Buisness ethics- the following homework is an individual assignment and not a group assignment.

Assessment item 2

Group activity and Written task

Value: 20%

Due date: 24-Apr-2017

Return date: 16-May-2017

Length: 2000 words

Submission method options

Alternative submission method


Question 1 (Marks 10)

800 words maximum

Complete this part of the assignment in a group of up to five students. I will allocate each of you to a group and a subforum in which to submit to your group work.

Step 1. Individually, use the information that you have learned in the first four four topics and your prior understanding of ethics to identify the five ethical values or principles that you consider will help you make the best ethical decisions for you. Describe and provide a justification for the selection of each of these five ethical values or principles in 100-150 words. Post this list with the descriptions and justifications on the group subforum. Complete this step by 31st March to ensure that you all have time to contribute to the final version of the assessment.

Step 2. Work in tutorials with the other members of the group to reach a consensus as to which five values or principles the group agrees as the most important for the group to use in ethical decision making. Information about reaching consensus can be found at this web page http://www.wikihow.com/Reach-a-Consensus.

As you work through this part of the assessment, you will also need to work on any changes needed in the justifications for your final five. You can also work on this in the tutorials. 

Step 3. Post the group’s final five ethical values or principles with the relevant description and justification for each of the five on the subforum. Make sure that you list these as the group’s final five values or principles. (5 marks)

Step 4. Write a 250-300 word reflection (5 marks) of your experience with the consensus approach. Submit your individual reflection with your answer to the 2nd question (see below) in this assessment. Information on how to write a reflection, including examples, can be found in the Resources section of the Interact site.

Question 2 (Marks 15)

1200 words maximum

Read the following mini case and the imaginary student response to that case. Write an evaluation of the response, answering the question: How effectively does the response apply act utilitarianism to the mini case? You will need to identify items that are missing from the application of act utilitarianism as well as items that should not have been included and provide reasons for the items that you have identified.

Mini case

Stephen is having trouble deciding what to do. He runs a grazing operation on the family farm with help from a day labourer, Ralph, who works on average three days a week for him. When Stephen doesn’t need Ralph on the farm, he works for some other farmers in the district. Sometimes the other farmers have no work to give Ralph and thus he is without payment for those days. Ralph has always enjoyed this flexibility; he has never wanted to be tied down as a permanent employee.

Stephen has in the past received government grants to fence off waters, put in tree lines and subdivide paddocks to improve the quality of water running into the river and the sustainability of the pasture. Undertaking this work has resulted in  ½ of the farm now surviving droughts more effectively and producing more grass with fewer weeds. Stephen would like to continue this over the rest of the farm to improve sustainability and productivity, but due to government cutbacks, the funding is no longer available. Stephen does not want to get further into debt to fund the development as he had to take a significant loan to buy the farm from his father. He can afford to purchase the material for the development if he does not have to pay Ralph. Stephen’s father, who is retired and living on the farm, is happy to help build the fences for no pay. Stephen is worried about Ralph, a man in his fifties who has worked on and off the farm for over 20 years but who would not get any work on Stephen’s farm for at least six months.


Use act utilitarianism to develop an answer for Stephen. Ensure that you cover all the essential aspects of this act utilitarianism.

Mini Case Imaginary Student Response

The stakeholders in this case are:

·         Stephen

·         Ralph

The positive outcomes for Stephen if he goes ahead with the development are that he will have a farm that will better cope with drought. The negatives are that he will worry about Ralph.

The positive outcomes for Ralph are that he will have the opportunity to work for different farmers. The negatives are that he will not have as consistent a pay packet.

Stephen is obviously concerned to act with moral worth. If he decides to undertake the development, he is acting with moral worth because it will improve the ecological sustainability of the land. If he decides to keep Ralph on as an employee, he is acting with moral worth as he is trying to prioritise Ralph’s well-being.

Another aspect to consider is whether justice is being done. Ralph did not want to be a permanent employee; he wanted the flexibility to work when and where he wanted, as a result, it is fair for Stephen to not employ Ralph.

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