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Ethical theories and approaches in business

  1. Ethical theories and approaches in Business
  2. Ethical theories provide a framework for judging right or wrong decisions. There are two types of Ethical theories 1.consequentialist 2.Non consequestialist
  3. Concequentialist theories • If the consequences are good, the action is right; if they are bad, the action is wrong. There are two theories under this category : • Egoism • Utilitarianism
  4. Egoism as an ethical theory • The view that equates morality with self- interest is referred to as egoism. • An egoist contends that an act is morally right if and only if it best promotes his interests.
  5. • Moral philosophers distinguish between two kinds of egoism: • personal and • impersonal. • Personal egoists claim they should pursue their own best interests, but they do not say what others should do. • Impersonal egoists claim that everyone should let self-interest guide his or her conduct.
  6. UTILITARIANISM • Utilitarianism tells us to bring about the most happiness for everyone affected by our actions. • Jeremy Bentham and JohnStuart Mill were important early utilitarians.
  7. Six Points about Utilitarianism • First, when deciding which action will produce the greatest happiness, we must consider unhappiness or pain as well as happiness. • Second, actions affect people to different degrees.
  8. • Third, because utilitarian's evaluate actions according to their consequences and because actions produce different results in different circumstances, almost anything might, in principle, be morally right in some particular situation.
  9. • Fourth, utilitarians wish to maximize happiness not simply immediately but in the long run as well. • Fifth, utilitarians acknowledge that we often do not know with certainty what the future consequences of our actions will be. Accordingly, we must act so that the expected or likely happiness is as great as possible. • Sixth : my pleasure as pain should be equally treated as others
  10. Use of utilitarianism in organizational context Formulating policies Second, utilitarianism provides an objective and attractive way of resolving conflicts of self- interest. Third, utilitarianism provides a flexible, result- oriented approach to moral decision making.
  11. Non-Utilitarian theories 1. Formulate the maxim of the action. That is, figure out what general principle you would be acting on if you were to perform the action. ("in situations in which I need money and know I can't pay it back, I will falsely promise to pay it back.")
  12. 2. Universalize the maxim. That is, regard it not as a personal policy but as a principle for everyone. ( "in situations in which anyone needs money and knows he or she cannot pay it back, he or she will falsely promise to pay it back."
  13. 3. Determine whether the universalized maxim could be a universal law, that is, whether it is possible for everyone to act as the universalized maxim requires. (if everyone started making false promises, the institution of promising would disappear, so no one would be able to make a false promises, since there would be no such thing as a promise to falsely make.)
  14. Humanity as an End, Never as Merely a Means • Treat human being as end not as a mean : Human are worth in themselves so you should respect their rights All effort should be done to improve the well being of human being.
  15. Organizational implications There are two alternative formulations of the categorical imperative. The first is that an act is right only if the actor would be willing to be so treated if the positions of the parties were reversed. The second is that one must always act so as to treat other people as ends, never merely as means.

Notes de l'éditeur

  1. For example, whereas breaking a promise generally produces unhappiness, there can be circumstances in which, on balance, more happiness would be produced by breaking a promise than by keeping it. In those cases, utilitarianism would require us to break the promise
  2. If I take my friend’smoney, unbeknownst to him, and buy lottery tickets with it, there is a chancethat we will end up millionaires and that my action will have maximized happinessall around. But the odds are definitely against it; the most likely result isloss of money (and probably of a friendship, too). Therefore, no utilitarian couldjustify gambling with purloined funds on the grounds that it might maximizehappiness