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There are two factories and an explosion at each of them: both result in the same cost in damages and casualties, but one was caused by a bolt of lightning and the other by a corroded pipe and a smoking employee. One is considered as an act of God and the other is negligence. After these events occur the only difference is who is responsible and thus who will pay the bill. In the end, responsible actions should have been taken in both cases because when lives and money put in the hands of others, ethical steps should be taken to protect these assets.
To be ethical requires three things: knowledge of the situation, knowing what issues are important, and brainstorming alternatives (DesJardins, 2011). To be responsible is to be the one who is in charge of this process. Certainly, in the case of the two explosions, more blame is initially placed on the employee and the corroded pipe. The employee is the one who could be blamed, because it is his actions that caused the explosion directly, yet the owner of the factory is also at fault for allowing the pipe to go unmaintained. This situation, in our culture, is shocking because actions are frequently taken by other companies to protect their employees. Safety inspections are so common that obvious maintenance issues should not be the cause of death. On the other hand the factory that was stuck by lightning is also at blame. Lightning storms are a common occurrence, and based on location a statistic should have been made of the likeliness to a building being stuck by lightning. The situation could have been avoided with a simple lightning rod, but because people did not create lightning or control it, there is seemingly nobody at fault.
Responsibility is “what is proper to do and not d...

... middle of paper ... for the company to protect the bond that they have created.
There is ambiguity in ethics. Knowing when ethical responsibility should be taken and when it should not, can be a difficult task, but an ethical decision can boil down to the number of people who have been affected. In the case of an explosion on company property, the decision is easy, if the business’s priorities are to keep good social relations and future profits. Regardless of the location or type of incident, all businesses should be aware and prepared for disasters before they occur.

Works Cited

DesJardins, J. (2011). An introduction to business ethics. (4th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Reich, R. B. (2007). Supercapitalism. New York: Vintage Books.
Shadnam, M. (2011). Understanding widespread misconduct in organizations: an institutional theory of moral collapse. Business Ethics Quarterly.

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