Every company has private and confidential information that it would like to secure from being leaked to the outsiders. In most occasions, the disclosure of such information may significantly compromise the reputation and status of the company especially if it relates to critical information such as competitive strategies. In such as case, it may undermine the competitiveness of a business entity. Following the tight competition in the business world today, every enterprise has rules and regulations for their workers, and all do have to sign a confidential agreement to ensure their information remain internally. Following technological advancement in the contemporary society, a single information can reach a broad coverage within minutes hence non-disclosure agreement is essential to all companies. A comprehensive worker non-disclosure agreement will protect the firms private information and also warns the employees and the entire staff of their duty of discretion to the company.
At the beginning of every recruitment or contract in a company, an employee has to sign a confidentiality agreement. By signing this, a worker is usually informed of the importnace of confidentuality and ways to achive it during the perido of work. Therefore he/she is expected to adhere to it entirely. The employee also by participating in this act tend to acknowledge that disclosing any confidential information from the company is a breach of the employment contract, and that may lead to a serious consequence.
Luke is directed to work on a project to develop land purchased by his company ABC into an Adult Entertainment Retail Store. Owen, Lukes brother, happens to within this neighborhood, and this project is likely to bring down the property value of homes in the vicinity. The company has the plan to announce this construction within a month. Lukes brother got a good offer on his home though he is still not convinced for he believes the prices may appreciate in the coming years. In this case, Luke must keep the companys secret by not leaking this information to anyone and at the same time help the brother out. In this case, the ethical issue is ensuring that Luke keeps company confidentiality and also assist the brother out. He has to remain loyal and trustworthy to both the company and his brother. His morals and ethics are tested in this situation. To keep his work at the ABC Company, Luke has kept this information a secret until the firm announces it officially. On the other hand, he has to be honest with the brother to win his trust. Breaking the agreement with the company may render him jobless and keeping quiet may ruin his relationship with Owen.
You have four courses of action that includes: do not say anything at all until the company makes its announcement; persuade Owen to sell the home without disclosing anything to him; tell Owen about what is to happen; confront the business stakeholders to reverse its decision. Considering the first course of action, if you keep quiet until the company makes the announcement, you will probably keep your job as well as the companys secret though your brother will make a huge loss. That way you will lose your brothers trust and ruin the relationship. In the second course of action, persuading your brother to sell the home without disclosing your reasons to him may have a drastic effect on your relationship. On the third course of action, telling your brother will lead to commotion between the stakeholders and the neighbors and that way you lose your job. In as much as you will maintain the proper relationship with your brother, you will break your loyalty and trust granted to you by the company. In the fourth course of action, you can confront the stakeholders to reverse their decision following the impacts that will cause to the neighborhood. This case seems to be more considerate than the first three cases, and it may benefit all the parties if taken positively.
In solving this issue, Luke can apply utilitarianism theory and universal ethics. In ethics, utilitarianism theory explains that an action can be described as wrong or right depending on its usefulness in making all the parties involved happy. Following its simple principles, utilitarianism is believed to be the most reasonable approach. According to this theory, an action can only be right if it brings good overall. In any case, an action can only benefit one side as the other suffers then it is not ethical. Here, the basis of morality is considered as usefulness. Applying Utilitarianism would have to show benefits of telling Owen regarding the plans or not telling him about the plans would be to ABCs stakeholders. Keeping quiet with the issue will enable you to keep your job as your brother will suffer on the other end. That way trust between you and your brother will be lost entirely, and it may create enmity between your families. That is low utility since your family bond will break the pain you will have to bear for the rest of your life.
In the second course, you can persuade him to sell the home before the announcement. Being that Owen had mentioned to you his intention of selling his house before, you can try and convince him to sell his home without telling him the companys plan. You may come up with a story while chatting with Owen with the aim of driving the subject home. For instance, convincing Owen that selling the house now may be more beneficial than shortly in that anything may come up. One thing you should know is that if you mistakenly mention to Owen the companys intention of building adults entertainment store within that vicinity will not only render you jobless but also ruin everything to the enterprise. Wisdom is of the essence in this case for it the only thing that can save both your brother as well as your job. This course of action may also be work for the best interest of all parties though achieving it is very difficult. Ethically, it will be good regarding keeping the firms secret through the neighborhood will be adversely affected.
In the third case, you may choose to tell your brother what is about to happen though this will come with great consequences. Telling Owen may spread the rumors very fast causing the entire neighborhood to revolt against ABC, and the stakeholders can blame it on you. That will probably lead to you losing your job. Ethically it is not right following the non-disclosure agreement you signed while joining the company. It might ruin your reputation hence fails to get a job anywhere else. The company may as well lose its credibility due to lack of confidentiality within the staff hence affecting other employees. The good thing this course will come with is the fact that bond between you and your brother will remain stable and even the neighbors will benefit. Here, Owen will enjoy the great deal of happiness that far exceed the unequal but the opposite of your pain.
On the fourth course, confronting the stakeholders will give you pleasure because you will be able to maintain your job. Just letting the company understand the effect the project will have on the neighborhood and how much loss the people will incur. You can also explain to the how the companys image will be ruined in case the neighbors decide the other way round. By protecting your job as well as the image of the enterprise, your brother and the entire neighborhood will also find happiness at the end. The stakeholders may find it difficult revising their decision though it will be the best option of the three choices. You will keep your job, your brother and the entire neighbors also have the value of their land appreciating. The company though through difficulties will revise their option for a better future for everyone. You will also maintain the trust and loyalty to your business as well as your brother. Therefore, the third act is the best and most ethically correct choice according to utilitarianism. All the parties will have pleasure at the end of it all.
Regarding universal ethics, common principles also known as personal values are usually valid for everyone. These values apply to all humans whether religious or secular. Here, a person should act the same way he/she would expect others towards them. Here, people have the freedom to express the unpopular truth and viewpoints. Without leaning on either side but just standing for the truth as well as keeping the promise, you have to choose the best course of action. Even in this context, the best choice is confronting the stakeholders and asking them to change their decision on the project. You should not let your loyalty to profession hinder you from doing what is ethically right to the opposite side. Here, categorical imperative recognizes that revealing the secret to his brother will violate the rule of law. Persuading your brother will cover up the ill-motive of the company to the neighborhood. Keeping quiet will be safe for your work though very deceitful to your brother. Confronting the business heads and explaining everything will eventually save the day. You will not break the law and at the same time act ethically.
An ethical decision is usually hard to make when you are in a dilemma. Having two important decision to choose from is a hard duty. Here, you have to decide on what is likely to affect the people involve positively Therefore utilitarianism theory and universal ethics can be of great help when it comes to this kind of situation. In this case, the two approaches have evidently shown that confronting the stakeholders and explain the situation will be the most ethical decision. By doing so, all the parties involved will find happiness, pleasure and the truth in your decision. You will also maintain your relationship and loyalty to all.
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