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Ethical dilemma refers to a scenario in which the principles that guide morality cannot determine whether a course of action is wrong or right. An action that is taken to avert one problem in most cases results in another problem of a differing intensity. Ethics do not always equate to law since what is ethical may not be lawful and vice versa.
Categories of Ethical Dilemmas
Tenron Inc is faced with indecisiveness which can be grouped into various categories as revealed by the case. The dilemma that the Tenron Inc. Company faces is to decide whether to keep the transportation division and continue sustaining losses on the sale of gas, or to stop taking gas and risk loosing part of the company assets or to sell the transportation division and let the buyer face the gas suppliers. Selling the division to another buyer poses the moral ethical dilemma on the action of the gas suppliers on the new buyer. In this case, balancing the ethical dilemma is hard since whichever direction the company takes it is bound to make losses. This is regardless of the fact that the company has a moral responsibility of selling the division to another buyer which would be a right action. However, the Tenron is faced with a conflict as far as making decision concerning such issue is concerned. The managers of the company face business and professional dilemmas. They have to choose between remaining with the transport division for other uses other than the sale of gas or selling the transport company and outsourcing transport services. This is because a sudden withdrawal of a division within the company will most probably impact on the other divisions with which it was intertwined.
Examination of the Dilemmas
The Blanchard and Peale perspective of examining a ethical dilemma proposes that the manager should ask three vital questions when resolving ethical dilemmas in business. These are its legality, how it makes the manager feel and how balanced it is. Where the answer is no and/or bad for any of the questions, the manager should consider reexamining his/her resolutions.
Additionally, from Laura Nash perspective the manager should ask himself/herself the impact of the actions to the other involved parties. He/she should think of what his/her take would be if he were the recipient of the actions that have been implemented. In the context of the Tenron Company Inc., the managers should consider the impact of their sale of the transportation division on the other divisions. They should also consider the impact of the sale on the new buyer of the transportation division in terms of costs and ethics.
Rationalizations of the Ethical Dilemma Facing Tenrin Inc Company
Rationalizations result when a proper analysis of the dilemmas is not carried out. The rationalization used by Tenron Inc Company is to the effect that their actions will not cause harm to anyone. The argument is that even if the gas suppliers do not change their contract terms, the new buyer stands a chance of being cushioned from the effects of economic loss and be declared bankrupt by a legal authority. They thus think that by selling the transportation division, they prevent economic losses that accrue from the sale of cheap gas thereby preventing the actions of the sellers of gas.
Models of Ethical Dilemmas Resolution
A technique that is applied in most ethical dilemmas resolution is of the belief that a manager should do unto others whatever he would want done to him/her. In essence, the manager ought to be concerned of how the same scenario would look to him/her. Consideration of other parties is therefore paramount in resolving ethical dilemmas.
The Wall Street Journal model asks three critical questions which the managers must answer before they proceed to implement their resolutions. The questions include the contribution, the compliance and the consequences of a resolution. First, the managers must ensure that the resolution complies with the reigning laws. Secondly, there is need for thorough evaluation of the contributions of the resolutions to other concerned parties. Finally, the managers should know the consequences of the resolution in terms of money and reputation of the company.
The Tenron Company Inc. case gives room for utilitarian kind of thinking since whichever way decision is made; the company must incur losses. The only consolation is looking at where the loss is insignificant or of a low magnitude. Utilitarian thinking provides ground for making decisions based on the number of effects whether positive or negative. From the utilitarian point of view, it would be far much better to sell the transportation unit than to keep and sell other more valuable assets. In addition, it would be better to sell the transport company than to be sued for a section that does not bring profit to the company at large.
The buyers of the transportation division would in addition have the chance to appeal the course of action that the gas providers would take against him/her by filing a law suit against them. This is not the same case with Tenron Company. Failure of the gas suppliers to change their contract terms would however result in bankruptcy on the buyer’s side.
In conclusion, a resolution to ethical dilemmas should be reached after a thorough analysis of the impacts of various decisions. This should not only be based on the evaluator’s gains, but also on the impact such decision exert to the environment and the people in the surrounding. The impact on the final recipients of the decision should also be considered.