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The Case of Sole Remaining Supplier

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Ethics is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality and it is the very important subject for all people. There are two levels of ethics; theoretical and applied ethics. Business ethics is one of the important branches of the applied ethics. In this paper, I will try to discuss some of the major ethical philosophies that are applied to business ethics such as teleological ethics, utilitarianism, egoism, deontological ethics etc. These ethical philosophies have their positive and negative sides. The aim of this study is to expose which ethical approach is appropriated in business. Individual and situational factors are very effective on ethical decision-making in business. Therefore, it can be concluded that ethics in business is very complicated. In the story of the Sole Remaining Supplier, a company who supplied pacemaker equipment was debating on whether or not they should continue due to numerous ethical issues. The company, also the sole remaining suppliers, felt that they should discontinue selling equipment because if the product stopped working, it could lead to major lawsuits and they did not want to deal with these ethical issues.

Though we live in a fast-paced ever-changing world today, we all still retain in us, an image of what an ethical community, an ethical society, or an ethical business should look like. We are all responsible in all levels of our society to act ethically as individuals and also as a community for the well being of all. "The Case of the Sole Remaining Supplier" exemplifies one of many such cases in business that puts board executives in a risky position of making ethical decisions that could make or break lives of those who are at stake. In this case, the board executives deliberate on what is more important, helping those whose lives heavily depended on the company's supply of transistors or saving the company from an impending major financial loss.

In the real world of business, sound judgment dictates against putting oneself in a position of producing and supplying a product where the risk of a lawsuit dwarfs financial reward. The question here is: should the company think purely with short-term perspective or think of the bigger picture, where the long-term benefit outweighs the short-term financial risk? Based on my values and ethical reasoning, I will say that the company should choose the one that would benefit most of the stakeholders (consumers, pacemaker company, cardiologists, and the transistor company), though it may come at some short-term financial risk to the company. In other words, this company should be taking the Utilitarianism approach since this case perfectly ties into it; using this approach, I would say that the company should decide to continue selling the transistors to the pacemaker company. I believe this would provide the greatest balance of goods/benefits over harm(s). In this paper, I



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