What is the problem here in the perspective of business of ethics?

CASE STUDY:                Coltan Fact: Conflict Minerals — What You Should Know
  Coltan is short for Columbite (tantalite), a black, tar-like mineral found in major quantities in the Congo. The Congo possesses 80 percent of the world’s Coltan. When Coltan is refined, it becomes a heat-resistant powder that can hold a high electric charge. The properties of refined Coltan are a vital element in creating devices that store energy or capacitors, which are used in a vast array of small electronic devices, especially in mobile phones, laptop computers, pagers, and other electronic devices. Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and their proxy militias are the primary exploiters of Coltan in the Congo. According to The United Nations Report (2001), this has fuelled the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Indeed, more than 5.4 million people have died because of this conflict. This conflict has recently drawn our attention because of the fact that most of the phones and gadgets we rely on are made from this valuable mineral. The Coltan mined by rebels and foreign forces is sold to foreign corporations. Once the Coltan is processed and converted to capacitors, it is then sold to companies such as Nokia, Motorola, Compaq, Alcatel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lucent, Ericsson, and Sony for use in a wide assortment of everyday products ranging from cell phones to computer chips and game consoles.(Extracted: https://www.warchild.org.uk/issues/conflict-in-democratic-republic-of-congo, http://www.congoweek.org/en/coltan-facts.html, 27 June, 2016)


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Your task is to review this situation in relation to multinational corporations’ use of Coltan in light of the new understanding of business ethics that you have gained in this unit.   

(this essay/ report is about Phronetic inquiry and link it with utilitarian, deontology, virtue)



Your assignment could be in the form of an essay or report


  • Drawing from the analytical framework of phronetic inquiry argued by Flyvbjerg (mention about Flyvbjerg theory and Foucoult on this), I suggest you structure your answer.
  • This essay/report must be based according to Phronetic inquiry.
  • 2500 words (1.0 Line spacing, 11 font, times news roman)
  • 16 Chicago referencing: In-text citation (NOT footnote) and bibliography.
  • Minimum of 22 Academic resources (scholarly resources, government website, or etc..)













In the report, include;

Phronesis implies to an informed action based from intellectual virtue (what is good or bad)

-Phronesis drives us to think about how/what we should consider in the ethics of business

-Phronetic inquiry helps to take phronetic actions

-Phronesis talks about the perspectives, value rational decision (as said by Freedman)

Phronesis inquirysort of framework which relate to the issue of global world

– Phronesis concerns values and interests and goes beyond


-Foucault (refer to ppt “Phronetic 2”)

-Flyvbjerg (refer to ppt “Phronetic 1 and 2”)




-Huge criticism about outsourcing since 2008

-This is an issue of obligation; power word “imposing”, -> we bring phronesis enquiry to explain what’s wrong in here.

-Who gains/loses -? Power correlation

-The only responsibility pf business is to earn profit (said by Freedman)

-ethics of care -> Duty of care

-Phronetic inquiry provides us with scenarios for valur rational framework; value means the good and the bad

-issue of perspective and how we are interpreting it



PPT Phronetic 1/ SLIDE 3:

-talks about obligation

-is the development desireable?

-“we” (ppt Phronetic 1), as a part of the community

-who gains and loses, power stamps from everywhere.

-Politics that flyvberg talks about is about the politics between “you” and the client and owner. (Stakeholders/shareholders)

-issue of ethics into politic



Various approaches

  1. Stakeholder consideration
  2. What is the problem here in the perspective of business of ethics?
  3. Phronetic inquiry along with ethics of care,

Power issue (FouCault) and relate it with other electronic corporation e.g. apple, etc

-> May discuss apple’s value, mission statement, global mission as a strategy and relate it.




-Read and include: PhronOrgClegg 3: Making org. research matter

p.g 10: ‘particular circumstances’ is a main ingredient of phronesis. Talks about the context and about how we can relate ourselves with this.

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