BUS 115 Chap001 ethics social responsibility


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  • Background Information
    The tendency to complicate moral decision making is nothing new. In her essay, “The Moral Life,” Bonnie Kent, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, reminds us that even medieval philosophers tended to complicate the rules of moral judgment.
  • Teaching Tips Discuss examples from recent events that involve moral atrocities committed by individuals whose moral code should have forbidden such actions. Ask the following question: What brings about dishonorable actions, such as the shameful treatment of Arab prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq during Gulf War II?
    Teaching Tips The use of fetal tissue for medical treatment is at the center of a fiery debate. Discuss the topic in class. Then ask the students to analyze it from a viewpoint of subjective ethics.
  • Teaching Tips Discuss examples of social systems from which ethical systems appear absent or in which they seem highly flawed. Ask students to address the following questions: What brings about atrocities such as Saddam Hussein’s use of poison gas at Halabja; the genocide in Rwanda, the war crimes of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic; the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s military forces; the beheadings carried out by terrorists in Iraq, and the war crimes of Radovan Karadzic, former Bosnian Serb president? How do individuals victimized by such horrors respond to a lack of morality in their society or government? How do individuals act morally amid such widespread corruption or lawlessness?
  • Teaching Tips Consider using the following films to generate discussion about ethics and the application of ethical theories: Crash
    (starring Sandra Bullock and Matt Dillon), Babel (Cate Blanchett), Bobby (Emilio Estevez, Anthony Hopkins, and Martin
    Sheen), The Good Shepherd (Matt Damon and Robert DeNiro), Hoax (Richard Gere), Hollywoodland (Ben Affleck and Diane
    Lane), The Pursuit of Happyness (Will Smith), The Queen (Helen Mirren), and Syriana (George Clooney). Create a list of
    study questions for each film to make sure students focus on relevant issues.
  • Teaching Tips Explain to students that communication between an attorney and a client is strictly confidential. There is one exception: When a client confides in his or her lawyer that he or she is about to commit a crime, the attorney has a legal duty to disclose this information to the police. Lead the class in a discussion of how serious a crime would have to be before the attorney has an ethical duty to act. Would the attorney–client privilege benefit proportionately if this exception were not in place?
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  • BUS 115 Chap001 ethics social responsibility

    1. 1. Chapter 1 Ethics 1-1
    2. 2. The Law and Morality • The Law – Rules of conduct established by the government of a society to maintain harmony, stability, and justice 1-4
    3. 3. The Law and Morality • The Law – Defines the legal rights and duties of the people – Provides a way to protect the people by enforcing these rights and duties – A means of civil management What happens without law? Is that good or bad? 1-5
    4. 4. The Law and Morality • Morals – Values that govern a society’s attitude toward right and wrong and toward good and evil – Serves as a guide for those bodies that make, interpret, and enforce the law What relationship do you see between laws and morals? Are all laws based on morals? 1-6
    5. 5. Values and Ethics • Ethics – The attempt to: • Develop a means of determining what fundamental values ought to be and • Formulate and apply rules that enforce those values – Where do our morals come from? – How do we determine right from wrong? 1-7
    6. 6. Natural Law Theory • Natural law – Sees law as originating from some objective, superior force that stands outside the everyday experience of most people – Exists an unbreakable link joining morality to the law in a fundamental way Who/What is the origin? 1-8
    7. 7. Positive Law Theory • Positive Law – Legal theory that says that the law originates from an outside source that has emerged from within society – Social institutions (government) – As we live and interact together, we discover our rights, leading us to express them in some written form. 1-9
    8. 8. Positive Law Theory • Law of Peoples – Human intuition will always give rise to positive moral laws that are global in scope – Common to everyone – Human decency will ultimately triumph over human cruelty, abolishing evil. 1-10
    9. 9. Negative Rights Theory • “Rights" are a human invention designed to help people escape moral law. • Rights give people an escape clause when they are caught doing something shameful. – Right to free speech = right to lie – Right to bear arms = right to harm – Property rights = right to exploit, pollute, destroy 1-11
    10. 10. Ethical Theories • Ethical relativism (subjective ethics) – There are no objective or absolute standards of right and wrong – Standards change from circumstance to circumstance • “What’s right for you might not be right for me” At its logical end, clashes with natural and positive law. 1-12
    11. 11. Ethical Theories • Situational ethics – We can’t judge a person’s ethical decisions before initially placing ourselves in the other person’s situation (metaphorical mile in shoes) – Encourages people to look at others with tolerance and patience • The only absolute is Love, and Love should be the motive behind every decision. What about when ethics seem nonexistent? 1-13
    12. 12. Ethical Theories • Social contract theory – Right and wrong are measured by the obligations imposed on each individual by an implied agreement among all individuals within a particular social system – To live in harmony people must give up certain freedoms to gain certain protections. “But I like free-form public naked ninja sword dancing.” 1-14
    13. 13. Ethical Theories • Utilitarianism – The morality of an action is determined by its ultimate effects – Greatest good for the greatest number “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.” ~Spock 1-16
    14. 14. Ethical Theories • Utilitarianism – needs of the many or needs of the me? – Uses neutral, unemotional language – Identify everyone affected – Consider pros and cons for everyone – Consider all alternatives – Conclusion (greatest good for greatest number of people affected) 1-17
    15. 15. Ethical Theories • Rational ethics (objective ethics) – Ethical values can be determined by a proper application of human reason – Should establish universal rules of behavior that apply to all people at all times 1-18
    16. 16. Ethical Theories • Role model ethics – Encourages people to pattern their behavior after admirable individuals whose activities provide examples of the proper way to act – Pro: Provides concrete examples of how to behave – Con: Still have to determine what characteristics are good 1-19
    17. 17. Ethical Characteristics – Honesty – open and truthful – Fairness – treat other people with justice and equality – Compassion – care for others – Integrity – do the right thing even if it doesn’t benefit you 1-20
    18. 18. Ethics and the Government • The government of a nation-state has two objectives that simultaneously justify its power and enable the proper exercise of that power 1. to protect its own existence and 2. to protect the lives, health, and wellbeing of its own citizens. 1-21
    19. 19. Ethic of Ultimate Ends • Ethic of ultimate ends – often referred to as the ethic of benevolence. – an individual must do the right thing because that action is right in and of itself • Can’t consider long-term consequences, because it’s impossible to know them anyway “turn the other cheek” “treat people like you want to be treated” 1-22
    20. 20. Ethic of Responsibility • Ethic of responsibility, – demands that the moral actor, in this case a national leader, consider his responsibilities to those people who depend on that leader for protection, safety, and sometimes even for their very lives. • Duty to promote civil peace and protect lives of the nation’s people • Have to consider long-term consequences 1-23
    21. 21. Social Responsibility in the Business Sector • The traditional view of corporate culture: – “Privately owned corporations are created solely to make a profit for their shareholders” – “The foremost job of any manager is to maximize profits” 1-24
    22. 22. Reasons for Social Responsibility • Corporations: – offers limited liability to owners – are considered an artificially created person – can own property and bring lawsuits 1-25
    23. 23. Reasons for Social Responsibility • Because corporations have these rights they owe an obligation to the public to act responsibly • Decisions of corporate managers should not be narrowly focused on profits • Accepting social responsibility is in the long-term interest of the corporation (Enlightened Corporate Self-Interest) 1-26
    24. 24. Efforts to Promote Social Responsibility • Statutes now permit managers to consider factors other than profit in making decisions – Economic well-being of the nation, the state, and the local community – Interests of employees, consumers, and suppliers – The betterment of the environment, the economy, and the overall social structure 1-27
    25. 25. The Relationship Between Law and Ethics • The law is needed because, although people know better, they do not always follow ethical principles • Ethical principles can tell us what is right, but cannot stop us from doing wrong • The law can punish us if we choose to do wrong 1-28
    26. 26. Question? Which ethical theory calls for the greatest good for the greatest number? A. Totalitarianism B. Utilitarianism C. Unilateralism D. Multiplicity 1-29
    27. 27. Question? Which ethical theory calls for individuals to give up certain freedoms to gain protections? A. Ethical relativism B. Social contract theory C. Situational ethics D. Utilitarianism 1-30
    28. 28. Question? What encourages people to pattern their behavior after admirable individuals? A. Transformational ethics B. Charismatic ethics C. Role-model ethics D. Role play ethics 1-31