What is Ethics?Merriam Webster -The embodiment of those values that theperson or organization feels are important,and spell out proper conduct andappropriate action.
Ethics…… A system that provides a guide for daily living Relates to right and wrong in daily living Establishes principles for conduct Simple honesty Without it, life becomes a constant struggle of intrigue, second-guessing, and maneuvering
Choosing the ethical way is not always easy Ethical confrontations can be some of the most stressful events we experience
Ethical ChoicesThe toughest ethical choices are notbetween good and evil, but rather betweentwo goods: Truth versus Loyalty Individual versus Community Short-term versus Long-term Justice versus Mercy
What about …..? Values Morals Integrity Character Laws
Values Acts, customs or institutions that a group of people regard in a favorable way Usually words of approval Intrinsically valuable or desirable principles or qualities Equality Freedom Hard Work Personal and societal beliefs What really matters to us most
Morals A set of rule or modes of conduct upon which society is based Very similar to ethics Four Points to Remember (R.C. Solomon) Moral rules are important Morality consists of universal rules Morals are objective Morality affects other people Conforms to accepted rules of right or wrong Established by society
Integrity Adhering to a moral code in daily decision making Being honest and sincere Assurance that “It will happen because I say it will.”
Character Pattern of behavior or personality trait of an individual or group that denotes moral strength Drives what we do when no one is looking Involves a choice to act morally at all times We build character by how we live, thinking good thoughts, performing good acts Similarly bad thoughts and bad behavior destroy character Character pertains to organizations too.
Laws A set of rules and regulations designed to express the needs of and to control a society Protect people from the most blatant and despicable affronts to morality (such as murder and theft) Needed to maintain the functioning of a society Change to reflect a society’s changing standards
Summary of Terms Ethics: a system or code of morals that provides guidance for living in society Values: Intrinsically valuable or desirable principles or qualities Morals: A set of rules or modes of conduct on which society is based Integrity: Adherence to a moral code in daily decision making, emphasis on honesty and reliability Character: A personality trait of pattern of behavior that denotes moral strength Laws: A set of rules and regulations designed to express the needs of society
Ethics, Morals, and the Law Classification of Actions: Morals Unethical Principles of right Ethical and wrong Ethics A set of moral Legal Illegal principles guiding behavior and action Laws Binding codes of conduct; formally Unethical Ethical but recognized and but Legal Illegal enforced
Business Today Business recognizes the impact of unethical behavior: “Business Ethics” movement Poor public image Increased government scrutiny Public reluctance to use a product or service Ethics is good business Most major corporations have their own code of ethics and provide training It is not new or trendy, it will impact you personally and professionally
Ethical Dilemmas or Landmines Like unexploded bombs, must be defused before they blow up in our faces Company expectations for employee commitment Pressure from managers and co-workers Opportunities for unethical behavior Internal pressure in the form of personal ambitions External forces such as family needs Personal reputations, legal standing, company’s public name are at risk Much is at stake for companies and individuals in facing ethical dilemmas
Historical Perspective Ethics can be traced to ancient times Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; biblical figures) Moralists (Immanuel Kant, John Stewart Mill, and Jean-Paul Sartre)
Moral Codes and Religion Religion and morality are closely interwoven but are not the same thing People can be moral without being religious and vice versa People can do good because of: altruism or fear of punishment out of habit or because of upbringing Code of Hammurabi: 1762 B.C. general set of moral rules so strong did not oppress weak, economic and family laws, criminal laws, civil laws. Not based on religion
Ethical Theories Many different ethical theories Focus will be based on two theories Duty-Based ethical theory (Immanuel Kant) Utilitarian theory (John Stuart Mill)
Duty-Based Ethical Theory Everyone has the duty or obligation to do the right thing, regardless of outcome An act is moral if it could become a universal rule for society Immanuel Kant To consider the morality of an act, one must consider the perspective of both doer and recipient
Utilitarian Theory Moral behavior is tied to the common good Results are the measure of moral behavior, not the intentJohn Stuart Mill An act is good if it results in the greatest benefit for the most people
Ethical Decision Making Model Ethical Issue Intensity Individual Factors Ethical Decision Organizational Factors
Determining an ethical action: Six Practical Steps 1) Is the action legal? 3) How will it make me feel about myself? 5) Is it fair to all concerned? 7) Is it the truth? 9) Will it cause anyone personal loss or pain, or violate confidentiality, or harm somebody in any other way? 11) Is there a conflict of interest?
Ford Pinto: Cost -vs- Benefit (Cost/Benefit Analysis)Cost of Changes: Sales: 11 million cars; 1.5 million light trucks Unit Costs: $11/car and $11/truck Total Cost: 12.5 million vehicles x $11/vehicle = $137.5 millionBenefits to Society: Savings: 180 burn deaths; 180 burn injuries Unit Costs: $200,000 per death, $67,000 per injury; $700 per car Total Benefit: (180x $200,000+180 x $67,000+700 x 12.5 million) = $49.5 million
Ethical Dilemma1) Is the action legal? Classification of Actions: Unethical3) How will it make me feel about myself? Ethical5) Is it fair to all concerned? Legal Illegal7) Is it the truth?9) Will it cause anyone Cost of Fixing Problem personal loss or pain, or violate confidentiality, or = $137,500,000 harm somebody in any other way? Cost of Not Fixing Problem = $49, 500,00011) Is there a conflict of interest? FORD CHOSE NOT TO FIX THE MECHANICAL PROBLEMS
In February of 1978, a California jury created a nationwide sensation when itawarded the record-breaking sum of $128million in a lawsuit stemming from a Pintoaccident. This one lawsuit was three times what Ford executives and engineers had estimated their final cost would be.
Quote“If you can’t be a good example, then you’lljust have to be a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird
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