Analysis paper

This analysis paper involves a case analysis.  You must first choose the case you wish to analyze.  You can find the cases on our Canvas site, in the Assignments section. You’ll see a folder that contains several cases from which to choose.

The cases involve one of four business areas: accounting, finance, management, and marketing.  You are free to choose any case you wish, though you may wish to narrow it down by first selecting a business area.  Within each area, read through the cases (they are around 1 page) and pick the one that most interests you.  Each case presents an ethical dilemma. If you’re not sure you understand the dilemma in the case you choose, please contact me.

Your paper should be divided into 3 separate sections as discussed below.  Submit your paper through Canvas  Please put your last name in the document title when submitting.  Also please submit your paper using Word or something compatible.  Please don’t submit your paper in a PDF format.

Section I.     Each case ends with a decision to be made.  First, putting yourself in the role of the person making the decision, indicate your key decision options.  What basic choices do you have?  In stating your decision options please avoid imagining an option that would solve the ethical issue in the case, as the purpose of this case is to assess your ability to apply accurately the ethical perspectives. Second, do a stakeholder analysis that lists the stakeholders to the decision, and include an explanation of how the decision would affect each stakeholder.  Please present a table with plusses and minuses to summarize your ideas.  See the ATTACHMENT for guidance on setting up this table.

Note: Do not summarize the case in your paper unless you wish to make some additional assumptions.  Assume the reader knows the content of your case.

Section II.     Analyze your decision options from an ethical standpoint.  To do this, apply each of three main perspectives discussed in the course for making an ethical decision: utilitarianism, profit maximization, and universalism.  You are free (and encouraged) to apply others discussed in the Deckop chapter as well; although apply at least these three main ones. Indicate what each perspective would say is the ethical course of action, and why.  Be sure to refer back to your stakeholder analysis when discussing the utilitarian decision in the case.

Please subdivide this section into 3 subsections – first, discuss what utilitarianism would say is the most ethical choice.  Second, discuss what profit maximization would say is the most ethical choice.  Third, discuss what universalism would say is the most ethical choice.

To the extent possible, make links to the Mackey-Friedman-Rodgers debate article, Carter article, and any other course reading that you find applicable. These articles may provide insight for your analysis.

Section III.  Indicate which of your decision options presented in Section I you would choose, and the degree to which it is consistent with each ethical perspective.  Be as detailed in possible in describing the decision you would make and/or the action(s) you would take.  If one or more of the perspectives disagrees with your decision, indicate why you do notchoose to follow the guidance of that perspective(s).  Say what is wrong with the perspective for you, either in the context of the decision, and/or for you in general.

Suggested length: Approximately 5 double-spaced pages, normal sized font and margins, though your paper can be as long or short as you like.  However it will be difficult to present an analysis of sufficient depth in less than 5 pages. Also, please put the case name at the top of your case analysis.


Grading Rubric: The maximum score for your paper is 40 points. It will be evaluated on four criteria, with 10 points available for each:

1. A) your stakeholder analysis and application of utilitarianism (10 points)

2. B) your application of profit maximization (10 points)

3. C) your application of universalism (10 points)

4. D) how well your paper is written and organized (as discussed below) (10 points)

Your application of additional readings, e.g., Carter and the Mackey-Friedman-Rodgers debate articles, will be considered extra credit and can improve your grade.

Please note: To get a good grade on this paper (i.e., A or B), you need to apply the ethical perspectives (i.e., utilitarianism, profit maximization, universalism) in depth.  This will require a thorough understanding of the ethical perspectives.  If after reviewing the assigned readings you do not feel you possess this depth of understanding, you should contact me so that we can go over the ethical perspectives to enhance your understanding.

Writing and organization:  spelling, grammar, sentence construction as well as clarity in presentation are evaluated.  If your paper does not meet a basic threshold in terms of spelling, grammar, and sentence construction, it will be returned un-graded and you will be asked for a revision, which will be graded as late.



How to construct a stakeholder analysis table (for Section I):

List your decision options across the top, the stakeholders along the side, and in the table indicate with plusses and minuses (i.e., + & -) the effect of each decision on each stakeholder.  If a decision has a strong effect on a particular stakeholder, you can indicate this with more than one + or -.

For example, a generic stakeholder analysis table might look like:



Decision A      Decision B      [note: for your paper don’t say “Decision A;                                                                                                 use a descriptive label for the decision.]


Stockholders                    +                      –

Employees                        —                      +                 [note – these stakeholders are just

Customers                        +                      –                  examples; your stakeholders will

Community                      –                       +++            probably be at least somewhat different]

.        .

Also, a good way to conduct your utilitarian analysis would be to count up the plusses and minuses, and to pick the decision where the plusses most outweigh the minuses.  In the above table, Decision A has 2 plusses and 3 minuses.  Decision B has 4 plusses and 2 minuses.  So, from a utilitarian perspective, Decision B is more ethical.

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