Analysis of Clean Hands in a Dirty Business
Janet Moore, a job seeker, meets Karen, a former college mate, who tells her about a job vacancy at a company known as Union Tobacco. She remembers that she conducted a research on the company during her studying and found that it was a group of luring young people who became addicted to its products despite them being suspected of causing cancer (Boatright 67). This essay will explain the way Janet should solve her moral dilemma whether apply for the job at Union Tobacco or not.
Janet has two options that she can explore. Firstly, she can apply for the job at Union Tobacco and work hard to fight the marketing practices that were promoting unhealthy consumption of the companys products. She will then gain the experience she needs so much to obtain a better job. Despite holding the MBA, she still could not find any job and she was on the verge of losing hope. Secondly, she can dismiss the vacancy and argue that she does not feel comfortable knowing how the company promotes its products. In this case, she will lose an opportunity to gain work experience.
To solve the moral dilemma she has faced, Janet Moore should seek the employment at Union Tobacco. Being in the company would means accepting the possibility to tackle the problem of unethical marketing practices at the organization level while balancing the interests of all stakeholders. If she successfully handles the problem, she will expand valuable job experience that would easily earn her a high-level position in a well-performing organization.
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The reasoning of the above decision agrees with both Kantian ethics and utilitarianism. Kantian ethics require that people are regarded as ends as opposed to means of an end. They emphasize on performance of moral duty, as opposing to mere focusing on the final results. The principle of categorical imperative, which is the core of Kantian ethics, indicates that one must perform a moral duty unconditionally even if doing so would not serve own interests. Janet Moore should use the opportunity that will benefit the job she will receive at Union Tobacco to perform her moral duty of stopping the unethical marketing practices. This agrees with Kantian ethics. If Janet acts against the marketing campaigns that have proved so successful, it may not satisfy the companys executives and she may lose the job or suffer worse consequences. However, due to the principle of categorical imperative, she should disregard her own concern and put the interests of the companys consumers to the fore. Specifically, she could be able to save the lives of those who would have otherwise consumed the dangerous product. These are good consequences, and the means of achieving them can follow right from Kantian ethics. Nonetheless, it is critical to acknowledge that impersonating the role of an employer, Union Tobacco will have a right to coerce Janet to act in its best interests. This may present the dilemma to her and if it happens, she should pursue legal means of ensuring that she retains the job and/or the company stops the unethical marketing habits.
The decision to seek the employment at Union Tobacco is also in consistency with utilitarianism. As long as Janet Moore would pursue positive consequences, it is admissible to consider such an action as a right one. She will gain job experience and be able to act against unethical marketing. It corresponds to the thesis of consequentialism. However, it undermines the thesis of hedonism that advocates for the achievement of pleasure without pain. The company may initially suffer some losses as it attempts to simplify its marketing practices, and it may suffer even more as far as it is dependent on a legal battle over the practices. Similarly, Janet may face opposition from the company, and she may have an undesirable experience, but eventually achieve success. Her decision would thus reconcile with maximalism that the good consequences should surpass any bad outcomes. In the case of universalism, the solution does not consider the consequences of all those involved because Janet will be acting due to categorical imperative. From the perspective of the opposition of act utilitarianism versus rule utilitarianism, the act agrees with the former because the other option is to reject the job vacancy upon which consumers will continue to suffer from taking the dangerous product. Besides, its influence expands on the latter since it is an ideal case of putting the welfare of others before ones own interest.
My decision that Janet Moore should join Union Tobacco depicts two virtues that I possess. One is empathy. Since the findings of the health implications of taking Union Tobaccos products concern Janet, it is empathetic for her to take action and tackle the problem within the organization. It would also be very brave of her to challenge the marketing strategy of a company that is reaping huge benefits from them. These virtues resemble my way of life. I do not just recline and watch as something I do not agree with happens, especially if it is harming other people. Preferably, I immediately revolt against what I feel is dishonest, though I ensure that I follow the law and prescribed rules and regulations. Furthermore, I do not allow fear to prevent me from acting decisively so when am convinced that something is wrong I am obligated to address it.
In conclusion, Janet Moore should not only consider her own interests in deciding whether to work for Union Tobacco or not. According to Kantian ethics, she has a moral duty to act against the unethical marketing practices of the company and execute it unconditionally. However, it is important to note that obtaining the job and opposing the marketing practices from inside may result into being at loggerheads with the company. Nevertheless, the consequences supply demands of utilitarianism as she could save the lives of some potential consumers and gain valuable job experience in the process.