the role of ethics in a business

BCO125 BUSINESS LAW Case Study 2 Task brief & rubrics



• individual written task in Harvard style format, cover page, Table of Contents, text alignment and Reference list.

• The student must build a coherent discussion or argument in essay format, analyzing theories and models. Ethical theories, legal cases and case studies

may be referred to when providing examples. Cite all sources.

• Students must write in complete sentences and develop paragraphs. No bullet points are allowed. Provide spacing between the sentences.

• Prepare and Introduction, Body, and Conclusion paragraphs.

• Sources must be used, identified, and properly cited, Format: PDF submitted through Turnitin and The answers should analyse the following based on the case study provided with this task below the Rubrics:

1. Identify and explain the relevant parties in this case study? 2. Identify and explain in order the ethical issues related to each party involved in this case study? Cite your sources. 3. What ethical theories or virtues can each party use to support their behavior or decisions? Cite your sources. 4. Identify an ethical or virtue theory that would be a counter argument to each position in Question 3? Cite your sources. 5. Identify and explain an additional case that supports or differentiates this case.

ethical or virtue theory

Submission: Week 10 – Via Moodle by Sunday, 18 April 2021 before 23:59.

• Wordcount: 800 to 1000

• Cover, Table of Contents, References and Appendix are excluded of the total word count. Font: Arial 11 pts. Text alignment: Justified.

• The in-text References and the Bibliography must be in Harvard’s citation style.

Weight: This task is worth 15% of your overall grade for this subject.

Outcomes: This task assesses the following learning outcomes:

– LO1: understand the role of ethics in a business. – LO2: identify ethical issues in the decision-making process. – LO3: identify and analyze the available ethical theories to support a business decision.

ethical issues in the decision-making process




Exceptional 90-100

Good 80-89

Fair 70-79

Marginal fail 60-69

Identification of main



Identifies and demonstrates,

a sophisticated understanding of the main issues / problems in the case study

an accomplished understanding of most of the issues/problems.

acceptable understanding of some of the issues/problems in the case study

Does not identify or demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the issues/problems in the case study

Analysis and Evaluation of

Issues / Problems



Presents an insightful and thorough analysis of all identified issues/problems

a thorough analysis of most of the issues identified.

a superficial analysis of some of the identified issues.

an incomplete analysis of the identified issues.

Development of Ideas

and Opinions


Supports diagnosis and opinions with strong arguments and well- documented evidence; presents a balanced and critical view; interpretation is both reasonable and objective.

Supports diagnosis and opinions with limited reasoning and evidence; presents a somewhat one-sided argument; demonstrates little engagement with ideas presented

Little action suggested and/or inappropriate solutions proposed to the issues in the case study.

No action suggested and/or inappropriate solutions proposed to the issues in the case study

Link to Legal Theories and

Additional Research

the role of ethics in a business


Makes appropriate and powerful connections between identified issues/problems and strategic concepts studied in the course readings and lectures; supplements case study with relevant and thoughtful research and documents all sources of information, including ethical theories and virtues

Makes appropriate but somewhat vague connections between identified issues/problems and concepts studied in readings and lectures; demonstrates limited command of the analytical tools studied; supplements case study with limited research, ethical theories and virtues

Makes inappropriate or little connection between issues identified and the concepts studied in the readings; supplements case study, if at all, with incomplete research and documentation.

Makes no connection between issues identified and the concepts studied in the readings; supplements case study, if at all, with incomplete research and documentation.





With its highly coveted line of consumer electronics, Apple has a cult following among loyal consumers. During the 2014 holiday season, 74.5 million iPhones

were sold. Demand like this meant that Apple was in line to make over $52 billion in profits in 2015, the largest annual profit ever generated from a company’s

operations. Despite its consistent financial performance year over year, Apple’s robust profit margin hides a more complicated set of business ethics. Similar to

many products sold in the U.S., Apple does not manufacture most its goods domestically. Most of the component sourcing and factory production is done

overseas in conditions that critics have argued are dangerous to workers and harmful to the environment.

perilous these working conditions

For example, tin is a major component in Apple’s products and much of it is sourced in Indonesia. Although there are mines that source tin ethically, there are

also many that do not. One study found workers—many of them children—working in unsafe conditions, digging tin out by hand in mines prone to landslides

that could bury workers alive. About 70% of the tin used in electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets come from these more dangerous, small-scale

mines. An investigation by the BBC revealed how perilous these working conditions can be. In interviews with miners, a 12-year-old working at the bottom of a

70-foot cliff of sand said: “I worry about landslides. The earth slipping from up there to the bottom. It could happen.”


Apple defends its practices by saying it only has so much control over monitoring and regulating its component sources. The company justifies its sourcing

practices by saying that it is a complex process, with tens of thousands of miners selling tin, many of them through middle-men. In a statement to the BBC, Apple

said “the simplest course of action would be for Apple to unilaterally refuse any tin from Indonesian mines. That would be easy for us to do and would certainly

shield us from criticism. But that would also be the lazy and cowardly path since it would do nothing to improve the situation. We have chosen to stay engaged

and attempt to drive changes on the ground.”


In an effort for greater transparency, Apple has released annual reports detailing their work with suppliers and labor practices. While more recent investigations

have shown some improvements to suppliers’ working conditions, Apple continues to face criticism as consumer demand for iPhones and other products

continues to grow.

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