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BUS 102 University of California Riverside Business Discussion Questions

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1. On Moral Judgments pt 2
On Moral Judgments: If you firmly believe an action is moral, might you be wrong?
Provide a strong paragraph or two with an example to help support and explain your
response. Be sure to define what ‘moral’ means. Remember, this is a live, open
forum and these are big issues. You are encouraged to read and respond to your
colleagues with utmost professionalism.
2. Virtues of Aristotle
Among the ten virtues of Aristotle from my lecture today, which one is the most
important to you and why. In your strong paragraph or two, define the virtue and also
the two extremes outside of the ‘mean’. What must you do to bring yourself closer to
the mean (the virtue) or what must you do do sustain your position to be a person of
3. Sunday 10/17 Post
1) There are several people in the film who had positions of power within Enron and
still allowed the deception to continue. Of all the cast of characters, which one do you
think was most at fault for the Enron scandal – be specific.
2) Why do you think the scandal was able to grow as large as it did?
3) In 2001, when Enron filed for the largest bankruptcy in corporate history at the
time, it was the seventh largest business in the country with $63.4 billion in assets.
How is it possible that a company this large became such a scandal? Do you think
there are still corporations like Enron today where financials are overblown? Explain.
4) Lastly, where are the main characters today: Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, Sharon Watkins,
Andy Fastow, and Lou Pai?
4. Thursday 10/21 Post
So – what is your philosophy of justice? Keep it simple and clear. Provide an
example of justice according to your philosophy and what type of
training/tools/education/institutions is/are needed for a society to achieve and/or
sustain your idea of what is just.
5. Sunday 10/24 Post
A large majority of states in the US, including Delaware, where many companies are
incorporated, stipulates the primacy of the shareholders over other stakeholders. In
the EU, the law and/or the various governance codes, in a majority of countries
stipulate the primacy of the company’s interest i.e. the combined interest of the
various stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers to name a few). This is a
fundamental difference with broad implications. The American reasoning goes
somewhat as follows: if directors look out for the long term interest of shareholders
they will also be deemed to have taken care of the corporation’s other
stakeholders. European reasoning for the most part stresses the interest of the
company as a separate entity from its shareholders and as a confluence of different
interests that must be balanced. The European model holds that Directors (board
members) are expected to look after the interest of the company and the American
model holds that Directors are expected to look after the shareholders. In many
European countries shareholders cannot bring legal action against a director only the
company can take such action. The two models are quite different indeed.
Your questions to address:
1) What is the rationale (mildly noted above) of the American position on governance
– shareholders (owners of the company) are to whom the board is accountable.
2) What is the rationale (mildly noted above) of the European position on governance
– stakeholders (not necessarily the owners) are to whom the board is accountable.
3) So – what is your position? If you owned a company or held ownership in a
company, would you want your board and executive team to accountable to you the
owner or other stakeholders? Or, perhaps both?
4) Finally, U.S. law stipulates that corporations can have the CEO and Chair of the
Board be the same person. European Union law stipulates that corporations need to
have separate CEO and Chair of the Board. What are the benefits and risks of both?
6. Monday 11/1 Post
Yes, indeed, your Week Five ‘Sunday’ Post (due Monday) as noted in my earlier
announcement, should look very familiar to you. Now that you we have moved
through the journey of the philosophers, ethics, and responsibility, reflect on the
‘intelligence | wisdom’ question as we move into the second half of our journey.
In your ‘post’, you are encouraged to reevaluate your first response in week one and in
your commentary, explain how or if your answer remains the same or how it may have
changed. Can you copy/paste your same answer as you wrote in week one? Sure,
but explain your rationale.

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