleanliness is not their strong suit.
Unlike the not-for-profit organization, the for-profit organization is fully capable of implementing my solutions. It has the money and man power to bring about a more profitable change for its self. Also unlike the not-for-profit organization, Best Buy doesn’t need more people or more stores, it needs to restructure its stores and practices to use make better use of the resources it has. TYING IT ALL TOGETHER What unites these two organizations and how does my perspective fit in? What sets them apart and how does my perspective fit in with that? What links these two organizations?
They do not have any common factors. So what could the link be? I would say their ethical perspective could be the same in some way. Let’s explore these questions. The Star of Hope Mission has a utilitarian approach at first glance. Their mission to aid the city’s homeless population speaks to the utilitarianism’s famous motto that we should seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people (Fieser, J. & Moseley, A. (2012). But really, at what cost, does their help come at? Since the organization is faith-based, the cost of aid and shelter to a homeless person is usually mandatory religious activity.
It could be in the form of a church service where there is a sermon preached or in the form of a bible study. It is in this vein that the Star of Hope Mission shows its second ethical perspective; psychological egoism. Psychological egoism is defined as the theory that human conduct is selfishly motivated and we cannot perform actions from any other motive (Fieser, J. & Moseley, A. (2012). In order to receive assistance the person must abide by the mission’s rules. Christianity or any other religion should be entered into willingly. It is not something to be forced onto anyone.
The organization shows its motivation here. It uses its resources as a way to promote Christianity to the homeless. From my ethical perspective, The Star of Hope mission seems cult-like and manipulative. My primary ethical perspectives include, but are not limited to: being honest and upfront, doing what I say I will do and lending a helping hand whenever possible. I would have thought that my perspectives and that of the organization is question would align perfectly. While I would give freely to those who needed a helping hand, they do so conditionally as oppose to unconditionally.
They are not operating on “Because it’s the right thing to do”. Best Buy’s ethics have come into question recently. They have had to hire a new CEO to replace to old one who had become bogged down in a scandal of his own creation. The ethical perspective of psychological egoism was exhibited by the former CEO. His conduct and that of the founder and former board member violated the company’s code of ethics. As for the company, its ethical perspective is the same. Economist Milton Friedman says that corporate responsibility is guided by the law, not society.
Their responsibility is really to themselves and their shareholders, not the general public; as long as the laws are not broken in their quest to increase their profits. They should, however, have to function by the same code of morality. Not doing so, would hurt them in the public eye. I believe the company’s lack of accountability and lack of creative thinking in the past has landed them in the situation they are in now. Groupthink refers to the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility (Fieser, J. amp; Moseley, A. (2012 ). This concept forgoes free thinking in order to come to a decision by the group. This concept I think kept the company locked into old and outdated practices and allowed for the loss of countless dollars in revenue. The company may have also been suffering from organizational schizophrenia. Organizational schizophrenia is when tension exists between competing goals or values within a corporation (Fieser, J. & Moseley, A. (2012). There can’t be a cohesive goal for which the companies set out to reach if there is no consensus on the company’s direction.
This threat means confusion and waste for the company. When you want to make money in the retail business, your customer service should be exceptional. This is not the case with these stores. Where does the ethical perspective of Best Buy fit in with my own perspective? This company’s exhibited ethics does not fit into mine. I believe they could alter their perspective to give themselves a chance in the future. Their exhibited behavior has shown how behind the times they are and how far they really have to go to get back to where they were in 2008 or 2009.
These two organizations are leaders in their particular markets. Each has an ethical perspective that leans toward psychological egoism. This perspective differs greatly from my own perspective. The purpose of this case study analysis is to do just that by drawing comparisons across an array of social conditions. I believe that purpose has been achieved. References Best Buy. (n. d. ). Retrieved October 1, 2012, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Best_Buy Fieser, J. & Moseley, A. (2012). Introduction to business ethics. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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