Module 1 – Case Study
ETH501 – Business Ethics
Making moral decisions in today’s workplace is sometimes a very difficult task. In the business world of today, society expects that large corporations will make moral decisions that will positively affect its business and its patrons. Recently, Wikileaks (not affiliated with Wikipedia) has been in the national and world spotlight as a corporate bad guy because it made the decision to release what is considered vital information on several large businesses that could adversely affect those said businesses. Reportedly, the information on Wikileaks is not just assumed authentic but is actually authentic and has been vetted ...view middle of the document...
Wikileaks makes its business as a web site that is established for anyone to provide information to the journalists on staff; the journalists will then analyze the material submitted for significance to the public and if the material is deemed significant, they will re-write this information for release to the public. Bottom line; the writers don’t really look for information to write about, they rely on whistle blowers in the corporate world that believe they have information that the public should be made aware of to submit information (Boswell, 2011). The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, proclaims that his business design sets up a safe haven for the submitters and ultimately aims at bringing justice through public communication (Boswell, 2011). While his intentions may be honorable, who is to say that what he is doing is justice? Some could consider his actions to be vigilantism.
The question at hand here revolves around Bank of America’s statement that they plan to refuse to process payments and do further business with Wikileaks because of the threats from Wikileaks to release the information contained on the hard drive in their possession. I think the better question here is it morally correct for Bank of America to refuse to do business with Wikileaks based on the assumption that they (Wikileaks) plan to release vital company information. First, we must understand that it has not been proven that the hard drive in question actually belongs to anyone at Bank of America; it has only been assumed to belong to the mega bank giant. Therefore, even though several governments have been looking into possible criminal charges against Wikileaks and its founder for previous releases of classified documents and rape accusations (Schwartz, 2011), no charges have been files as no crimes have been committed. So in essence, there have been no moral or criminal violations made by Wikileaks to justify Bank of America or any other company to stop fulfilling business obligations made between the companies.
Has Wikileaks done anything wrong?
What does it mean to be a morally based company? First, we must understand what morals are. Morals are said to be very personal in nature and applying personal morals in a business setting can be difficult. Living by a set of morals means that a company is expected to obey rules established by the founder and/or society in order to be accepted in today’s world. This means that a company conforms to the rules of right conduct (opposed to immoral conduct) (Merriam-Webster.com, 2011). An example of this right conduct could be following the teachings of the Bible and not stealing or committing murder; that would mean that you or your company in this example, are considered an organization that has good morals. Ultimately, it is up to each individual and company leadership as to whether they will choose to be immoral or not. Society today reserves the right to say that there is no true right or...