Making an Ethical Decision

Making an Ethical Decision
Making an Ethical Decision

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Week 2: Making an Ethical Decision

“Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling.”
Valdemar W. Setzer, Brazilian anthropologist


The focus this week is on the skill of making an ethical decision, which begins with a discussion of ethical theories and ends with the application process used in making a decision. Students should be able to understand how the various theories are used to make and evaluate a decision.

Theme 1: The Importance of Ethical Theory to making Ethical Decisions in Business

The study of concepts such as justice, good and evil behavior, moral right and wrong, values and mores have been the fodder of theologists, philosophers and legal scholars for centuries. Understanding some of the major theories will help to answers ethical dilemmas that occur in the workplace today.


Ethical Theory

Ethical Theory: An Overview – Part 1

Ethical Theory: An Overview – Part 2

A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions

A Framework for Thinking Ethically


Kant’s Theory

Business Ethics-Ethical Behavior

Theme 2: Determining Ethical Behavior is the Hardest Part of Studying Ethics

Making an Ethical Decision

Determining an ethical answer to an ethical dilemma is difficult for an individual or corporation. Doing so requires a process or mechanism to identify the ethical issue or question and then gain an understanding of ethical theories and/or moral guidelines (e.g. personal or corporate code of ethics) to arrive at functional choices from which a decision can be made. This week, the best way to make an ethical decision and the major categories that ethical dilemmas in business occur are examined.


Ethical Decision Making

Ethical Egoism

Chapter 2 Saylor Business Ethics

Moral Issues Facing Employees

Making the Best “Right” Decision


Participate in Week 2 learning activities

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International Joint Ventures

International Joint Ventures
International Joint Ventures

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International Joint Ventures

Order Instructions

The Board of Directions of an International Joint Venture Company must take important strategic decisions about the direction of the collaboration. Therefore, in setting up a new JVC, it is essential to consider how such decisions would be made. taking into consideration the desire of partners to expert an “appropriate” level of control over their JVC:
(a) Critically compare the relative merits and limitations of making decisions by vote or by consensus (through power of veto)
(b) if consensus is needed but then cannot be reached on a vote concerning a significant issue for the business, what options do the partners have to move forward? 

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International Joint Ventures


            The concept of joint venture companies has been instrumental in the success of various firms across the world. The most common of these being strategic and international joint ventures, where two or more independent firms come together in a bid to conquer a market that neither of them would have achieved as individual entities (London Business School Review , 2013; Anderson, 1991, pp. 19 – 20). Prior to the success from the establishment of international joint ventures, a lot of work in terms of planning goes into the formation of the joint venture.

Among the critical points of the planning process involves the definition of terms of the joint venture agreement. Key among the terms in the agreement is the structure, control, and voting procedures of the board of directors of the joint venture company (Gutterman, 2017; Yan & Luo, 2016, pp. 87 – 89). Such terms in the preliminary stages of the formation of the joint venture outline, among others, the use and direction of decision-making tools.

Such tools include the use of veto power and the sharing, or lack thereof, of voting rights between the partners who make up the joint venture. This paper looks to expound on the use of voting as a tool to reaching a consensus within the board of directors of a joint venture company and the options available to them if there is no consensus on a vote.

Decisions by vote or consensus

            During the course of operations, the board of directors in the strategic international joint venture will have to make many decisions regarding an array of issues. In spite of the issue at hand, there will be a need for consensus among the board members. Various decision tools are useful during such times, including authoritarian decisions, brainstorming, and voting. Of these examples, most international strategic joint ventures opt for the use of voting, since it provides a conclusive decision based on majority (Demirbag, 1997, pp. 143 – 146).

Other closely related options include the use of veto power and reaching a consensus through discussions before putting the issue at hand to a vote. The section below looks into the use of voting in an international joint venture by enumerating the various merits and limitations of using voting as a decision-making tool within the organization.

Merits of making decisions in a joint venture by vote

            The use of the voting method as a decision-making method in a joint venture entails the casting of ballots to decide on an issue at hand. All the members of the board of directors will have a reasonable if not total understanding of options prior to casting of the votes. A key advantage of using this method is the ability to combine individual skills, strengths, and knowledge into a formidable block to push for decisions and relevant changes. Members with similar ideology will unite and provide a united front to discuss the ideas from a varied viewpoint in terms of skills and contributions toward the needed changes.

            The use of the voting method for decision making in a joint venture company helps provide a unified front for the board of management. In this case, once the board completes the voting process, they come together and discuss the next steps. This allows for the enhanced understanding of the criterion of the decision, as well as the presentation of a collective effort to engage and act on the decision made. This is imperative to the continued operations of the joint venture organization and allows for fluid operation of the company through a united front from the directors.

            By using the voting method, there is a sense of an enhanced commitment from the entire board of directors. The engagement of all the members of the board in the process instils a sense of belonging and camaraderie. In addition, in spite of their leaning on the decisions, the participation in the voting process and the implementation ensures a greater commitment from the entire team. This sense of commitment and belonging spurred by the voting method is vital to the effectiveness of the board in carrying out their mandate within the organization.

            The method of voting as a decision making instrument in a joint venture will serve to inspire a sense of team spirit among the directors. The choice of voting helps bring together individuals with different points of view to collaborate on implementing a given task. In addition, the process serves as a team building activity through constant interaction with other board members who may not meet too often. This enhancement of team spirit allows the board to operate better together in times of unity and disagreement.

            The use of voting in a joint venture is useful when the board of directors is pressed for time. When the directors need to make a quick decision on the direction that the firm should take on a given matter, a vote helps since it may be conducted in a single sitting from the individual views of the members. Such a scenario does not require prior engagement and the decision is made in a matter of a few hours. This allows for the quick turnaround on time-bound decisions that could be potentially beneficial to the organization.

            In the same light of the ability to use the voting as a fast-paced method of decision-making in a joint venture company, the board of directors may use the method to eliminate non-critical decisions. At some point in the operation of the organization, the board will be faced with the challenge of making a number of simultaneous decisions that are time bound. In such a scenario, the use of voting could help the directors to eliminate the non-critical decisions quickly, thereby leaving room and time for discussions on the more demanding issues.

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Decision-making process that many FES administrators experience

Decision-making process that many FES administrators experience
Decision-making process that many FES administrators experience

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Decision-making process that many FES administrators experience

As a fire and emergency services (FES) administrator, you will evaluate budgets and be accountable for expenditures and tracking each of the financial accounts. In addition, you will be responsible to ensure the budget meets the needs of the organization following budgetary policies established by your governing body. This assignment will expose you to the decision-making process that many FES administrators experience.

For this assignment, you will be completing two sections.

Section I

Following a Category 1 hurricane, you were assigned to establish the Finance/Administration Section for the incident. This incident has escalated in complexity because of the number of deaths that have been discovered. The Finance/Administration Section was initiated several days after the hurricane made landfall, and mitigation has already begun.

Decision-making process that many FES administrators experience

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In Section I, discuss when a Finance/Administration Section should have been initiated during this incident. Additionally, address the questions below.

What costs should be tracked and documented?

What responsibilities do the Finance/Administration Section have?

Section I should be minimum of two pages in length.

Section II

While working on the 1-year written transition plan, you are reviewing the proposed budget with Washington Fire Department (WFD). Click here to access the budget. You noticed that the budget did not have any pre-established contracts or a procedural process with local vendors, suppliers, and contractors on equipment and/or supplies that could be required during a disaster. As a part of your 1-year written transition plan, you want to include money for local vendors, suppliers, and contractors on equipment and/or supplies.

However, the existing revenue does not allow you to add any additional line items. The areas highlighted in yellow in the WFD budget are new line items that have not been formally approved. As you look at the budget line items, it will be very tempting to choose items that are the least controversial to cut, but these types of cuts may have a distinctly adverse effect on the quality of service for the WFD. From a rough estimate, you will need to cut $120,000 from the existing green highlighted budget figures in the WFD budget in order to create line items for preestablished agreements.

Decision-making process that many FES administrators experience

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In Section II, you will justify line items in the budget that you will remove in order to establish the new line items for disasters. You are to identify those line items on the proposed budget by highlighting them in aqua. Next to the line item on the WFD budget, write a one-line sentence justifying the change. You can identify any item(s) that could be deemed unnecessary or unjustified on the budget.

This means that you can leave all of the line items highlighted in yellow as is and change any line litem not highlighted. Your goal is to evaluate the importance of a budget for the FES administration and not have any changes undergo scrutiny from administrators that could lead to additional oversight and cuts.

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Military mission Decision Making Process

Military mission
Military mission

Military mission Decision Making Process

            The organization of a successful mission demands proper planning and operation, and placing objectivity as key in the final triumph. The mission towards rescuing prisoners of war (POW) by the 6th Ranger Battalion will require movements and strategies that will reduce detection and provide faster accomplishment of the strategies. Therefore, having substantial estimates and technical strategies into the military action to take will result in successful mission.

Planning and Preparation

            The POW camp is exactly 75 miles from Calasiao base camp where the rescued will be taken to. The mission will require a victory mentality that will utilize a surprise strategy to catch the enemy off guard and achieve a successful rescue (Goztepe & Kahraman, 2015). The problem faced by the 6th Ranger Battalion is the rescue of the POWs before they are executed or transported by the Japanese forces.

Any delay in time will aggravate the situation and make the mission more difficult. The mission will require rescuing the POWs and taking them to Guimba where they will link up with the 6th Army forward line that will provide extra security in their transportation to Calasiao base camp. The mission has to take place in less than two days to avoid more delays.

            The Japanese might move or murder the POWs in less than three days time so the mission must take place in two days time. The set date to execution of the mission will be on the dawn of 30th January 1945, leaving less than 48 hours for planning. The planning process will require reconnaissance and surveillance of the prison, and linking up with local militia to provide adequate information.

The paramedics will need to prepare medical equipments, food, and water for the rescued and the wounded during the mission (Jaiswal, 2012). The planning process will require 12 hours and additional 4 hours for reconnaissance. The rescue mission should last for less than 2 hours.       

In order to circumvent detection, the 6th Battalion will have to arrive at the POW camp at night and carry the rescue mission at dawn to catch the enemy by surprise. Since the prison is 29 miles from Guimba, the soldiers will require 15 hours to reach Pangatian by foot, which will require travelling at night, early mornings, and late evenings to avoid detection.

Therefore, in order to avoid fatigue and save time, the force shall leave Guimba on the night of 29th January 1945 at 2000hrs and take a half an hour journey by trucks to Cabanatuan where they will approach the prison at Pangatian by foot 3 miles from the prison. This will provide enough time to set up points for ambush, assembly of the rescued and coordination with the Filipino guerilla forces.

The Filipino guerillas will be important in provision of navigation routes and utilization of vantage points that will make infiltrating into the enemy camp easier; a beneficial factor in collaborating with local citizens (Jaiswal, 2012)). However, their next involvement will come after the rescue operation.

Executing the Mission

Since negotiation and diplomacy is not an option, carrying out military strategy in rescuing hostages requires staging a move that will result in higher success rate (Goztepe & Kahraman, 2015). In this mission, understanding of the POW compound in order to identify the first targets to annihilate, how to outdo the guards, reaching the cells where the POWs are and deterring any communication or escape of enemy soldiers to seek for reinforcement.

The objective of the mission apart from rescuing the POW will be to exert a surprising attack on the enemy that will result in the highest success rate and little casualties (Dougherty, 2013). This will depend on the surveillance received that informs the structure of the enemy territory and information to use in managing the mission. The force will need to site the target containing communication media and secure it before handling the enemy soldiers.

The Rangers will require vigilance and quick response to ensure the enemy does not kill the POWs as a form of defense, therefore capturing and securing the POW cells will be the first key strategy in the mission. The mission will also require use of snipers among the Rangers incase the enemy decides to use POW as human shields.

During the night, the task force should arrive at the prison before 0300 hours on 30th January 1945 and take vantage points around the camp. The US Army Air Corps helicopters can aid in expediting the mission by providing the first moment of surprise through destruction of any enemy vehicles and buildings used as resident by the guards at the top command.

This will allow the task force to infiltrate into POW cells and engage the enemy forces while leading the rescued away from the camps. The US Army Air Corps will be important in maintaining patrol and deterring any plans of the enemy to launch a counter attack to recapture the POWs. This will also allow the task force to gain ground faster as they repeal the enemy forces (Zsambok, 2014).

The Filipino guerillas will be important in helping to protect and secure routes used by enemy forces that may come to provide reinforcement. This will impede the enemy movement as the task force and rescued soldier match towards Cabanatuan for transportation to Guimba.

The task force and rescued soldiers will avoid using open roads that may increase their vulnerability to enemy forces but utilize the help of civilians in making their way by foot beyond Cabanatuan. The team will travel at 2 miles per hour for 4 hours and have 30 minutes of rest to allow the former POWs to take water and food. However, travelling to Guimba by foot will take the Rangers and rescued soldiers up to 15 hours, and may require more security and resources.

Another strategy will be the use of carts, which can be useful since it will increase the movement of the rescued soldiers. Carts move at 9 miles an hour, which will take just 3 hours to transport the rescued soldiers to Guimba from Cabanatuan, where they will link up with the 6th Army. Another alternative is picking up the rescued soldiers and Rangers at Cabanatuan by army trucks to Guimba, which is a faster alternative.

Collaborating with the Filipino civilians to provide this service will enable the task force acquire more time in repealing any remaining resistance from the enemy, assisted by the US Army Air Corps as a way of suppressing the enemy advancement and counterattack strategies.

Monitoring and Evaluation of the Decision

            The movement of the Rangers from a drop point in Cabanatuan to Pangatian will require 1 hour. From there the Rangers will take positions outside the camp until 0430hrs on 30th January 1945, where the US Army Air Corps planes will provide the dawn ambush that will enable the Rangers to penetrate the camp and rescue the POW. Surprise attacks are effective in destabilizing the enemy and giving the advancing forces an upper hand (Dougherty, 2012).

The Mission should last for less than 2 hours. The former POWs and Rangers will have to advance to Cabanatuan and board army trucks by 1000hrs for their transportation to Guimba. Two US Army Air Corps helicopters will offer assistance to repeal enemy forces, exert destruction, and impede the enemy’s will to fight, while also providing humanitarian assistance. However, in case of overwhelming forces, more backup will have to come from Guimba.

This report will enable the Commander reach a decision on the possible choices to make in reaching a conclusion about the mission. It is imperative to consider time and speed since they are important in achieving the objectives of the mission.


Dougherty, K. (2013). Military decision-making processes: Case studies involving the preparation, commitment, application and withdrawal of force. McFarland.

Goztepe, K., & Kahraman, C. (2015, March). A new approach to military decision making process: suggestions from MCDM point of view. InInternational Conference on Military and Security Studies, İstanbul, Turkey(pp. 118-122).

Jaiswal, N. K. (2012). Military operations research: Quantitative decision making (Vol. 5). Springer Science & Business Media.

Zsambok, C. E., & Klein, G. (2014). Naturalistic decision making. Psychology Press.

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