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Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Sloot, 2010)




Brief Synopsis of the Book


Explain the book as if you were telling someone about it at a social setting. You are wanting them to consider reading the book. Be sure to share where it takes place, the main characters, when it happened, main results, etc. But this should not be longer than one page (single spaced with paragraphs).


Introduction to the Organization


This is a course that focuses on business ethics within an organization. So for the paper, you need to also focus on the organization and the main leaders/actors that are part of the organization and the decisions and actions they take. So first, identify the main organization that you will focus on in your paper and tell the reader about the organization. For example, for the Sandusky books, the organization is Penn State.


Tell the reader about the organization – how large it is, how long it has been around, where it is located, what it does, etc. What does the reader need to know to understand the decisions which were made?


Introduction to the Main Organizational Actors


Who are the main people in the situation that made decisions or took actions that impacted what happened? These can be those who acted in a positive or negative way. Introduce the reader to these individuals.


Introduction to the Main Victim(s) or Person(s) Harmed by the Organization’s actions or decisions


Who are the main people in the situation who were harmed by the organization’s actions or decisions? Introduce the reader to these individuals.


Ethical Situation


Explain what happened. You are encouraged to further break this section into smaller subsections to fit your situation. But you want to explain what happened, who did what, and why most believe the actions to be unethical.


Explain why the actions are unethical looking through the lens of at least three of the moral philosophies we cover in the course.


Provide your own views of whether you believe the situation was unethical and why you believe that way. Support your views using the material we’ve covered in the course.


Why the Unethical Situation Occurred


During the course, we explore “organizational factors” and “individual factors” that impact the decisions and actions people make when faced with an ethical dilemma.


Individual Factors – pick at least one of the main organizational actors who acts unethically in your opinion and analyze what it was about this person that caused him or her to make the decisions they made. Now, pick a second main organizational actor that acts ethically in your opinion and analyze what it was about this person that caused him or her to make the decision they made. Recall our discussion of Walter Pavlo as an example.


Organizational Factors –


We spend time exploring organizational factors that impact how people behave in an organization. These include the organizational culture, the leadership, bystander effect, reluctance to get involved, group think, obedience to authority, what is rewarded and punished, etc. Think about why the unethical behavior occurred and discuss THREE different organizational factors that contributed to the unethical behavior occurring. Provide at least a full paragraph discussion for each factor and pull in examples from the book.


Impact of the Unethical Behavior


Share with the reader the impact of the unethical behavior on the following three people/entities. For this section, I encourage you to do some additional research if the book is not recent to learn the latest impact. For example, if you are doing an environmental issue, try to see if there is an update on the impact published in the last few years.


On the Organization


On the Victim(s) or People Impacted


On the Community, Public, Others


How to Prevent this type of Behavior/Decisions from Happening Again


What could the organization do or have done to keep the unethical situation from happening? I want you to think in terms of the organizational factors again. You are a new CEO taking over the organization and want to fix the situation. What three factors should you focus on first and the most to make a difference? Explain with a detailed paragraph for each factor (more paragraphs are welcome but at least one good one) how the organizational factor would make a difference.


Lessons for Other Organizations and Leaders


In this section, provide at least THREE lessons you take away from this book and paper that you think other organizations and leaders need to realize if they want ethical organizations with ethical people within them.


Of course, provide a paragraph discussion each lesson.


Final Thoughts


If you have anything else you want to say and don’t have a good place to say it, this is your space.


Works Cited


Citation Format Used:__________________________


I encourage you to bring in additional information about the book and ethical situation. Be sure that you provide a full reference to those materials at the end of the paper. You need to provide a citation within the text of the paper letting me know that this information is coming from outside your head. The text citation will link back up to the full reference in the works cited area.


You can use the APA or MLA or other common citation style for your paper. Just pick the one you prefer and tell me in this area which style you used.




-Use 12 point Times Roman or Arial or something similar as the FONT


-Single space the text within a paragraph but include a space between paragraphs. Be sure to indent your paragraphs.


– You can use the APA or MLA or other common citation style for your paper. Just pick the one you prefer and tell me in the Works Cited area which style you used.


-Include page numbers


-Be sure you use proper grammar. You may use spell check and grammar check. You can also take your paper to the writing lab for additional help.


-Do not plagiarize. I have turned on the TurnIt software so when you submit your paper it will scan it for issues. I ask that you submit the papers by a certain date to scan these and then give you a few additional days to fix any issues.


-The goal of this paper is to have you relate a true life situation to the material in the course. Your opinion is welcomed, but I want you to use the material in the course to support your opinion.


-I like more rather than less. Be sure to adequately discuss each part of the paper. If you are a person of few words, you are going to have to make yourself discuss more. You can do this by giving examples from the book or bringing in other information.


Detailed Outline


I have told you what I want in the paper but it is now up to you to organize your thoughts based on the book and your take on the book and develop a detailed outline.


Everyone’s outline should be different.


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