Ethics in the Legal Environment

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Date Submitted: 08/10/2010 01:05 PM

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Ethics in the Legal Environment




Both The Energy Cooperative and the Clean Power Company face some tough ethical, and legal, decisions (Final, 2009). For both companies, there are huge ramifications from the decisions made. From a legal perspective, wrong choices could result in fines and other penalties, and even imprisonment. From an ethical perspective, poor decisions can affect profitability, public perception, investor relations and much more.

The Energy Cooperative

As a non-profit organization committed to educating the public in the arena of energy information and new energy technologies, as well as providing a discussion forum for alternative energy companies, The Energy Cooperative is an organization that is held in high regard by both the general public and people in the field of energy. As such, they have an obligation to protect themselves from anything that could be detrimental to their reputation, or anything perceived as being less than above board. The board of directors consists of self-employed consultants that hold no allegiances to any particular company. Recently, a director has requested permission for the directors to use their position within the cooperative while conducting their private business dealings (Final, 2009).

In this scenario, the weighing of three ethical considerations assists in the development of appropriate recommendations. The first consideration is whether there is the potential for a misunderstanding of who was actually initiating the business contact. As mentioned, the directors are self-employed, outside of their responsibilities at the co-op. This means that they are frequently calling on, and dealing with, people within the industry. Many of these people may be members of the co-op. By mentioning their position with the Energy Cooperative, these potential clients could feel as though they would be doing business with the...