DSST Business Ethics Study Guide sm 2

In stage six universal ethical principles driven

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In Stage six (universal ethical principles driven), moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. Rights are unnecessary, as social contracts are not essential for deontic moral action. Decisions are not reached hypothetically in a conditional way but rather categorically in an absolute way, as in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. [16] This involves an individual imagining what they would do in another's shoes, if they believed what that other person imagines to be true. [17] The resulting consensus is the action taken. In this way action is never a means but always an end in itself; the individual acts because it is right, and not because it is instrumental, expected, legal, or previously agreed upon. Although Kohlberg insisted that stage six exists, he found it difficult to identify individuals who consistently operated at that level. [13] [ edit ] Further stages In Kohlberg's empirical studies of individuals throughout their life Kohlberg observed that some had apparently undergone moral stage regression. This could be resolved either by allowing for moral regression or by extending the theory. Kohlberg chose the latter, postulating the existence of sub-stages in which the emerging stage
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has not yet been fully integrated into the personality. [8] In particular Kohlberg noted a stage 4½ or 4+, a transition from stage four to stage five, that shared characteristics of both. [8] In this stage the individual is disaffected with the arbitrary nature of law and order reasoning; culpability is frequently turned from being defined by society to viewing society itself as culpable. This stage is often mistaken for the moral relativism of stage two, as the individual views those interests of society which conflict with their own as being relatively and morally wrong. [8] Kohlberg noted that this was often observed in students entering college. [8][13] Kohlberg suggested that there may be a seventh stage— Transcendental Morality, or Morality of Cosmic Orientation—which linked religion with moral reasoning. [18] Kohlberg's difficulties in obtaining empirical evidence for even a sixth stage, [13] however, led him to emphasize the speculative nature of his seventh stage. [5] A conflict of interest ( COI ) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other. A conflict of interest can only exist if a person or testimony is entrusted with some impartiality; a modicum of trust is necessary to create it. The presence of a conflict of interest is independent from the execution of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs.
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