Ethical Dilemma Faced By Kentucky Company Essay


Describe about the Ethical Dilemma faced by Kentucky Company.



Ethical dilemma are also referred to as the moral dilemma in which an individual is made to make a choice between two options that neither helps in the resolving of a situation in a manner that is ethically accepted. In most of the cases, there are conditions that must be met for a situation to be regards as ethical dilemma (Craft, 2013). One of the condition that should take place is that an individual or the business entity should make a decision in regards to the best of action that should be undertaken. Secondly, there should be various courses of choices to choose the best action to undertake in a given situation (Crossan, Mazutis & Seijts, 2013). The third condition is that no matter the course of action that will be taken there are some of the ethical principles that will be compromised. When determining what will make an ethical dilemma there is, need to determine some distinction in terms of ethics, morals, the values and the policies. Nevertheless, it is important to made distinction in regards to personal and professional ethics and values. Moreover, the conflicts between personal and professional values should not be seen as the rationale process acquired in resolving of the ethical dilemma faced by an organization (Frederickson & Ghere, 2013). The organization in which the report will be analyzed is Kentucky Fried Chicken that has faced ethical dilemma in the recent past. The report will use theoretical concepts to examine on the dilemma. Moreover, there will be evaluation of the relationship between ethics, leadership and the decision making. Nevertheless, there is need to look at how the leaders ensures the organizational decisions are made ethically.

Background of the company

KFC Company is one of the fast growing brand all over the world. Colonel Harland founded the company in 1952. The company specializes in the fried chicken and it is the second largest restaurant chain after the MacDonald (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). The company has global presence over 20,000 locations globally. The founder of the company Harland founded the organization during the period of the great depression in the USA (Griffin, 2013). He was selling the fried chicken by the roadside and at that moment, he determined the likelihood of a restaurant franchising idea along with the initially Kentucky chicken franchise was opened up in Utah in 1952. The company today offers the operations, franchising as well as services they may be providing across the world in their junk food restaurants that make, package as well as sell a menu that is ready to eat foods. Just like any organization, the company in the recent past has faced ethical dilemma on their business, this has been explored as follows (Hassan, Mahsud, Yukl & Prussia, 2013).

Main Ethical dilemma

The business ethics refers to the moral principles that guides how the business works. Therefore, the same principle, which determines the actions of individual action, can apply to the business. By acting in a way that is ethical involves being able to distinguish between the suitable along with the inappropriate therefore creating the right option. It usually is easy to recognize on fraudulent business strategies (Hartman, DesJardins & MacDonald, 2014). Nevertheless, it is sometimes hard to make an identical hard as well as quick description on facet of sound ethical plans. A business ought to make a return, which is competitive to the stakeholders, and deal with the workers relatively (Johnson, 2013). Moreover, the company carries a larger duties instance reducing of the problems for the environment as well as take action in ways that do not harm on the communities in the ones it operates. This is known, as the corporate social responsibility .The ethical analysis for the KFC Company specifically looks at the perspective of the consumer, he suppliers, employees of the company and the society in large (Kuntz, Kuntz, Elenkov & Nabirukhina, 2013). Despite the company, being one of the best popular chicken restaurant the company experiences some ethical dilemma as follows. As a result of the development of the living standards of individuals, they are changing on their attitude on the aspect of health and nutrition behaviors and attitudes (Lange, 2016). Individuals recently have been concerned with their health and figures than before. This has been from the fact that there has been an increase in the fact of information that has been reported on every platform of communication like internet, social media or perhaps newspapers about fast food has no nutritional value. One should not eat much since it is junk foods the research has found this and much has been documented on the same. The company is facing this major dilemma since it had previously gained reputation of the fast food by providing greasy unhealthy food (Mintz, 2016). Therefore, the company should do something in relation to the potential of the increase shareholders value. Being as one of the fast food restaurant the company has many individuals patronizing on the products and the food that they offer. The company is faced with the challenge of adopting on the best ethical practices towards meeting the consumer health aspects and on the other hand, the reputation of the organization is at jeopardy (Morales-S?nchez & Cabello-Medina, 2013). They need to adhere to the ethical standards that are specifically aligned to provision of healthy foods. Nonetheless, research has indicated that the company has been using oil that has Tran’s fatty acids. The kind of oil in question has been found to increase on the level of cholesterol on the bodies of individuals and as well, as increase on the risk of having heart disease. The authorities found that; the case has been referred to the consumer group centers for the science in the public interest. They explained to the company they should use healthier cooking products better than the ones they were currently using.

Application of theories off managerial ethics to examine Kentucky dilemma

The case of Kentucky ethical dilemma has been examined using two theories these are stakeholders management theory and utilitarian theory.

Stakeholder management theory

Kentucky Company can use this theory to address on the problem they are facing. The use of this model is to safeguard on the ethics of the company that is not subordinated towards the economic success but without exclusion of the possibility of working on an ethical strategies that may result in positive ethical consequences (Northouse, 2015). The company should employ basic ethics principals in which the managers to comply with ethical values. The refusal of the ordinary behavior may become dangerous to the human society and the economy. The company is using oil that have high levels Tran’s fatty acids that have been found to have high cholesterol levels and will cause health issue to these individuals in the end (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2016). The use of this theory will encompass the orientation of the managerial decisions in the applications to the stakeholder thinking. The professional skills and the human talent are also fundamental to achieve on this theory application (Symonds & Ranieri, 2015). The complication of the application of this theory is when the top managers have different views in regards to ethical principles, that do not relates to the human survival or rather the fundamental laws that govern the communities, but are deemed significant for the human life. These are hiring and firing conditions, having a salary that is decent and how the family life is to be conceived in relation to the conditions of working.

Utilitarian Ethical theory

The business leaders usually makes ethical decision every day in accordance to some ethical behavior whether they think on it or not (Yukl, 2002). The use of managerial ethical theories can help Kentucky to clear on the ethical dilemma they are facing and be able to make ethical decision. The use of this theory emphasizes the consequences of an action on the stakeholders (Williams, 2013). The stakeholders in any decision made in the company whether good or bad are the most affected on the outcome of the action. Utilitarian theory recognizes that trade off exist in the aspect of decision-making. The making of these decisions should be able to maximize the net benefit and reduce on the minimum overall harm to the stakeholders. KFC uses the oil, which contain the Tran’s fatty acids, and the food ingredients for cooking in their new products referred to as New Orleans Roasted wing (Trevi?o, den Nieuwenboer & Kish-Gephart, 2014). The use of this oil has influenced on the brand and has brought some negative effect such as having bad press, demonstration to boycott of the fried chicken and even media report. The company may have reported they do not use these products in order to adhere to ethical standards in order to protect the health of their customers. Moreover, they may do this to gain on international competitiveness and lead in competition from the other big brands (Thiel, Bagdasarov, Harkrider, Johnson & Mumford, 2012). The essence of the traditional ethical stance exhibited from the company is to prevent the actual problems in regards to health, nutrition and increase in the stakeholders profits. From this, it is obvious there is lack of the long-term plans, which can maintain these developments even in the future (Northouse, 2015). The organization ought to realize they not just have accountability for the present customers along with to the future decades. The management of the organization ought to pursue sustaining the health as well as dietary meals that the future generations will require in order to survive. The ethical stance of the stakeholders of this company should not be based on the short-term goals (Mintz, 2016). They should not encourage negative issues on their negligent behavior but rather should be for the good of all.

Relationship between ethics, leadership and decision-making

Quite a few descriptions they have got formulated on leadership with time as well as because of so many the subject provides developed from what is the description of leadership as well as the relationship which is between it and ethics , as well as decision making (Lange, 2016) . Based on Joanne Ciulla (2004), she describes great leadership as the ethically great as well as the theoretically good or even effective. She bears thought that ethics is the heart of the authority along with a good leader ought to be ethical as well as effectual. Leadership is often a relationship between individuals. Consequently, the ability to be capable of ethically impact on other people is essential in deciding of an efficient leadership. Based on William Hitt (1990), he lays down that there is three needs that allows the leaders to exploit their expertise to compel ethical conduct and to make choices efficiently. The three specifications are attaining a comprehension of ethics, assisting as a function model in the making judgments, which are moral as well as the development and implementation of a strategy of action to promote moral conduct on the employees in the company. To be an excellent leader you need to possess sturdy decent as well as be effectual so that you can make use of pressure as well as confrontation within individual’s value techniques and play a role of devising the cognizance of people (Johnson, 2013). The sound leader can optimize on the output from the adherent after which it attain best outcomes without the jeopardize of the ethical philosophies. The end result might entail many parameters however in attaining these types of outcomes, the leader ought to ascertain sturdy personal ethics. Just then, could a leader exercise as well as attain good leadership. Ethics according to Aristotle believes it is living well and reason, satisfaction figured centrally in the relations of the humans (Griffin, 2013). This has supported on the process of ethics that Skinner (1961) developed. This process examines on how the nature of the humans develops personal perspectives and the morals. The process begins with defining of the rules and the goals. In every culture, it has set of rules that are unbroken example the communal understanding of the difference between what is right and what is wrong (Frederickson & Ghere, 2013). Skinner acknowledges on the set of ethics, but he explores that humans are free to accept, embrace on these ethics. Further, if these ethics are accepted an individual will begin to observe on these from other individuals in everyday life. The next processes of Skinner if these are observed they will be imitated because the humans learn and develop when they imitate from others. The aspect of culture is defined through imitation and once ethics has been imitated, it would become a habit. Therefore these ethical actions imitated they will no longer be thought of but rather performed automatically by individuals (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). The last part of the ethical process contains two part of which without them the whole process will be deemed a failure. One of the first part is decision making. It entails not only just making a decision but also making the right decisions. The second part is refers to reflection. The results that are provided from a given decision making should include a contemplation as well as assessment of the particular choice because ethics rely on an individual free will (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). Whenever a person accomplish the correct it is certainly not sufficiently good since without reflection an individual will not realize why the right decision was designed and one may likely not make the right decision in the future. A leader who makes decision without reflection, the aspect of good ethics will be just a habit, but when they have reflection, good ethics will be based on reason and choice. When individuals have free will it shows that, there is a strong personal ethics when making good ethical decisions (Craft, 2013). From this process, one can learn that it is usually one thing to have ethics, which can be exhibited from everyone, but on the other hand, it is one thing to develop good ethics. On these statements, they have reflected on the current standards of ethical conduct. The society acceptance of ethics that is poor has been followed by Skinners automatic process stage. Today to have consistency practice of good ethics is no longer considered automatic, but rather uncommon (Johnson, 2013). This has been due to intense speed and the demand of the leaders today to make decisions thus reflecting on those decision made has long forgotten due to lack of time. The reflection process should thus be considered in the ethical process in order to have good leadership development.


The fundamental key to possess ethically run organization would be to possess morally upstanding leaders. To obtain ethical leadership moral leaders must have enormous effects on precisely how person in the business act as well as whatever they can attain. Those leaders that succeed in major ethically not merely develop on their organizations as well as cultures however; they additionally assist to providing differences in the world. An efficient leader ought to concentrate on what is right and be able to epitomize to their individuals who they are presented to enable them to instead never to exploit their susceptibility. The vital actions the leaders might work with on ethical carry out are the following: One of the element would be to face complexity particularly when generating ethical options. A good leader is an individual who talks about the difficult ethical choices and is able to help others learn on making responsible ethical decisions. Another aspect of a good leader does not separate ethics from the day-to-day business. The leader should be able to make it clear to the employees that ethics is the way the company operate and all the activities that are done should be ethical. A leader should not allow negative interpersonal behaviour to erode on his trust. The culture in the company should be based on respect. One should be a leader who expects it and is able to practice it through cultivation of a respectful environment in which individuals are able to speak out about ethics and share the responsibility of living it. Moreover, a leader should not exempt anyone from meeting all the ethical expectations. There should be no excuses and the ethical standards at all the time are adopted. An ethical leader should always consider both the positive and negative views and the right of every individual who is involved and they always ensures that the decision are made in a manner that is ethical and each member is accountable. The ethical nature of a judge ensures that their credibility and integrity causes the followers they trust them. Ethics has been connected to the ways in which the leaders interact with others and how and how they act when one is around them.


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