"What does ethics mean to you?“ A few years ago, sociologist Raymond Baumhart asked business people. Major replies were- "Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.“ "Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs.“ "Being ethical is doing what the law requires.“ "Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts.“ "I don't know what the word means."
Three Domains of Human Action Domain of Certified Law (Legal Standard) Domain of Free Choice (Personal Standard) Domain of Ethics (Social Standard) Amount of High Explicit Control Low
Ethical Dilemma A situation that arises when all alternative choices or behaviors have been deemed undesirable. Potentially negative ethical consequences, making it difficult to distinguish right from wrong.
Ethics The code of moral principles and values that govern the behaviors of a person or group with respect to what is right or wrong.
Criteria for Ethical Decision Making Most ethical dilemmas involve
Individualism is believed to lead to honesty & integrity since that works best in the long run.
Moral-Rights Approach Asserts human beings have fundamental rights and liberties. Moral decisions are those that best maintain the rights of those people affected by them. An ethical decision is one that avoids interfering with the fundamental rights of others.
“Moral Rights” Considerations The right of free consent The right to privacy The right of freedom of conscience The right of free speech The right to due process The right to life & safety
Justice Approach Moral Decisions must be based on standards of equity, fairness, and impartiality. Treatment of individuals should not be based on arbitrary characteristics. Organizations and individuals could draft code of conduct, make it known to all and implement equally on all Closet thinking to codified law.
Levels of Moral Development SOURCES: Based on L. Kahlberg, “Moral Stages and Moralization: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach, in Moral Development and Behavior: Theory, Research, and Social Issues, ed. T. Lickona (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1976), 31-53; and Jill W. Graham, “Leadership, Moral Development and Citizenship Behavior,” Business Ethics Quarterly 5, no. 1 (January 1995), 43-54.
Social Responsibility Organization’s obligation to make choices and take actions that will contribute to the welfare and interests of society and organization. Distinguishing right from wrong. Being a good corporate citizen.
Many social responsibilities issues are ambiguous with respect to right and wrong.
Shades of Corporate Green Activist Approach Actively conserve the environment Stakeholder Approach Address multiple stakeholder concerns Market Approach Respond to customers Legal Approach Satisfy legal requirements regarding environmental conservation
Corporate Responses toSocial Demands High Degree of Social Responsibility Low Proactive Take social initiatives. Accommodation Accept ethical responsibility. Defense Do only what is legally required. Obstruction Fight all the way.
Three Pillars of an Ethical Organization SOURCE: Adapted from Linda Klebe Trevino, Laura Pincus Hartman, and Michael Brown, “Moral Person and Moral Manager,” California Management Review 42, No. 4 (Summer 2000), 128-142.
Enlightened Companies Realize the importance of: integrity trust