Topic: Business Ethics
Issues concerning shareholders and employees are of critical importance to the good functioning of any organization. In an academic essay format, compare and contrast the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation (MCC) with a traditional capitalist corporation of your choice and determine how the treatment of these stakeholders impacts on ethical outcomes.
Word length: 2,500 words
This essay requires you to investigate the ethical treatment of shareholders and workers in a traditional, capitalist corporation of your choice and compare and contrast your findings with the treatment of these stakeholders in the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation. Please choose an organization that you admire for its ethical behaviour rather than one, such as Enron, that behaved so reprehensively that its only value these days is a “whipping boy” for ethicists.
As such, you need to investigate those issues that present as ethical dilemmas for these stakeholders and these are mentioned at considerable depth throughout chapters 6 and 7 of the Crane and Matten (2010) text. The 1982 BBC documentary “The Mondragon Experiment” is an excellent source of information about the origins and nature of the MCC and how the underlying principles upon which it based are made practical. This film can be found on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zMvktpKDmo . Further information about how Mondragon has progressed to the current day can be found on the corporation’s website at
Suggestion as to how to organise your essay
This suggestion about you could approach this essay is just that – a suggestion. In other words, you are encouraged to organise your essay as you wish, presumably with a view to making the best case for your specific argument. Like all academic essays, you are required to make an argument that is convincing and well-supported by references. Again, what follows is not meant to prescriptive, just a suggestion about how you might proceed.
Firstly, review Module 2 to identify the issues that provide the fundamental points of difference between corporations and workers’ cooperatives such as Mondragon. It may be a good idea to read a little more widely to consider the political ideologies that underpin the establishment of these organizations. Doing so provides your essay with a sound theoretical foundation as to how human beings are conceptualized by those ideologies and how they relate to the major normative theories (See Fig. 3.2, p. 98, Crane & Matten, 2010). From this, good students will be able to get an appreciation and better understanding of the ethical foundation of the MCC. This is important because the major challenge in this essay is to determine how these points of difference (ideologies) manifest as ethical problems in both Chapters 6 and 7 of the Crane and Matten text.
The first paragraph in the body of the essay should outline the contrasting political ideologies and concepts of human beings and the points of difference and how they impact in terms of creating ethical dilemmas for both shareholders and workers. Subsequent paragraphs should be focussed on the relevant ethical dilemmas outlined in the text and discussion should ensue as to how these issues can/may be resolved by adopting an alternative ethical position in the way we organise.
You should be aware that you write the introductory paragraph and the concluding paragraph last. Good students will find a strong definitive position about the nature of organizing and allude to essential criteria that will facilitate ethical behaviour for both shareholders and workers. Critique of both, the chosen corporation and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, will be essential for a high mark.
Graduate attributes tested and developed
G1 – Demonstrate applied knowledge of business ethics and practice.
G4 – Evaluate, synthesise & critically review theoretical frameworks with other evidence to provide solutions to real-world problems.
G7 – Comprehend and address complex ethical dilemmas.
G8 – Demonstrate an understanding of complex sustainable dilemmas and the need for responsible leadership.
G11 – Communicate professionally & effectively in both oral and written communication to various audiences to achieve targeted outcomes.
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