The Parable of the Sadhu Presented By Abhishek Mudiganti U110124 Akankshit Kanungo U110126 Ansuman Pradhan U110128 Siddharth Panda U110167 Sumit Mishra U110174
Case Facts• Based on a real life incident that happened with Bowen H. McCoy, MD of Morgan Stanley• Participated in the sabbatical program of six months• On a trip to Himalaya for 60 days• Met with people from other countries
Encounter with Sadhu• One of the New Zealander found an Indian Sadhu• The Sadhu was shivering & suffering from Hypothermia• Everybody has contributed in reviving the Sadhu• However, nobody took complete responsibility for the Sadhu’s well being
Stephen’s Arguments• Each did their bit as long as it was convenient, then passed on the buck to others.• Ponders about how different the action would have been - “Had the person been a well dressed Asian or a Western Woman”
McCoy’s Views• At first, McCoy was defensive to Stephen’s arguments.• Things like Stress, Once in a lifetime opportunity were his excuses• But later on, he realized how they had ‘walked by an ethical dilemma without appropriate action’
Ethical Dilemma• Individual Ethics Vs Group Ethics• Applicability of Rule based Ethical Theory• Implementing Ethics in Corporate World
Individual Vs Group• Every person did their bit for the Sadhu• However, no one ensured the ultimate well being of the Sadhu• Where does the ethical responsibility of an individual end• Is there something called collective or institutional responsibility?
Ethics in Workplace• How to ensure collaborative effort towards end goal• Synchronizing individual efforts with collective vision• Reaching consensus and selecting a leader in crunch situation• How to ensure group’s support?
Applicability of Rule Based Theories• Deontology• Utilitarianism• Distributive justice
Deontological Analysis• Action is moral if the action is universalizable and reversible• In the case, the actions are universalizable• Reversibility is also justifiable• However, the end result is not satisfactory
Utilitarian Analysis• Maximum benefits for the maximum no of people• No person was harmed in the case• Sadhu was benefited from their actions• However, the final result is still unsatisfactory
Distributive Justice• Tenets are – - Maximum freedom for all - Inequities to be tolerated only when the weakest are benefited• The case satisfies the necessary tenets for distributive justice• However the end doesn’t seem satisfactory
Teleological Analysis• End justifies the means• What is the end….completing once in a life time trip or saving the Sadhu?• It doesn’t specify the ends• Hence teleological analysis is not satisfactory in this case
Virtue Theory• Morally good habits developed through training and repetition• Moral virtues are the traits that enable us to live well• Virtues are not rules to be followed, but habits to be cultivated
Virtue Theory Vs Rule Based Theory• Rule based theories are threshold theories whereas virtue theory is an optimization theory• Rule based theory specifies the minimum requirement for any action• Virtue theory aims at excellence
Failure Of Rule Based TheoriesWhat should the moral theories do?• Justify McCoy’s conclusion that the hikers’ actions were blameworthy• Explain the relevance of the story to the corporate world• Offer sound alternatives to the moral failures that the story cites
Relevance to Corporate WorldNone of them explain the relevance• Corporate World – People have individual values based on a set of shared goals.• Similarly in the story - the hikers want to take care of the Sadhu, they want to finish and enjoy the hike• Rule based analysis looks at a moral question in analysis – totally context-free – character-free – person gets his or her moral clues only from his or her innate faculty of reason.
Coming Back to the Story• Rule base theories can distinguish only between actions that are morally permissible or justifiable and actions that are not.• Surely the actions of the hikers were permissible.• Distinction in Sadhu’s Case – is not between actions that are right and those that are wrong, but between actions that are merely okay and those that are excellent – between those that are merely justifiable and those that are actually praiseworthy.• The Sadhu parable brings into relief our notions, about the different moral characters of persons, rather than our justifications of the moral worth of actions.
• As moral persons we have an obligation to expect the most from ourselves and from others, and that is the way we and they behave well.• McCoy regrets, not that he and other group members acted impermissibly, but that they acted merely permissibly.• That they acted only as anyone would be expected to act, and not as a good person would be expected to act.• McCoy and his fellow hikers were given one of life’s rare opportunities to be heroes, and they let it pass unmet.• The hikers’ actions, then, were blameworthy, because they were merely justifiable in a situation which actually called for heroism and sacrifice.
Lessons of the Sadhu• Pose questions to oneself in terms of excellences of character, to facilitate good habits of moral thinking.• See these good moral habits as the “dose of prevention” that will help keep business persons out of moral jams in the first place, and will help them sail heroically through those situations in which they might otherwise be tempted by the vices.• In a complex business situation, the individual requires & deserves the support of the group• If such support is provided, a person has a stake in the success of the group• It will also direct & focus each member of the team & benefit the group as a whole.