Ethicsin Decision Making: Harper Lee Case
Inthe case presented, Harper Lee is an elderly 88 year old lady who isblind and deaf (Tucker1).Her mental capacity is also diminishing. 50 years ago she published abook. However, her attorney comes across a book that Ms. Lee wrote 58years ago, and she wants to publish it. The ethical problem involvedis that the people claim that Ms. Carter wanted to benefit from thepublishing of the book. They also claim that the writer did not wantto publish the book since when she wrote it, she kept it though shehad the capacity to publish it. There was no one with the consent.Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether the attorney is doingwhat Ms. Lee would like or out of her interest.
Thecritical facts involved in my decision making are several. Thedecision should be based on a right versus the right thing (Badaracco1). In handling the right decision, a personal definition should bemade. The fact is that I am a publisher, and I represent the decisionof the publishing group. As a publisher, I need to keep the artalive. The fact that the writer had written the book shows that shehad the dream of letting the public come across the content. Whetherit is right or wrong, it is not a crime for people to know thecontent that the writer intended to pass across.
Ms.Lee’s decision to publish her second book first could be influencedby many reasons. Probably she was convinced that the second set ofthe book would sell out better than the first one. There could alsobe a possibility that she was frustrated by the editors who wouldhave taken a longer period to edit the book. The book could also behaving many errors that needed longer time to correct which she couldnot do since she might have been working on the second book.Therefore, we cannot rely on the fact that publishing the second bookfirst meant that she did not want to publish the first book.
Asa publisher, I should publish the book to satisfy the needs of thecustomer. The customer is being represented by the attorney, and thisis an ethical and legal thing to do. According to human right on thecondition of Ms. Lee then Ms. Carter should do what she feels shouldhave been the best for her client (Tucker1).In such a scenario then it is assumed that the attorney isrepresenting the desires of the client and her decisions should beassumed to be those of the boss. Therefore, satisfying the rights ofthe attorney is satisfying the rights of the employer.
Onpublishing the book, there is a less negative impact. The unsatisfiedpeople are the ones that support the fact that Ms Carter is out toserve her interests. Making of decision, especially the harddecisions involves some contrasting possibilities (Badaracco 1).However, there are two possibilities. When the book is good, it willbenefit the society. The intended information would reach to thepublic. In addition to this, the book will serve as a memory of theauthor. The fact that she had only managed to publish a single bookpublishing the second one will boost her profile. On realizingpositive results then those against the publishing of the book willchange their opinion.
Whenthe book is bad, there is a possibility that the people against thepublishing of the book would have an upper hand. In most cases, thepublic does not follow up the publishing company. However, there willbe negative stories cropping up to tarnish the name of Ms. Carter.Either way, there will be increased market as people would be eagerto judge the content. When the public is interested in the book, thenext of kin of Ms. Lee would be the key beneficiaries. If anythingthe pride of an individual is to leave a legacy that would benefitthe next of kin. Publishing the book can also serve as a way ofmaking the publishing house and its image known to the public. Whenthe market of the book hikes, there is a better platform of marketingthe publishing house.
Mydecision would be to publish the book. According to Badaracco’sfour Frameworks for a Decision, publishing the book will besatisfying a human right. The human right is that everyone has aright to an opinion (Badaracco 1). In this case, Ms. Carter’sopinion represents the interest of Ms. Lee whether she is right orwrong according to the public. The messages are taking sides.However, people have rights to an opinion and critique. Publishing ofthe book will keep the art alive. It will also boost the profile ofthe writer as well as keeping her name alive. It is also releasing tothe public what she needed to release when she was writing the book.The problem that may arise on publishing the book is tarnishing thename of Ms. Carter. However, out of the opinions of the public shemust have weighed the whole issues before getting to the conclusion.
Ethicsrefers to the standard rules regarding the right and the wrong thingamong humans. The action that is referred to be moral within asociety or a good result that comes from the action taken (Badaracco1). In some cases, ethics is associated with the feelings, religions,and the laws. However, the feelings of an individual, the religion,and the laws can deviate from the ethical matters. Therefore toequalize the religious and non-religious, ethics apply to all humanbeings. Ethics should be applied to establish morality and fairness.An individual’s ethical standards should be in line with the moralstandards as well as the rights of other people (Aristotle 23).
Inconclusion, my decision to publish the book will be ethical. It isright according to the human race. It is not based on the feelings ofa few people whose feelings are independent. The decision will servea human right by satisfying the intention of the client. The stand topublish the book will benefit the public through the transfer of theknowledge as well as satisfying the intention of Ms. Carter, whorepresents the interests of the author. The decision to publish thebook will also serve the interest of the company that is to marketitself as it will get known widely. When the book sells out, then thecompany sells out. The action will eventually have good end resultswhether the content is good or bad. The art will also be kept alive.The name of the writer will be revived. The information Ms. Leewanted to release to the public 58 years ago will eventually getknown.
Aristotle.C D. C. Reeve (Tr). NicomacheanEthics.Web, Accessed, 14, October, 2015<http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html>
Badaracco,Joseph. "DefiningMoments: A Framework for Moral Decisions."Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Class Lecture, 2003.Electronic Video. (Faculty Source)
Tucker,Neely. Toshill a mockingbird: How a manuscript’s discoverybecameHarper Lee’s ‘new’ novel,Retrieved From, Washington Post