Case Study: Consequentialism

Case Study: Consequentialism

Case Study: Consequentialism (I.M.P. – It’s My Party)

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As you answer these questions, remember this is not about your opinion. Answer how you would respond as a Consequentialist.

Consequentialism belief that the most important consideration is how things turn out in the end.

Utilitarian: A good end result that makes people happy and free of pain is good. Actions that serve the greater good or the greatest number of people
Egoism: Things that make a situation turn out the best for you
Altruism: Things that make a situation turn out the best for others
Hedonism: Maximize please without regard for other people

CASE STUDY I.M.P. (It’s My Party)

“Look at them!” he said, his eyes dancing. “That’s what it’s all about, the way the people feel. It’s not about the sellout performances and the caliber of the bands who appear here. It’s about the people who buy tickets, having a good time.” Source: Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley

Seth Hurwitz is quoted in the Washington Post, talking about his 9:30 Club, a small venue playing over-the-hill bands on the way down, and fresh acts scratching their way up.

The story’s curious detail is that even though Hurwitz calls his company I.M.P. (It’s My Party), he doesn’t spend much time at his club. In fact, he’s almost never there. Part of the reason is that his workday begins at 6 a.m., so he’s actually back in bed preparing for the next day before his enterprise gets going in earnest each night. His job is straightforward: sitting in the second floor office of his suburban DC home, he scrutinizes the music publications and statistics, probing for bands that people want to see and that won’t charge too much to appear.

He told the Post that he won’t book an act as a favor, and he won’t flatter a group into playing his club to keep them away from the competition by overpaying them. “I don’t subscribe,” he says, “to doing shows that will lose money.” Hurwitz has been connected with music in one way or another for almost as long as he can remember.

The Post relates some of his early memories: He rigged a system to broadcast radio from his basement to his parents and brothers in the living room. “I used to bring my singles into class and play them,” Hurwitz said. When he was 16, he decided he wanted to be a deejay and got his chance when alternative rock station WHFS gave him a spot. “It was from 7:45 to 8—fifteen minutes,” he said, laughing. “But that was okay because I wanted to be on the radio, and I had my own show, as a high school student.” He said he was fired “for being too progressive.” It’s a long way from getting fired for playing music too obscure for alternative radio to where Hurwitz is now: putting on concerts by bands selected because they’ll make money.

Questions: answer 3 out of 4

1. Do people who run their own company have an ethical responsibility to separate friends from business?

2. One nice thing about Hurwitz working upstairs in his own house is that he can show up for work in the morning in his pajamas. Should all places of business be like that—with people free to wear whatever they want for work? Explain your answer from an ethical perspective.

Most of Hurwitz’s shows are on weeknights. Some concert goers may have such a good time that they can’t make it in to work the next day.

3. If you go to a concert on a Wednesday and are too hung over to make it to work on Thursday, what should you tell your boss on Friday? That you were hung over? That your car broke down? Something else? Justify.

4. Should Hurwitz accept some responsibility and blame for absent employees? Explain.

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