Morality defined

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Morality defined

  1. 1. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriMORALITY DEFINEDProfessor Jayashree SadriAndDr Sorab Sadri
  2. 2. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriWhy this presentation? Detailed literature review shows that there is a greatdeal of fuzziness in definitions in that terms likebeliefs, values, ethics and morals are usedinterchangeably. Research scholars need definitional clarity so thatthe Research Question is framed correctly and thethree Ms of academic inquiry (Meaning ,Method andMeasurement) follow systematically to put forth thedesired argument and then defend it.
  3. 3. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriMorality, ethics and ethical theory Generally, morality and ethics ,moral and ethical, areused interchangeably. The presence of two words in the English languagewith the same meaning is due to the fact that theyderive from different roots: morality, from the Latinword moralis, and ethics, from the Greek wordethikos.
  4. 4. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriGenerality Morality is generally used to describe asociological phenomenon, namely, theexistence in a society of rules andstandards of conduct. Every society has amorality, because this constitutes thebasis for mutually beneficial interaction.
  5. 5. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriSpecificity Moralities are also specific to societies andexist at certain times and places. Thus, wecan speak of morality of Indians orAmericans in the 1990s is different from thatin the 1950s or the 1850s. We can speak, asKarl Marx did, of the morality of differentclasses in society.
  6. 6. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriBasic Premise All judgments that involve morals andethics are:Person SpecificCulture SpecificSituation Specific
  7. 7. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriEthics Ethics is roughly a synonym for morality, but it is oftenrestricted to the rules and norms of specific kinds of conductor the codes of conduct for specialized groups. Ethics is an activity based concept. Thus, we talk about the ethics of stockbrokers or the code ofethics for the accounting profession but usually not about themorality of these groups.
  8. 8. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriValues These are thought based concepts thatspring from an accepted belief or notionabout reality and form the basis for action. Values are thought-based concept. Values need not be unitarist and can (are)also pluralistic.
  9. 9. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriBeliefs Trust or confidence emanating from an acceptanceof a received theology or fact. Beliefs are culturally determined and form the basisof social nexus. Religion (ritual) and Metaphysics (philosophy) aremajor determinants of belief. Science and Rationality are major critiques of anyaccepted belief and an empirical or logical validationof the fact is demanded before a belief is acceptedby their adherents.
  10. 10. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriIdeology A set of beliefs held by a person, a group ofpersons or a community about what is rightor wrong and which forms the basis ofsocial, political and economic policies. Marxist scholars often see religion asideology whereas Liberal scholars seereligion in terms of the understanding of thesupernatural forces.
  11. 11. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriDistinguishing Ethics from Morals Literature is replete with instances where Morals andEthics are used synonymously. Morality is often linked to spiritualism and religiositywhereas Ethics is often linked to social or businessor professional conduct. There is a moot but significant difference betweenthe two that is necessary for scholars of the subjectto grasp.
  12. 12. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriGenerally Accepted Link Ideology and beliefs are mutually related. Beliefs lead us to values – thought based Values lead us to ethics - activity based Morality is an all embracive concept.
  13. 13. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriGerman Thought Immanuel Kant: the moral principleagainst which we measure all actions iscalled the categorical imperative and thisis universally applicable. Respect for the freedom, dignity andautonomy of any people, are morallydefensible.
  14. 14. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriBritish Thought There are two variants: Utilitarianism: the greatest good of thegreatest number is moral. Hedonism: what gives pleasure or benefitor provides utility is moral.
  15. 15. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriAmerican Thought Scholars derive the word ethics from theGreek word ethicos meaning correctnessin behavior. They derive the word morals from theLatin word moralis meaning high-mindedness or goodness in behavior.
  16. 16. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriEmergent Clarity : Morals and EthicsTherefore for scholars in the United States(Davidson, Goodpaster) there is a very fine line ofdistinction Morality distinguishes between doing right orwrong. Ethics distinguishes between what is good orbad.
  17. 17. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriReflective Equilibrium of John Rawls A dynamic interaction between a moralcommonsense and critical thinking resultsin a saddle point or meeting point. This is an emotional and mentalstandpoint from which persons are seento possess dignity and worth.
  18. 18. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriTwo Variants in John Rawls’s Work Unhealthy competition leads to the rise ofmiddle men, back stabbing and underhandedbehavior that is not moral. Healthy competition leads to everyonetrying to better their own past record,benchmark against set standards bring aboutgrowth and that is moral.
  19. 19. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriFirst Sociological Position on MoralityVARIANTS OF MORAL ABSOLUTISM There are eternal and absolute values andprinciples that must govern society and promoteharmony. Morality at the top of the pyramid is absolute butit gets watered down as it comes lower. Morality is conditioned by history and culture ofthe times.
  20. 20. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriSecond Sociological Position on MoralityBASICS OF MORAL RELATIVISIM Morality is culturally relative. Everything is subjective. Similar stimuli can bring out different reactionsin many people and even in the same person.
  21. 21. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriThird Sociological Position on MoralityDIMENSIONS OF MORAL PLURALISM1. Society seeks harmony but conflict arises whenradical views are irreconcilable.2. Principles may vary but the practices aregenerally agreed upon.3. Principles are agreed upon but practices mayvary4. Concept of morality changes as societychanges.
  22. 22. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriThree Moral Concerns Of PoliticalEconomists Unequal distribution of wealth, income andopportunities in civil society. Uneven development of peoples, sectors andregions in any economy. The rise of the comprador class that growsnothing, produces nothing but grows rich byspeculating from the fringes of society.
  23. 23. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriThe Sadri-Dastoor-Jayashree-Proposition As managers grow older they become wiserand the propensity to act immorallyincreases. Women managers are by and large moremoral than men managers. Corruption is merely a deviation from anaccepted norm and not necessarily immoral .
  24. 24. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriThe Sadri and Jayashree Paradigm Business Ethics and Corporate Governance combineto produce the conditions under whichorganizational excellence is approximated. Since excellence is not a finite point it can beapproached but not reached. It is like a horizon onemoves towards. Management strategy requires to generate a valuecentered corporate culture to enable this.
  25. 25. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriSadri and Guha Paradigm Excellence must ,of course ,have aninbuilt morality but is useless unless itcan be converted into businesssustainability. This moral position is achieved whenmanagement strategies approach thetriple bottom line :i.e. “profit ,people andplanet.”.
  26. 26. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriFinal Word The presentation was used by the authors mainly topaint a general academic collage under whichmorality can be understood and Scholars canpursue their inquiries. Whatever stand is taken in the highest traditions ofacademia scholars must clearly define theirposition. In respect of morality this is not easy but can bedone.
  27. 27. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriConclusion Ethics is what is going to count in the immediatefuture and its relevance will cut across geographicalfrontiers, academic disciplines and relevantprofessions. Through the medium of this paper I have tried toshow what is meant by the different terms onecomes across in published work and also explainthe origin as well as the relevance of these terms inthe realm of any inquiry into social reality.
  28. 28. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriA Pious Hope? We hope we have contributed to the removal ofthe opaqueness in the subject matter under studyespecially since ethics is going to become themost important criterion in the newinternationalized business world. For managers this clarity is necessary if moralpolicing has to be avoided in organisations.
  29. 29. Jayashree Sadri and Sorab SadriBUTAs long as power and politics continue to playdominant roles in organizations managers willcontinue to be tempted to play the role of moralpolicemen supposedly “in the general interest” butactually to perpetuate status quo!Ethical management helps us to avoid this pitfall.THANK YOU

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