Law and ethics are some of the significant external environmental factors in the corporate sector. Intensive competition in the sector may induce unfair practices against competitors but the legal and moral environment exerts pressure to ensure that parties compete fairly. This paper considers the case of competition between APEX and Computer Solutions and argues that APEX, through its representative, should restrain from any act that could undermine Computer Solutions’ competitiveness, unfairly. The case identifies Alex Franklin, project manager for APEX, a client and Computer Solutions that is APEX’ s strongest competitor. The two companies are interested in a contract with First Street Bank and Alex sees success in winning a contract with the bank as an opportunity for his promotion while the bank’ s vice president seems to favor APEX for the contract.
The bidding deadline is almost and the vice president calls Alex and his team and leaves him with a folder labeled “ Computer Solutions. ” The moral dilemma is Alex’ s possible action with the competitor’ s envelop that the vice president has given him (Wicks, Freeman, Werhane and Martin, 2009). Kant’ s ethical theory offers one of the bases for analyzing the case.
One of the imperatives to Kant’ s ethical perspectives is universal acceptance of an action. The imperative identifies morality if an act is generally accepted as a guiding principle. A manager, for example, should take actions that can be accepted as precedents to his company and other. Gaining access to a competitor's bid, especially when bids are by secret ballot is however unacceptable as it infringes the competitor's privacy and breaches concept of fair competition. Computer Solutions would be the victim while Alex, his assistants, and the vice president would be the immoral actors.
Another imperative that Kant offers is the criticism against treating people as means to a person's end and the case identifies promotion as Alex's core objective into the bid. Taking advantage of a person’ s weakness is an example.
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