In terms of utilitarianism theory, key stakeholders would include Tom, Tom’s parents, the company, co-workers in the company, charity. The below table would list the consequences (benefits and harms) by whether Tom exaggerate his work experience or not.
Not exaggerate -Benefits
Retained by the company and provide the life-saving sponsorship for children.
He may lose job when the truth comes out and it would affect his future when he seeking a job.
He does not need to worry about any worse situations which may happen on him.
He would not obtain the job and cannot provide the sponsorship.
They could not support Tom and improve their financial position.
They need to continually support Tom.
They do not need worry about Tom’s characters.
Supporting Tom under a not good financial position.
They may get a potential good employee.
They may get a potential bad employee.
They would not hire a dishonest employee.
They probably hire other person who is worse than Tom.
Working with a good graduate.
Probably affected by Tom in the work.
Completing job well with an experienced person.
Maybe work with a person worse than Tom.
Get the sponsorship from Tom.
Cannot get the sponsorship from Tom.
Weighing each stakeholder’s harms and benefits by Tom exaggerates his work experience on his curriculum vitae that appears the benefits of consequence are outweighing harms. A potential fact should be considered is that Tom has good GPA on accounting, so he might be capable to complete his job well and would minimise the risk to his job. So the harms may not happen if Tom does his job well.
Overall, I think Tom’s behaviour is ethical by weighing consequences.
By testing Tom’s duty for universal acceptability, he would fail it. Firstly, he exaggerates his work experience on his curriculum vitae in order to get the job, so he cheats the company and telling lie. Tom would break universal law if he does so. Furthermore, Tom’s behaviour would not meet the consistently universal, because of the company must be in trouble if everyone do this. According Kantian’s ethics, everyone should tell the truth, that is the universal consistent law.
For the respect part, he would fail it. Tom’s behaviour is telling lie, which is not showing the respect to the company.
Overall, truth telling is a vital factor in Kantian’s theory. So Tom cannot meet both principles of universal acceptability and respect because of telling lie. He does not follow duties and against categorical imperative as well.
For virtue ethics, I am going to apply sincerity in expression (truthfulness) in Tom’s dilemma. Tom’s action is against the virtue in terms of truthfulness, he is not telling truth when he exaggerating. Moreover, Tom’s action turns him into means rather than ends, because he telling lie in order to get a job. Telling lie is actually against truthfulness and is not a virtuous person in this situation would do.
In brief, Tom’s action is not ethical under virtue ethics.
Ranking of ethical theories
In my opinion, the most useful for resolving my own ethical dilemmas is virtue ethics theory, and then is Kantian ethics theory and the least useful theory is utilitarianism. In comparison with Kantian ethics theory and utilitarianism, virtue ethics theory can address most ethical dilemmas, and also can meet other two theories in most situations. I think most of time I just need follow a virtue and take the consequence and be honest into account, and then most of situation can be addressed ethically. The disadvantage of Kantian’s ethics theory is some time we must telling lie when we meet some extreme situations. The principle in this theory is not flexible like virtue ethics theory, and truth telling is also being included in virtue. Utilitarianism may