Please respond to student below:
Jim Smith is, obviously, a successful individual. He graduated with a highly sought after degree and he is regarded as a top performer by his fellow employees at ABC Insurance. Unfortunately, Mr. Smith lacks ethical values and no matter how superb his performance appears, his lack of ethics can lead to company demise.
Virtue ethics has been around for some time – it’s founding fathers were Plato and Aristotle (Zalta, 2013). Virtue ethics is understood to be an approach to ethics that emphasizes moral character. Character traits such as kindness, honesty, fairness, and self-control would be in this category. Moreover, it is understood that these traits are infused within the person (meaning they are believed and followed in a religious manner) and are not used to promote oneself.
Most organizations would benefit if all their members or employees exhibited virtue ethics. How many times have you dealt with a sales person and been suspicious of the information you were being told? Sales people would not embellish the truth, would they? Unfortunately, we all know that greed is also a powerful trait.
I think that Jim Smith’s willingness to report inaccurate information is wrong. Furthermore, his actions are in direct contrast to what virtue ethics stands for. More importantly, though, if he is willing to stretch the truth in this area (completely ignoring the virtues being discussed), what else would he be willing to do? Would he be willing to put profit above properly taking care of a person’s insurance claim? His actions make me think he would.
Companies that allow or foster these types of actions are gambling with the future of their business. Assuming that this fraudulent activity could be exposed on a wide scale, the allegations could be catastrophic.
Zalta, E. N. (2013). Virtue ethics. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall Edition), Retrieved from