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Unformatted text preview: Ethical Reasoning
Bus M 390
Business Ethics CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUALS
Cognitive Biases Process of Individual Ethical Decision-Making
BEHAVIOR CHARACTERISTICS OF ORGANIZATIONS
Group and Organizational Pressures
Organizational Culture Consequentialism
Purpose is to achieve greatest overall happiness The right action depends on consequences Main theory is Utilitarianism (John Stuart Mill, mid1800s): – An action is right if it brings the greatest happiness (utility) for the most people
– Lying may be right if it brings about the most good Deontology
The right action depends upon universal principle Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative: “I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my action should become a universal law.” Restating, Kant said: “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity…never simply as a means, but always…as an end.” Lying is never right because it treats others as a means only, and thus offends dignity A Universal Ethical Standard?
Christianity: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Judaism: What you hate, do not do to anyone.
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Hinduism: Do nothing to thy neighbor which thou wouldst not have him do to thee.
Sikhism: Treat others as you would be treated yourself.
Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains thyself.
Confucius: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
Aristotle: We should behave to our friends as we wish our friends to behave to us.
Plato: May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me. Virtue Ethics
Morality depends on becoming a person who embodies virtues (it’s about the actor, not the act) Original virtues were prudence (wisdom), temperance (moderation), fortitude (courage), and justice Recent research: honesty, responsibility, respect, fairness, and compassion – Lying may be right if it reflects courage, justice, charity, etc. Integrity
Integrity Soundness of moral principle and character The state of being whole, entire, undiminished Integrity
Integrity is always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more important, in our thoughts and in our hearts. Personal integrity implies such trustworthiness and incorruptibility that we are incapable of being false to a trust or covenant.
Elder Joseph B Wirthlin Virtue Ethics
Virtue The Disclosure Rule: How would I feel if my behavior (or response) were on the news? Social Contract Theory
The right action is that which fulfills my obligations (implicit and explicit) to society Thomas Hobbes (15881679): Morality = striking a “social bargain” where rational people agree to rules that allow all to live in a mutually beneficial society – Lying is generally wrong because we have to be able to count on others to maintain a society Ethics of Care
Carol Gilligan: Instead of impartiality and justice, focus is on love and human relationships We have special obligations to those closest to us, and to the vulnerable Also emphasizes particularities; the right action depends on the situation – Lying may be right if it protects those we care most about, or those who are vulnerable. Business Ethics Toolkit Eight Steps to Sound Ethical
1. Gather the facts
2. Define the ethical issues
3. Identify the affected parties
4. Identify the consequences
5. Identify the obligations
6. Consider your character and integrity
7. Think creatively about potential actions
8. Check your gut Check Your Gut
Intuition should never be discounted
They hire consultants, badger assistants, and study management books, but when it comes right down to it, 43 percent of American executives say it’s those old “gut feelings” they rely on most when making tough decisions What is this “gut” we talk about? Practical Preventive Medicine
(When Asked to Make a Snap Decision) Pay attention to your gut Ask for time Find out about organizational policy Ask manager or peers for advice Use the disclosure rule Texas Instruments
Ethics Quick Test
Ethics Is the action legal? Does it comply with our values? If you do it, will you feel bad? How will it look in the newspaper? If you know it’s wrong, don’t do it! If you’re not sure, ask. Keep asking until you get an answer. ...
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- Fall '11