The paper "Should Detonation Media Blow up or Make Nice with the Seg" is an outstanding example of a business case study. The economy is not doing very well at the moment but Detonation Media has done well in the past, by making use of the skills of software engineers, in particular, those belonging to the Software Engineers Guild. The fact that some employees have not been working without a contract for over three months suggests that the company does not care about their security. The long hours and constant deadlines mean that software engineers burn out easily.
Many of them are on strike because they probably feel expendable rather than valued for their contributions to the success of such companies as Detonator. They feel the need to stand up for their rights through the efforts of their union. The state of the current economy makes it a difficult time for companies and employees alike. Companies that are afraid of not being able to sell their wares may find it difficult to make promises to employees that they might not be able to keep.
And knowledge workers who are contributing to valuable intellectual property feel that they should have the kind of stake that could ensure that they become rich, if not now, then in the very near future. There is a lack of consensus among programmers as someone are willing to continue working while others feel a strong need to stand up for their rights. This division in the ranks of the programmers can easily be exploited by a company such as a Detonator whose CEO is concerned more about the bottom line than building a better relationship with software engineers. Key Issues Negotiating Position The Chief Executive Officer of Detonation, Emilio Teti, has read the market conditions well and determined that the company is not in a terribly bad position in relation to the unionized software workers.
This is because if they refuse to continue working he can hire people outside the guild, and these people, who may be just as skilful but in great need of money, may be willing to accept far less than the SEG is demanding. The members of the SEG have stood by the company for three months and proven that they have the skills and the commitment to assist the company with its development programs.
Cutting these people off and seeking a new group of low-paid programmers may serve the bottom line but it may do a great deal of harm to the company’ s long term image. Also, the approach of the CEO has been to see the union and the software engineers as adversaries and people to conquer rather than people to court and build a long term relationship with.
Though Carol Lee made comments to the CEO that suggested she could empathize with the software engineers, it seems that a certain measure of moral muteness was at play because the ethics of delaying negotiations with the union as a way to buy time until nonunion members could be hired were not discussed. Moral muteness refers to “ when people do not recognizably communicate their moral concerns in settings where such communicating would be fitting" (p. 27). When they would be expected to express themselves with respect to ethical concerns, "they either voice no moral sentiments or communicate in ways that obscure their moral beliefs and commitments" (Bird 2002, p.
16; cited in Drumwright 2004, p. 7). As a lawyer, it would have been within her right to voice some concerns about this approach to the CEO but she did not take up the chance to do so. The CEO himself may be guilty of moral myopia. This kind of myopia “ hinders moral issues from coming clearly into focus, particularly those that are not proximate, and it can be so severe that it may render a person effectively morally blind.
If moral issues are not seen at all or are somehow distorted, it is highly unlikely that sound ethical decision making will occur” (Drumwright 2004, p7). CEO Emilio does not appear to see anything wrong with his plans. He may be feeling that as long as he is not breaking any law, then there is no problem. What is legal, however, is not necessarily moral.
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