4Mallor12e - Chapter 4 Business Ethics, Corporate Social...

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Chapter 4 Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance and Critical Thinking Why Study Business Ethics: 1.To make better decisions for ourselves, the businesses we work for, and the society we live in. 2.To understand ourselves and other better. 3.To learn to act ethically so businesses can forestall public criticism, reduce lawsuits against them, prevent Congress from passing onerous legislation, and to make higher profits. 4.To examine the role of law in defining ethical conduct. The Corporate Social Responsibility Debate 5.Stakeholder theory of corporate social responsibility - holds that corporations should balance the interest of shareholders against the interests of other corporate stakeholders, such as employees, suppliers, customers, and the community. 6.Defenders of business argue that in a society founded on capitalism, profit maximization should be the main goal of business. Ethical Theories For centuries, religious and secular scholars have explored the meaning of human existence and attempted to define a “good life”. Four theories are covered, including rights theory, justice theory, utilitarianism, and profit maximization. Theories that focus on the consequences of a decision are teleological ethical theories. Theories that focus on decisions or actions alone are deontological ethical theories. None are necessarily invalid. Log one: www.utm.edu/research/iep/ Rights Theory Rights theory holds that certain human rights are fundamental and must be respected by other humans. This places the focus on each individual member of society. Kantianism - 18 th century philosopher, viewed humans as moral actors that are free to make choices. He believed humans are able to judge the morality of any action by applying his categorical imperative . “Act only on that maxim whereby at the same time you can will that it shall become a universal law”. A second formulation of the imperative is: “Always act to treat humanity, whether in yourself or in others, as an end in itself, never merely as a means.” Modern Rights Theories - Modern theorist found that duties are not absolute. For example, most people find killing, as in self defense - acceptable. So, modern rights theorists proposed mixed deontological theories. Their ideas run along the line of abiding by a moral rule unless a more important rule conflicts with it. Strengths of Rights Theory - protects fundamental rights, unless some greater right takes precedence. Criticisms of Rights Theory
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2009 for the course MGT 3453 taught by Professor David during the Spring '09 term at Oklahoma State.

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4Mallor12e - Chapter 4 Business Ethics, Corporate Social...

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