NOTE: All submitted work is to be your original work. You may not use any work from another student, the Internet or an online clearinghouse. You are expected to understand the Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy, and know that it is your responsibility to learn about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper citation of sources as specified in the APA Publication Manual, 6th Ed. (Students are held accountable for in-text citations and an associated reference list only). Serious sanctions can result from violations of any type of the Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism including a zero on a project, a zero for the course or dismissal from the University.
Purpose: In this project, you will assess how two start up companies have come under scrutiny for their actions in operating in today’s business environment. How these companies are operating are pushing the limits or have exceeded the limits of what is considered ethical and legal. In completing this project you will have the opportunity to research the two companies, identify stakeholders influenced by the organization’s decisions and develop and evaluate alternatives, recommend solutions to ensure appropriate business practices and accountability occur
Outcomes met by completing this project:
1. identify ethical issues that arise in domestic and global business environments using an understanding of ethical concepts and of legal and business principles
2. develop and evaluate alternatives to, and recommend solutions for, ethical dilemmas, taking into account ethical and legal requirements and the essential mission of the business enterprise
3. effectively communicate to internal and external business stakeholders the complexities of ethical issues, suggesting and analyzing various solutions in order to ensure appropriate business practices and accountability
Use the following steps to complete the project. You will demonstrate an understanding of ethical concepts and of legal business principles and are required to use the course material to support the ideas and conclusions presented.
Step 1: Silicon Valley Startup Companies
Read the following articles about Silicon Valley startup companies (Theranos, Zenefits and Hampton Creek Foods). Each company discussed in the articles below eventually came under scrutiny for ethical and/or legal issues. Since embroiled in scandal, Hampton Creek Foods has been repositioned and is now known as Just, Inc.
Griffith, E. (2017, December 16). The other tech bubble. Wired. Retrieved fromhttps://www.wired.com/story/the-other-tech-bubble/
Griffith, E. (2017, December 28). The ugly unethical underside of Silicon Valley. Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/silicon-valley-startups-fraud-venture-capital/
Hartmans, A. (2018, September 5). The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, who started Theranos when she was 19 and became the world’s youngest female billionaire before it all came crashing down. Business Insider Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/theranos-founder-ceo-elizabeth-holmes-life-story-bio-2018-4
Suddath, C. and Newcomer, E. (2016, May 9). Zenefits was the perfect startup. Then it self-disrupted. Bloomberg. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-zenefits/
Step 2: Overview of Companies
Provide a company overview for Zenefits and Theranos. Describe the purpose(s) for the founding of the company; i.e., what problems was it formed to solve and/or opportunities it was formed to exploit, who are the founders, home country or state, management, etc.
Step 3: Ethical or Legal Issues
You will research each company to establish the facts of each situation. Once you have established the facts surrounding the decisions made by Theranos and Zenefits:
Step 4: Stakeholders
Step 5: Generate Alternatives
From what you have read, the startup culture poses a host of temptations creating a never-ending series of ethical choices and dilemmas. Companies are faced with the challenges of venture investors who expect hyper-growth and quick results. For privately-held companies, self-reporting, unaudited financials is an option as is not reporting, and the media serves to promote an attractive opportunity. Lastly, it is easy to rationalize behavior when the expectation is that entrepreneurs set the world on fire with innovative, disruptive technologies that promote overlooking rules and one’s moral compass.
Like many business people, some Silicon Valley decision makers need help in recognizing the ethical dilemmas they face when doing business and understanding the need for following rules and setting ethical standards. You will:
Step 6: Evaluate Each Alternative
Step 7: Recommend the Best Alternative
Step 8: Review the Paper
Read the paper to ensure all required elements are present. Use the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.
Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing.
Step 9: Submit the paper in the Assignment Folder (The assignment submitted to the Assignment Folder will be considered the student’s final product and therefore ready for grading by the instructor. It is incumbent upon the student to verify the assignment is the correct submission. No exceptions will be considered by the instructor).
How to Set Up the Paper
Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is double-spaced, 12-point font. The final product will be between 6-8 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page. Write clearly and concisely.
Completing the Paper
In order to complete this project, you will want to first read the module, Learn How to Support What You Write, as this assignment requires you to use the course material and research to support what you write. Also,
Self-Plagiarism: Self-plagiarism is the act of reusing significant, identical or nearly identical portions of one’s own work. You cannot re-use any portion of a paper or other graded work that was submitted to another class even if you are retaking this course. You also will not reuse any portion of previously submitted work in this class. A zero will be assigned to the assignment if self-plagiarized. Faculty do not have the discretion to accept self-plagiarized work.
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