study guide - Merck Co a case in point Ethical behavior is...

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Velasquez's Thesis: Ethical behavior the best long term business strategy Merck & Co. a case in point Ethical behavior is the best long-term business strategy means o in the long run o & for the most part o ethical companies enjoy significant competitive advantages over unethical ones Why ethical behavior pays off in the long run & for the most part o customers more likely to buy from a business known to be honest & trustworthy o employees are more likely to loyally join & faithfully serve a company that treats its workers with loyalty and respect Assuming that it pays to do the right thing . . . still it's not easy to know what that is: e.g., how to balance o duties to shareholders o rights of employees o needs of customers o obligations to society 1.1 The Nature of Business Ethics What does ethical mean: Study of businessmen o "What my feelings tell me is right" (50%): Doing what your conscience tells you. o "What is in accord with my religious beliefs" (25%): Doing what the church or bible says. o What "conforms to the golden rule" (18%) Inadequacy of all these answers in theory & practice o "conscience" sometimes commands wrongly or not at all o religion: sometimes commands wrongly especially others' religions, we're inclined to think Salmon Rushdie fatwah example "You shall not suffer a witch to live"? o the golden rule: perhaps commands wrongly: different strokes for different folks hard to interpret it Morality Definition: "the standards an individual or group has about what is right and wrong, or good and evil" Contrast: standards we hold about things that are not moral o legal standards o etiquette: rules of politeness o aesthetics: good & bad art; what's beautiful, ugly, etc. Five Characteristics of moral standards o deal with matters we think can seriously injure or benefit human (& other sentient?) beings o not established or changed by the decisions of authoritative individuals or bodies o are overriding: take precedence over other standards & considerations (especially of self-interest) o are based on impartial considerations: like my momma said "what if you were them?"; " "how'd you like someone to do that to you?" o associated with special emotions and vocabulary emotions like guilt, shame, & remorse vocabulary like "wrong", "right", "ought", "good", "bad", "immoral" We absorb these standards as children from a variety of influences and revise them as we mature Ethics Definition: the activity of examining one's moral standards or societies' and asking o how these standards apply to our lives o whether they are reasonable or unreasonable Ethical v. Social Scientific Study of morality o Social scientific study is descriptive: what there standards are & how they came by them (not, e.g., whether they're reasonable): Is anthropologists: taboos of the Trobriand Islanders social scientific: the value system of neo-nazi groups in the U.S.
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