Ch 1 mgt3201 business ethics

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business ethics chapter 1

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Ch 1 mgt3201 business ethics

  1. 2. AN OVERVIEW <ul><li>the nature, scope and purpose of business ethics </li></ul><ul><li>the distinguishing features of morality and how it differs from etiquette, law and professional codes of conduct </li></ul><ul><li>the doctrine of ethical relativism and its difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>what it means to have moral principles, the nature of conscience and the relationship between morality and self-interest. </li></ul>
  2. 3. LEARNING OBJECTIVES <ul><li>Students should be able to </li></ul><ul><li>elaborate on morality, ethics and business ethics </li></ul><ul><li>discuss the difference between morality and etiquette, law and professional codes of conduct </li></ul><ul><li>identify the importance of having moral principles </li></ul>
  3. 4. ETHICS <ul><li>Comes from the Greek word ethos , meaning character or custom </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Basic concerns of ETHICS , according to R.C. Solomon: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) individual character – what it means to be “good person” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>(2) the social rules that govern and limit our conduct – the ultimate rules concerning right and wrong which call morality </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Moral values – guide how we ought to behave , such as respect, honesty, fairness, responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>* Learning what are right or wrong and then doing the right thing </li></ul>
  4. 5. Business Ethics <ul><li>Business – any organization whose objective is to provide goods or services for profit </li></ul><ul><li>Business Ethics – what is right or wrong in the workplace and doing what is right – this is in regard to effects of products/ services and in relationships with stakeholders (which include employees, customers, suppliers and the community) </li></ul>
  5. 6. Personal and Business Ethics <ul><li>One’s personal ethics cannot be neatly divorced from one’s organizational ethics. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics in the workplace helps ensure that when leaders and managers are struggling in times of crises and confusion, they retain a strong moral compass. </li></ul>
  6. 7. MORAL VERSUS NONMORAL STANDARDS <ul><li>MORAL STANDARDS </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Moral Standards are different because they: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) concern behaviour that is of serious consequences to human welfare </li></ul><ul><li>(2) are more important than other considerations, including self-interest </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>(3) their soundness depends on the adequacy of the reasons that support or justify them </li></ul><ul><li>Moral standards do not have bodies to govern them unlike: </li></ul><ul><li>fashion standards set by fashion designers </li></ul><ul><li>technical standards set out by experts </li></ul><ul><li>laws and legislation by Parliaments </li></ul>
  7. 8. Non Moral Standards <ul><li>What falls outside the scope of moral concern </li></ul><ul><li>Any violations that does not pose a serious threat to human well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Example: wearing shorts to a formal party </li></ul><ul><li>* Morality is different from etiquette, law and professional codes of ethics </li></ul>
  8. 9. Etiquette <ul><li>Rules for well-mannered behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Bad etiquette – chew with one’s mouth open </li></ul><ul><li>Good etiquette – to say “please” when requesting and “thank you” when receiving </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>However, violations of etiquette can have moral implications </li></ul><ul><li>Example: The male boss calls his female subordinates as “honey” shows bad manners – verbal sex abuse – raise moral issues concerning equal treatment. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Morality and Law </li></ul><ul><li>(1) An action can be illegal but morally right </li></ul><ul><li>Example: helping a Jewish family to hide from the Nazis was against German law in 1939. </li></ul><ul><li>(2) An action that is legal can be morally wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Example: A profitable company lay off workers. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Codes of Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Rules that are supposed to govern the conduct of members of a given profession. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Client confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Not a completely reliable guide to one’s moral obligations. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Where Do Moral Standards Come From? Law, Etiquette, Religion? <ul><li>Sources of Influence on Moral Standards: </li></ul><ul><li>Early upbringing </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour of those around us </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit and implicit standards of our culture – formal education and informal exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Past experiences - Personal critical reflections on those experiences </li></ul>
  11. 12. ETHICAL RELATIVISM <ul><li>The theory that what is right in one place may be wrong in another, because the only criterion for distinguishing right from wrong is the moral system of the society in which the act occurs. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Abortion is condemned as immoral in Catholic Ireland but is practiced as morally neutral form of birth control in Japan </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong in Ireland BUT morally permissible in Japan </li></ul>
  12. 13. ETHICAL RELATIVISM <ul><li>Unpleasant Implications: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1) Undermines any moral criticism of the practices of other societies as long as their actions conform to their own standards. </li></ul><ul><li>2) There is no such thing as ethical progress. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>3) The moral code itself cannot be criticized because whatever a society takes to be right really is right for it. </li></ul><ul><li>The minority can never be right in moral matters; to be right it must become the majority. </li></ul>
  13. 14. HAVING MORAL PRINCIPLES <ul><li>When a person accepts a moral principle, that person is strongly motivated toward the conduct required by the principle, and against behaviour that conflicts with that principle. </li></ul><ul><li>Conscience – sense of right and wrong </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  Moral Principles and Self-Interest </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Morality serves to restrain our purely self-interested desires so we can all live together. </li></ul><ul><li>The moral standards of a society provide the basic guidelines for cooperative social existence and allow conflicts to be resolved by appeal to shared principles of justification. </li></ul>
  14. 15. MORALITY AND PERSONAL VALUES <ul><li>Morality </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>In narrow sense – is the principles that do or should guide people’s conduct and relations with others. </li></ul><ul><li>In broader sense – encompasses values, principles and aspirations (goals) that shape a person’s life. </li></ul>
  15. 16. INDIVIDUAL INTEGRITY AND RESPONSIBILITY <ul><li>The Individual Inside the Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>The structure and function of organizations require their members adhere to organizational norms and force commitment and conformity to them. </li></ul>
  16. 17. INDIVIDUAL INTEGRITY AND RESPONSIBILITY <ul><li>Organizational Norms </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>One of the major characteristics of an organization is the shared acceptance of organizational rules by its members – can be conscious or unconscious – because an organization can survive only if it holds its members together. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>One’s degree of commitment – the extent to which one accepts group norms and subordinates self to organizational goals – is a measure of one’s loyalty to the “team”. </li></ul><ul><li>Role conflict between what is expected of them as efficient, profit-minded members of an organization and what is expected of them as ethical persons. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Discussion Questions </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Why ethical reasoning is used in business? Discuss. </li></ul><ul><li>(2) It is imperative to use ethical reasoning in business. Discuss. </li></ul>

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