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The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance, and even our very existence depends on it. Only morality.

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Presentation on theme: "The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance, and even our very existence depends on it. Only morality."— Presentation transcript:

1 The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance, and even our very existence depends on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives. Albert Einstein

2 Ethics The study of what is good and evil, right and wrong, and just and unjust. (p.180) –Descriptive Ethics deals with what is –Normative Ethics deals with what ought to be –Business Ethics is the application of ethics to the business setting.

3 Theory of Amorality : The belief that business should be conducted without reference to the full range of ethical standards, restraints and ideals in society. –Business as a Game with its own rules Theory of Moral Unity: Business actions are judged by the general ethical standards of society, not by a special set of more permissive standards. –Business as a social institution no different from others.

4 Types of Management Ethics Immoral –Recognize the ethical issues involved and choose to do the wrong thing. Moral –Recognize the ethical issues involved and choose to do the right thing. Amoral –Do not consider the ethical implications of an action or believe that ethics are irrelevant.

5 Major Sources of Ethical Values in Business McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 7-5

6 Approaches to Ethics Conventional Approach (Ethics) –Ethical Relativism: Culture Principles Approach (Morals) –Moral Absolutes: Religion and Philosophy Law –Codified Ethical Expectations

7 Definitions Ethics: Rules of conduct based on consensually-accepted standards of behavior. (Conventional Approach) Morals: Absolute Precepts of personal behavior based on religion or philosophy. (Principles Approach) Law: Formal standards that permit or forbid certain behaviors.

8 The Overlap Model of Law, Ethics and Morals While all three approaches of law, ethics, and morals attempt to give us guidance as to the propriety of our conduct, they do not always give us the same answers.

9 The Overlap Model Ethics LawMorals

10 Follow the Law Approach “Law is the public’s agency for translating morality into explicit social guidelines and practices for stipulating punishments for offenses.” --Beachamp and Bowie (2001) It is not uncommon (especially in business situations) for people to equate law and ethics. “…ethical behavior is typically thought to reside above behavior required by the law. This is the generally accepted view of ethics…. we would certainly say that obedience to the law is generally regarded to be minimum standard of behavior.” -- Carrol & Buchholz (2003)

11 Law Does not Equal Morals The fact that an action is permitted by the laws of the state does not by itself render the action morally permissible…. There are many perfectly legal ways to be vicious, cruel, hurtful, and deceitful…. It is often legal to dupe a retiree into investing his life savings stupidly, to incite racial hatred for political gain, or to sell arms to murderous regimes abroad.

12 If these practices are wrong, the fact of their legality does not make them less wrong. Applbaum, Ethics for Adversaries p. 114.

13 The Overlap Model of Law, Ethics and Morals “A law-abiding person is not necessarily morally sensitive or virtuous, and the fact that something is legally acceptable does not imply that it is morally acceptable…. A related problem involves the belief that a person found guilty under law is therefore morally guilty. Such judgments are not necessarily correct but rather depend on the moral acceptability of the law on which the judgment has been reached…. Taken together, these considerations lead to the following conclusion: If something is legal, it is not necessarily moral; if something is illegal, it is not necessarily immoral.” --Beachamp and Bowie 2001

14 Civil Disobedience Any thinking African in this country is driven continuously to a conflict between his conscience and the law. Nelson Mandela

15 Conventional Approach: Ethics Our pursuit of self-interest ought to be bounded by the standards of society. Behaviors are judged right or wrong based on their agreement with prevailing norms of society or consensually accepted standards of behavior Because this approach is based on consensus, our notion of what is right or wrong may vary over time and among different societies.

16 Ethical Relativism Ethical relativism is the doctrine that the moral rightness and wrongness of actions vary from society to society and that there are not absolute universal moral standards on all men at all times. Accordingly, it holds that whether or not it is right for an individual to act in a certain way depends on or is relative to the society to which he belongs. John Ladd

17 We do not any longer make the mistake of deriving the morality of our locality and decade directly from the inevitable constitution of human nature. We do not elevate it to the dignity of a first principle. We recognize that morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits. Ruth Benedict 1934

18 Ethics in Botswana So everybody knew, for instance, that it was wrong for a man to be too close to a place where a woman is giving birth. That was something which was so obvious that it hardly needed to be stated. But then there were these remarkable ideas in other countries that suggested that men should actually attend the birth of their children. When Mma Ramotswe read about that in a magazine, her breath was taken away. But then she had asked herself why a father should not see his child being born, so that he could welcome it into the world and share the joy of the occasion, and she had found it difficult to find a reason.

19 That is not to say it was not wrong—there was no question that it was profoundly wrong for a man to be there—but how could one justify the prohibition? Ultimately the answer must be that it was wrong because the old Botswana morality said that it was wrong, and the old Botswana morality, as everybody knew, was so plainly right. It just felt right. Tears of the Giraffe, Alexander McCall Smith, Random House, New York, 2000, p. 19.

20 Ted Bundy -- Subjectivism Then I learned that all moral judgments are “value judgments,” that all value judgments are subjective and that none can be proved to be either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’…. I figured out for myself that if the rationality of one value judgment was zero, multiplying it by millions would not make it one whit more rational. I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable ‘value judgment’ that I was bound to respect the rights of others.

21 Ted Bundy – Logical Conclusions Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to you than a hog’s life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as ‘moral’ or ‘good’ and others as ‘immoral’ or ‘bad’?

22 Ted Bundy – Final Effect In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me.

23 “If duty is merely the voice of the community—if nothing in ourselves accepts it, if our feelings do not respond to it – then, however good conduct may be, it is dead, and something absolutely central to morals is lost.” Mary Midgley

24 Principles Approach: Morals Right or wrong is a personal choice, based on unchanging standards of right and wrong (principles) and what society thinks is not relevant to moral decision making. A key issue in the principles approach concerns the source of these absolutes. Those using this approach to ethics turn to religion, philosophy and their own consciences to answer that question.

25 Principle Approach: Philosophy Consequentialist: Ends –An action is right if its consequences are good. –Utilitarianism Deontological: (Deon = Duty) Means –An action is right or wrong in and of itself, regardless of its consequences. –Rights –Justice Virtue: Being, Good Character

26 Consequentialist Theories: Utilitarianism Utility, or the Greatest-happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure. J.S. Mill

27 Utilitarianism Seeks the greatest good for the greatest number (i.e., the greatest possible happiness) +Focus on general welfare beyond self-interest +Think in stakeholder terms +Provides latitude in decision making –Ends justify means –Minority interests not protected –Not all outcomes can be easily quantified

28 Deontological Theories: Rights Individuals’ rights must not be violated Rights cannot be overridden by utility only by another more basic right Expresses morality from the point of the individual Issues: –what is a right? –Which rights take precedence?

29 Which Rights Which Priority? Civil rights Minorities’ rights Women’s rights Disabled rights Elderly rights Religious rights Employee rights Consumer rights Property rights Shareholder rights Privacy rights Abortion rights Right to life Smokers’ rights Non-smokers’ rights Animal rights Gay rights Victims’ rights

30 Justice Involves fair treatment of each person, people should be given their due, with equity and impartiality. Rawl’s two principles of justice: –Each person has an equal right to the most extensive basic liberties compatible with similar liberties for all others. –Social and economic inequalities are arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all.

31 Virtue (Character) Ethics Focus on Being -- who we are, our character Long term success and enduring happiness come only through virtue Basic virtues: honesty, integrity, loyalty, fairness, respect for others, quality, patience, etc. –self evident –consistent with most philosophies and religions

32 The Character Ethic taught that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character Stephen R. Covey

33 Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value. They’re fundamental. They’re essentially unarguable because they are self-evident. Stephen R. Covey

34 . The tenor of all the major religions of the world, and of all the great philosophers, is that the rules of behavior are about as inexorable as the laws of mathematics or physics. You violate them at your peril. J. Irwin Miller Cummins Engine Co

35 Practical Suggestions Think of ethics in rational terms Use decision-making tactics –Imaginary conversation w/ hypothetical opponent (look at both sides) –Seek out an advisor –Use two-column balance sheet –Ethical questions approach

36 Practical Suggestions cont. Sort out ethical priorities beforehand Be publicly committed on ethical issues Set a good personal example Must take action: courage is necessary Cultivate sympathy and charity

37 How Companies Manage Ethics Establish compliance standards and procedures –Code of Conduct Ethical oversight occurs at high levels of management Do not delegate authority to persons who are prone to engage in criminal behavior –Use background checks Communicate standards to all employees –Ethics Training Programs Establish Monitoring and ethical auditing systems Consistently enforce standards Immediately after an offence take steps to prevent future offences

38 Overlap Model Actions are ethical, moral, and legal

39 Overlap Model Actions are ethical and legal, but not moral. (e.g. abortion)

40 Overlap Model Actions are moral and legal, but not ethical. (e.g. laws protecting the privacy of aids patients, Sunday closing laws )

41 Overlap Model Action is moral and ethical, but not legal. (e.g. Sodomy laws with regard to married couples.)

42 Overlap Model Actions are ethical, but not moral or legal. (e.g. Gambling (Football pools ))

43 Overlap Model Actions are moral, but not ethical or legal. (e.g. modern-day polygamy among the FLDS )

44 Overlap Model Actions are ethical, but not moral or legal. (e.g. Apartheid laws )


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