Ethical Issue Analysis
Purpose: In this project, you will assess how two start up companies have come under scrutiny for their actions in operating in today’s business environment. How these companies are operating are pushing the limits or have exceeded the limits of what is considered ethical and legal. In completing this project you will have the opportunity to research the two companies, identify stakeholders influenced by the organization’s decisions and develop and evaluate alternatives, recommend solutions to ensure appropriate business practices and accountability occur
Outcomes met by completing this project:
1. identify ethical issues that arise in domestic and global business environments using an understanding of ethical concepts and of legal and business principles
2. develop and evaluate alternatives to, and recommend solutions for, ethical dilemmas, taking into account ethical and legal requirements and the essential mission of the business enterprise
3. effectively communicate to internal and external business stakeholders the complexities of ethical issues, suggesting and analyzing various solutions in order to ensure appropriate business practices and accountability
Use the following steps to complete the project. You will demonstrate an understanding of ethical concepts and of legal business principles and are required to use the course material to support the ideas and conclusions presented.
Step 1: Silicon Valley Startup Companies
Read the following articles about Silicon Valley startup companies (Theranos, Zenefits and Hampton Creek Foods). Each company discussed in the articles below eventually came under scrutiny for ethical and/or legal issues. Since embroiled in scandal, Hampton Creek Foods has been repositioned and is now known as Just, Inc.
Griffith, E. (2017, December 16). The other tech bubble. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/the-other-tech-bubble/
Griffith, E. (2017, December 28). The ugly unethical underside of Silicon Valley. Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/silicon-valley-startups-fraud-venture-capital/
Hartmans, A. (2018, September 5). The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, who started Theranos when she was 19 and became the world’s youngest female billionaire before it all came crashing down. Business Insider Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/theranos-founder-ceo-elizabeth-holmes-life-story-bio-2018-4
Suddath, C. and Newcomer, E. (2016, May 9). Zenefits was the perfect startup. Then it self-disrupted. Bloomberg. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-zenefits/
Step 2: Overview of Companies
Provide a company overview for Zenefits and Theranos. Describe the purpose(s) for the founding of the company; i.e., what problems was it formed to solve and/or opportunities it was formed to exploit, who are the founders, home country or state, management, etc.
Step 3: Ethical or Legal Issues
You will research each company to establish the facts of each situation. Once you have established the facts surrounding the decisions made by Theranos and Zenefits:
· Identify and discuss the ethical issues associated with each company.
· Identify and discuss the legal issues associated with each company.
Step 4: Stakeholders
· Identify the stakeholders associated with each company and explain the impact of the company’s decisions on the specific stakeholders.
· Discuss how the stakeholders reacted to the decision(s) made by each company.