Normative theories of business ethics..
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Normative theories of business ethics.. Document Transcript

  • 1. <br /> “Ethical theories in relation to business “<br /> ASSINGMENT-1 <br /> BUSINESS ETHICS <br /> <br /> <br /> SUBMITEED BY <br /> BHISHMENDRA KR. PATHAK <br /> EN.NO. - 2007EEC006<br /> M.B.A (INT) EC<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Normative Theories of Business ethics<br /> This theory is divided in two parts –<br /> 1. Consequentialist Theories <br /> 2. Nonconsequentialist Theories<br />
    • Consequentialist Theories:-
    • 2. Those theories that determine the moral rightness or wrongness of an action based on the action’s consequences or results.
    • 3. Nonconsequentialist Theories:-
    • 4. Those that determine the moral rightness or wrongness of an action based on the action’s intrinsic features or character.
    Consequentiality Theories is also further divided in to two types-<br /> 1. Egoism: <br />The view that morality coincides with the self-interest of an individual or an organization.<br />Egoists: Those who determine the moral value of an action based on the principle of personal advantage. <br />An action is morally right if it promotes one’s long-term interest. <br />An action is morally wrong if it undermines it.<br />Personal egoists: Pursue their own self-interest but do not make the universal claim that all individuals should do the same. <br />Impersonal egoists: Claim that the pursuit of one’s self-interest should motivate everyone’s behavior.<br />Egoists do not necessarily care only about pursuing pleasure (hedonism) or behave dishonestly and maliciously toward others.<br />Egoists can assist others if doing so promotes their own advantage.<br />Psychological egoism: The theory of ethical egoism is often justified on the ground that human beings are essentially selfish. <br />Even acts of self-sacrifice are inherently self-regarding insofar as they are motivated by a conscious or unconscious concern with one’s own advantage.<br /> Objections to egoism <br />The theory is not sound: The doctrine of psychological egoism is false – not all human acts are selfish by nature, and some are truly altruistic. <br />Egoism is not a moral theory at all: Egoism misses the whole point of morality, which is to restrain our selfish desires for the sake of peaceful coexistence with others.<br />Egoism ignores blatant wrongs: All patently wrong actions are morally neutral unless they conflict with one’s advantage.<br />
    • 2. Utilitarianism
    Definition: The moral theory that we should act in in ways that produce the most pleasure or happiness for the greatest number of people affected by our actions.<br />Main representatives: The British philosophers Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806–1873).<br /> The principle of utility: Actions are morally praiseworthy if they promote the greatest human welfare, and blameworthy if they do not.<br /> <br /> Six points concerning utilitarianism:<br />(1)In choosing between alternative courses of action, we should consider the net worth of happiness vs. unhappiness produced by each course of action.<br />(2)We should give equal consideration to all individual preferences, then calculate the net worth of the various kinds of pleasures and pains.<br /> (3) Anything can be morally praiseworthy in some circumstances if it promotes the greatest balance of pleasure vs. pain for the greatest number of people.<br />(4) We should seek to maximize happiness, not only immediately, but in the long run.<br />(5) We should avoid choosing actions if their consequences are uncertain.<br />(6) We must guard against bias in our utilitarian calculations when our own interests are at stake. So it is advisable to rely on rules of thumb.<br /> <br /> Utilitarianism in an organizational context:<br />
    • Provides a clear and straightforward standard for formulating and testing policies.
    • 5. Offers an objective way for resolving conflicts of self-interest.
    • 6. Suggests a flexible, result-oriented approach to moral decision making.
    Criticisms of utilitarianism:<br />The practical application of the principle of utility involves considerable difficulties.<br />Some actions seem to be intrinsically immoral, though performing them can maximize happiness.<br />Utilitarianism is concerned with the amount of happiness produced, not how the amount is distributed, so the theory can run counter to principles of justice.<br /> Nonconsequentialist Theories<br /> Nonconsequentialist Theories it is also called Kantian theory.<br />Kant’s Ethics<br />Immanuel Kant (1724–1804): A German philosopher with a nonconsequentialist approach to ethics.<br />
    • Said the moral worth of an action is determined on the basis of its intrinsic features or character, not results or consequences.
    • 7. Believed in good will, that good actions proceed from right intentions, those inspired by a sense of duty.
    The categorical imperative: Morality as a system of laws analogous to the laws of physics in terms of their universal applicability. <br />The morality of an action depends on whether the maxim (or subjective principle) behind it can be willed as a universal law without committing a logical contradiction.<br />An example of the categorical imperative: <br />A building contractor promises to install a sprinkler system in a project.<br />But he is willing to break that promise to suit his purposes. <br />His maxim can be expressed as: “I’ll make promises that I’ll break whenever keeping them no longer suits my purposes.” <br />By willing the maxim to become a universal law, the contractor undermines promises in general.<br />Formulations of the categorical imperative: <br />Universal acceptability: To determine whether a principle is a moral law, we need to ask whether the command expressed through it is acceptable to all rational agents.<br />Humanity as an end, never as a means: We must always act in a way that respects human rationality in others and in ourselves.<br /> Kant in an organizational context:<br />The categorical imperative provides a solid standard for the formulation of rules applicable to any business circumstances.<br />Kant emphasizes the absolute value and dignity of individuals.<br />Kant stresses the importance of acting on the basis of right intentions.<br />Criticisms of Kant’s ethics:<br />Kant’s ethics is too extreme insofar as it excludes emotion from moral decision making and makes duty paramount.<br />Kant fails to distinguish between excepting oneself from a rule and qualifying a rule on the basis of exceptions.<br />It is not always clear when people are treated as ends and merely as means.<br />