1. What are the ethical issues or concerns in this Energy Cooperative Case study?
The main ethical issue seems to be related to the last paragraph and whether or not the board of directors can use their position on the board of the Energy Cooperative for personal gains by stating "I am calling as director of the Energy Cooperative" -the board of directors are self employed consultants with no allegiance (duty) to any particular company. Each director signed something to this effect.
Therefore, the ethical issue is: Is this a conflict of interest, where the board of directors would be using their positions for personal gains? Or, since they have signed a statement to the effect that they ...view middle of the document...
e. treat all persons (or moral agents) as having intrinsic worth and never treat persons as having only extrinsic worth, and the universality version, i.e. act according to rules that can become rules adopted by all people. Some writers view the universality version as a more sophisticated version of the Golden Rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (https://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/fcsc4112/Ethics.htm)
In other word, Kantian Theory provides general guidelines for actions in conflict of interest cases. People who aspire to moral goodness have to develop a strong respect for principle so they can stand firm against emotional temptations to use or abuse their stations for privileges for personal gains.(Code, 1991, http://books.google.ca/books?id=SWISMrtUSq4C&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=conflict+of+interest+kantian&source=bl&ots=3F00YqDVAU&sig=CxtQ6y14FaMSPsktK8L5TrDSlPg&hl=en&ei=2N1HStC0EY7IMOrZoawC&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1).
Therefore, based on Kant's categorical imperative, it is wrong to use a personal station as a board member to increase clients in personal business. That is, since it is the broad members 'duty' to act in the best interest of the company, they would not use the company to advance self-interest.
3. How can this be resolved applying MILL's Theory of Utilitarianism?
Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." (http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utilitarianism/summary.html)
In other words, if the actions by the board of directors are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, then it is the right solution. Conversely, it is wrong to state," I am calling as director of the Energy Cooperative" when calling their personal potential clients, because it produces the opposite of happiness e..g organization.
4. How can this be resolved applying the theory of RIGHT's based of ethical decision making?
Ethical or Moral Rights are standards that protect and promote individual interests and they usually imply duties or obligations. For example, the right not to be killed protects individuals and it implies that individuals have a duty not to kill. Negative rights are rights to be left alone (non-interference rights), such as the right not to be killed; positive rights imply a right to receive aid or assistance from other people, such as a right to health care or education. Ethical or moral rights are different from legal or political rights. (https://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/fcsc4112/Ethics.htm)
The right not to create a conflict of interest implies that the board of directors has a duty or obligations not to use the director's position for personal gain. Based on this, the board of directors would not be allowed to "I am calling as director of the Energy Cooperative" when calling their personal potential clients.
5. How can this be resolved applying the...