Differentiate between matters of law and matters of ethics in business situations

A few years ago Clare Applewood started a small outdoor equipment business called Mountain Top View. The
company is a sole proprietorship. The company began as a single storefront and has grown rapidly to include
online ordering through the company website. The company’s website includes the statement, “We are
committed to keeping customer information secure and protected.” Clare also uses social media sites to
market the company.
Carlos Rodriguez has worked for the company since the beginning. He oversees both store and online
operations. Clare and Carlos make most decisions together.
Steve, the company’s Information Technology lead, discovered that the company database of customer
information was hacked. Customer names, addresses, and phone numbers were accessed for only those
customers who placed online orders in the first quarter of the year. Steve was able to correct the code that
allowed the hack and is confident that the database is now secure.
When Carlos overhears Steve talking about the database fix in the store break room, he questions Steve about
why he did not bring the breach to anyone’s attention. Steve explains that because he was able to quickly
correct the code that led to the breach, and because only address and phone number information for a handful
of customers was accessed, he didn’t think it was necessary to say anything.
Clare asks Carlos to evaluate whether the company has an ethical and/or legal obligation to report the breach
to their customers and to recommend a course of action. She also asks Carlos to select an ethical test or
framework that all employees can use in the future to help guide their decisions.
Evaluate whether the company has an ethical and/or legal obligation to report the breach to its customers. Your
evaluation should be framed as a report for the owner, Clare, that includes the following sections and
information. Cite your sources using APA style.
Include a definition of ethics and explanation of how ethics compares to law.
Provide an explanation of corporate social responsibility and how it relates to ethical business practices.
Provide a summary of the ethical and/or legal issues involved in this situation.
Briefly describe the relevant stakeholders, the key facts, and the potential implications or impact of the
Provide your recommendation for a course of action supported by relevant resources, such as specific laws
and commonly accepted ethical practices.
Explain the reasoning behind your recommendation and use reliable sources, such as the textbook and other
course resources, to support your position.
Conclusion: Describe how advances in technology in today’s business world have both legal and ethical
Ethical Test or Framework
Select a test or framework for all employees in this company to use. Demonstrate how it can be used when
faced with an ethical dilemma. Cite your sources using APA style.
Test or framework
Select a text or framework option from among those described in the textbook.
Name the option you selected and describe the test or framework, including its advantages and potential
Explain why the test or framework that you selected is appropriate for this company; justify your selection.
Apply the test or framework to the scenario to demonstrate how Steve could have used it to guide his decision
making and actions.

Sample Solution