What is the ethical Issue
The ethical issue, in this case, is whether Luke should inform his brother Owen of the company’s plan of building an adult entertainment retail store as this is likely to decrease the value of the property in the neighborhood. Luke has been bestowed with the responsibility of working on a project which entails the development of the land which was recently bought by the company. From the plan, the land that he is supposed to develop is located at the corner of the neighborhood where his brother Owen lives. Luke is aware that immediately the plans for the store are publicly announced, the value of the property in the area will significantly reduce. The company has plans in place to make the announcement of the project in a months’ time.
Why is this an ethical issue
This is an ethical issue because; Luke is bestowed with the responsibility of ensuring confidentiality of the company’s information. On the other hand, it is clear that Luke has a close relationship with his brother Owen since Owen has recently informed him after getting an offer someone willing to purchase his house at a price that can be considered okay given the real estate market by the time. Although Owen is considering selling the house, he has not made his final decision yet. He is not sure if he is likely to get a better offer in future when there is an improvement in the real estate market prices. Luke is now torn between informing his brother to sell his house right away since the prices are likely to deteriorate after the announcement is made public or to abide by his obligation in the company of maintaining confidentiality.
Analysis and recommendations
Virtue ethics refers to an approach to ethics which focuses on the character of an individual as the main element in ethical thinking instead of the rules pertaining the acts themselves or the consequences involved after acting in a particular way (Gardiner, 2005). The ethical theory stipulates that individuals should make decisions on the basis of their character or virtue. The golden rule, on the other hand, denotes that people should treat others in a similar way that they would want others to treat them in case they are in a similar situation.
From the case, I think that Luke should encourage his brother to sell the house to the buyer who is willing to make purchase at the present real estate value as he considers it okay rather than waiting for a better price in the future since he is not sure of how the price will be years from now. Being the internal consultant, I would advise Luke to inform Owen that the value of his property is likely to decrease in a month’s time since the company wants to build an entertainment retail store for adults in the area. According to the golden rule, people are supposed to treat others the way they should also want to be treated (Putnam, 2017). In this case, if Owen is the one who was aware of the company’s plans and Luke the owner of the property, Luke would have really wanted Owen to inform him of the plans so that he could sell the property before its value decreases. Luke should thus, in this case, treat Owen as he would like to be treated by informing him that the value of the property is likely to decrease with the public announcement and hence the need to sell the property right away within the month before then.
According to value ethics, one should focus on their moral values rather than the consequences that are likely to arise if they behave in a certain way. According to Russell, (2013), people should make decisions on the basis of their virtues and it is thus worth for Luke to inform Owen of the plans that the company has which will affect the value of his property without the fear of the consequences that may arise if he violates the confidentiality policy of his company. Luke has a close relationship to Owen and since Owen trusts him with his information and is always willing to let him in his aware as a friend, Luke being his friend should take pride in being a trustworthy person and be honest to Owen. Luke’s actions should be transparent and it would thus be wise for him to let his brother know that keeping the property for a few years would not be as profitable as he intends it to be. The creation of an adult entertainment retail store would disrupt the peace and the activities in the area due to the noise and the many other activities that will be involved and hence a decline in the value of the property in the neighborhood. I would thus recommend Luke from the golden rule and virtue ethics perspective to inform his brother Owen to consider the decision of selling his house immediately since he may not get a better offer in the future if the company’s project is announced and after it kicks on.
Gardiner, S. (2005). Virtue ethics, old and new. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.
Putnam, M. S., (2017). Reflections on the Golden Rule. Global Ethics University. Retrieved from https://www.evernote.com/shard/s66/sh/47f303ea-8567-4967-95d8-b25aede6e004/bc1a628d914b232a
Russell, D. (2013). The Cambridge companion to virtue ethics. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press.