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Question:

Learning Activity #1 – In light of the course materials in Theme 1 this week (especially the articles on Ethical Leadership in creating an ethical corporate culture and the material on courage and the “strength-based approach”) consider a report a few years ago by the U.S. Army War College, which published their finding of routine dishonesty within the Army regarding required reports on certain mandatory – but physically impossible – requirements.

Here’s the link to the initial report by Leonard Wong and Stephen Gerras:  “ Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession ” (Feb. 2015) – which is fascinating – but rather long.  The actual text itself is only about 30 pages, though, and I ask that read at least the Summary and the first 13 pages.  You’ll probably want to go on reading!  Please also take a look at this February 2015 article in Time Magazine by Mark Thompson – “ Army: Too Many Regulations Lead to Too Many Lies ” – which addresses the issue and the report.

How might the article by Dr. Leslie Sekerka, “ Compliance as a Subtle Precursor to Ethical Corrosion: A Strength-Based Approach as a Way Forward ” not only address the situation described in the “Dishonesty” report in the Army, but also suggest a “way forward”? 

Do you see a correlation between this approach, and any of the ethical theories we have been focusing on?  

What ought to be done, ethically? 

As always – explain your reasons.

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Learning Activity #2 – In preparation for your final paper, let’s practice determining what the ethical issues are, under the topic of either marketing to children (and the MacDonald’s case) or genetic testing in the workplace.   What ethical and/or moral values are in conflict here?  Whose interests are at stake?  What dilemma or dilemmas could arise – and for whom?  See if you can’t state the dilemma in terms of its two mutually exclusive choices – options that go beyond the simple:  Option A versus Option not-A, or Option Ethical versus Option Unethical.

How do the course materials describe this conflict, and can you think of additional ways to approach this topic, in terms of a true ethical dilemma? 

In the genetic testing situation, taking it as settled that discrimination on the basis of race is clearly unethical, let’s focus on the other conflicting ethical values that continue to make this question such a difficult one to resolve. 

In the marketing to children case, taking it as settled that lying is clearly unethical, let’s focus on the other conflicting ethical values that continue to make this question such a difficult one to resolve.