Leading with Great Ethical Principles, Decision Making, and Having Social Responsibility


Leading any big company must follow with great ethics where you apply great ethics such as

Utilitarianism, Universalism, Rights, Justice, and Virtue Ethics. By making great decisions that better the company by placing their consumers first would’ve been ethical, as the consumers are what keep the company running.  Having great social responsibility would’ve given the ability for companies to earn their consumer’s trust. United Airlines unethically handled a dilemma that only was doing good for their employees' good of the company rather than the consumers with results on the loss of many stakeholders and shareholders. Two important or vital aspects to develop in leadership is having ethical principles and decision making as well as having social responsibility.

Leading with Great Ethical Principles, Decision Making, and Having Social Responsibility

Ethical principles are having premises that explain and defend the rules of morality and judgement, but never from one viewpoint in a business environment. Most importantly human behavior and interactions affect all parties involved, whether good or bad. Most of the time we try to make the best out of our judgments based on how it affects everyone in certain situations. “The ultimate basis for ethics is clear; Much human behavior has consequences for the welfare of others” (Weiss, 2014). When working in any business having great practices with ethics projects a business to move forward in a successful manner. A leader must have a great understanding of proper ethical principles like utilitarianism, universalism, rights, justice, and ethical virtue also known as the belief system. Breaking down these five principles to have a better understanding is that most businesses use these guidelines to better support and defend the business as a whole. Utilitarianism as mentioned by Savulescu in an article, “utilitarianism is an influential moral theory that states that the right action is that expected to produce the greatest good.” (Savulescu, 2020). When employers are able to analyze the better good for a company it’s held with a moral standard for the company that helps move forward in a positive manner that affects all parties internally and externally involved.

One big company involved in an ethical dilemma was United Airlines in 2017, where they dragged a passenger; David Dao, forcefully off of flight 3411, who wasn’t complying to their needs was poorly executed and presented shamefully on corporate practices for United Airlines. It was so shamefully done to the point where the CEO of the company gave a backhanded apology almost as supporting his employees and their harmful actions. As mentioned in an article from the Western Governors University, “statement from the United Airlines CEO seemed lukewarm to many consumers. The apology seemed to back up employees, but didn’t really express remorse or regret about the situation.” (WGU, 2019). Ultimately, that resulted in many loyal consumers discontinuing their membership and looking elsewhere for service. This has affected the company so bad to the point that it’s always brought up as reasons to avoid doing any traveling business with the company. 

United Airlines did not have exceptional ethical principles, decision making, and also did not have great social responsibility. They mistreated their consumers and insulted their many loyal customers who then later terminated their loyalty to the company. According to Kottasova, the scandal was poorly handled that the company suffered losses as much as “4%, knocking off close to $1 billion off the company's market value. (Kottasova, 2017). 

In conclusion, the whole reason why United wanted to remove David Dao and three others from the flight was to sit four of their own staff to their connecting point. In my opinion, that was tasteless. If they really needed to get these four United Airlines Staffs to another connection point, they could’ve served their customers first and see if there was a next flight out for them. There’s a reason why individuals purchase their tickets the way they do, because they’ve got to be somewhere too on a certain day or time. If not, they could’ve asked another person when David Dao rejected to be placed on the next flight; so he wouldn’t feel so targeted. The fact that they didn’t even give the passengers a choice as mentioned “four passengers were then selected by the airline to leave without choice” (United Airlines: Grounded, 2018). United Airline staff at that point did however follow their own policies as stated “If a flight is Oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his/her will until UA or other carrier personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservations willingly in exchange for compensation as determined by UA. If there are not enough volunteers, other Passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UA’s boarding priority.” (United Airlines: Grounded, 2018). Although, it was legally right for the company to displace customers on flight due to their company policies and protocols and it was ethically wrong. Hopefully in the future they can learn and move positively from this mistake and remember that leading with ethical principles and decision making as well as having social responsibility will have the company proceed better with upcoming issues with their consumers.

REFERENCES

Kottasova, I. (2017). United Airlines shares drop after man dragged off flight. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from https://money.cnn.com/2017/04/11/investing/united-airlines-stock-passenger-flight-video/

Savulescu, P. (2020). Utilitarianism and the pandemic. Bioethics, 34(6), 620–632. https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12771

United Airlines: Grounded. (2018, October 24). Retrieved January 24, 2021, from https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/video/united-airlines-grounded

Weiss, J. W. (2014). Business ethics : A stakeholder and issues management approach. ProQuest Ebook    Central https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Western Governors University. (2019, September 23). Ethical Dilemmas: How Scandals Damage Companies. Retrieved January 23, 2021, from https://www.wgu.edu/blog/ethical-dilemmas-how-scandals-damage-companies1909.html

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