KSBM – Business Ethics – Evaluate the ethics of Becton Dickinson’s use of the GPO system in the late 1990s. Are the GPO’s monopolies? Are they ethical? Explain.

Evaluate the ethics of Becton Dickinson’s

Business Ethics


Q1. Explain, in light of their theories, what Locke, Smith, Ricardo, and Marx would probably say about the events in this case.

Q2. Explain which view of property-Locke’s or Marx’s- lies behind the positions of the drug companies GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb and of the Indian companies such as Cipla. Which of the two group-GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb on the one hand, and the Indian companies on the other –do you think holds the correct view of property in this case? Explain your answer.

Q3. Identify the behaviors that you think are ethically questionable in the history of Microsoft. Evaluate the ethics of these behaviors.

Q4. What characteristics of the market for operating systems do you think created the monopoly market that Microsoft’s operating system enjoyed? Evaluate this market in terms of utilitarianism, rights, and justice (your analysis should make use of the textbook’s discussion of the effects of monopoly markets on the utility of participants in the market, on the moral rights of participants in the market, and on the distribution of benefits and burdens among participants in the market), giving explicit examples from the operating systems industry to illustrate your points.

Q5. In your view, should the government have sued Microsoft for violation of the antitrust laws? In your view, was Judge Jackson’s order that Microsoft be broken into two companies fair to Microsoft? Was Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s November 1, 2004 decision fair? Was the April 2004 decision of the European Commission fair to Microsoft? Explain your answers.

Q6. Who, if anyone, is harmed by the kind of market that Microsoft’s operating system has enjoyed? Explain your answer. What kind of public policies, if any, should we have to deal with industries like the operating system industry?

Q7. What are the systemic, corporate, and individual issues raised in this case?

Q8. How should wildlife species like grouse or deer be valued, and how should that value be balanced against the economic interests of the of company like Questar?

Q9. In light of the U.S. economy’s dependence on oil, and in light of the environmental impact of Questar drilling operation, is Questar morally obligated to cease its drilling operation on the Pinedale Mesa? Explain

Q10. What, if anything, should Questar be doing differently?

Q11. In your wvie, have the environmental interest groups identified in the case behaved ethically?

Q12. In your judgment, did Becton Dickinson have an obligation to provide the safety syringe in all its sizes in 1991? Explain your position, using the materials from this chapter and the principles of utilitarianism, rights, justice, and caring.

Q13. Should manufacturers be held liable for failing to market all the products for which they hold exclusive patents when someone’s injury would have been avoided if they had marketed those products? Explain your answer.

Q14. In your judgment, who was morally responsible for Maryann Rockwood’s accidental needlestick: Maryann Rockwood? The clinic that employed her? The government agencies that merely issued guidelines? Becton Dickinson?

Q15. Evaluate the ethics of Becton Dickinson’s use of the GPO system in the late 1990s. Are the GPO’s monopolies? Are they ethical? Explain.



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