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Copyright © 2003 by South- Western, a division of Thomson Learning1 Ethical Principles Utilitarianism, Universalism, Rights, Justice, Quick Tests, And.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 2003 by South- Western, a division of Thomson Learning1 Ethical Principles Utilitarianism, Universalism, Rights, Justice, Quick Tests, And."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 2003 by South- Western, a division of Thomson Learning1 Ethical Principles Utilitarianism, Universalism, Rights, Justice, Quick Tests, And Decision- Making Guidelines Adapted by Jeffrey M. Wachtel, Ph. D.

2 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning2 Chapter Topics 1.Decision criteria for ethical reasoning 2.Ethical relativism: A self-interest approach 3.Utilitarianism: A consequentialist (results-based) approach 4.Universalism: A deontological (duty-based) approach 5.Rights: An entitlement-based approach 6. Justice: Procedures, compensation, retribution 7.Immoral, amoral, and moral management 8.Four social responsibility roles 9.Individual ethical decision-making styles 10.Quick ethical tests 11.Concluding comments

3 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning3 Decision Criteria for Ethical Reasoning According to your textbook, what 3 criteria should be used in ethical reasoning (p. 76)? From our first weekend, what are two additional criteria for judging if an action is ethical or moral?

4 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning4 3 Decision Criteria for Ethical Reasoning and a Question Moral reasoning logical Facts evidence used to support your judgment must be accurate, relevant, and complete. Ethical standards used in your reasoning should be consistent

5 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning5 Two Criteria for Fulfilling a Minimum Conception of Morality 1. Reason: a moral decision must be based on reasons acceptable to other rational persons. 2. Impartiality: this criteria is fulfilled when the interests of all those affected by a moral decision are taken into account.

6 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning6 Ethical Reasoning Self Question A simple but powerful question: What is my motivation for choosing this course of action? Did I make this decision because it enhanced my self-interest or because it was ethical/moral (i.e., considered my self-interest and also other peoples interest)?

7 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning7 People are morally responsible for the harmful effects of their actions when: 1.A person knew their action was morally wrong and hurtful to others and acted anyway. 2.A person knew they could prevent a harmful act and did not. Morality Wrong Act: Physical or emotional harm is done to another person. The degree of harm is considered. Two conditions that eliminate a persons moral responsibility for causing harm are: Ignorance Inability Mitigating circumstances that excuse or lessen a persons moral responsibility include: A low level of or lack of seriousness to cause harm Uncertainty about knowledge of wrongdoing The degree to which a harmful injury was caused or averted

8 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning8 Ethical Relativism: Barrier to Ethical Thinking Ethical relativism holds that no universal standards or rules can be used to guide or evaluate the morality of an act. This view argues that people set their own moral standards for judging their actions. Individually: known as naïve relativism or ethical subjectivism. Group/Culture: known as…cultural relativism.

9 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning9 Ethical Relativism: A Self-Interest Approach Benefits include: Ability to recognize the distinction between individual and social values, customs, and moral standards Problems include: Whose relativism is right? May pay a price for using this theory Just because some practices are acceptable in certain cultures are they ethical/moral? What about cultural imperialism…does cultural relativism provide an argument against cultural imperialism?

10 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning10 Utilitarianism: A Consequentialist (Results- Based) Approach The basic view holds that an action is judged as right, good, or wrong on the basis of its consequences. Widely practiced by governments, economists and business professionals.

11 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning11 Tenets of Utilitarianism 1. act morally right if ends are greatest good for greatest number of people. 2. act right if the net benefits over costs are greatest for all affected compared with the net benevits ofall other possible choices considered.

12 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning12 3. An action is morally right if its immediate and future direct and indirect benefits are greatest for each individual and if these benefits outweigh the cost and benefits of the other alternatives. Tenets of Utilitarianism: (Continued)

13 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning13 Utilitarianism: Bentham, 1832 and Mill, 1873 Problems with utilitarianism include: No agreement exists about the definition of the good to be maximized No agreement exists about who decides what is good for whom? How are the costs and benefits of nonmonetary stakes measured? Does not consider the individual Principles of individual rights and justice are ignored Utilitarianism and stakeholder analysis (see p. 81).

14 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning14 Universalism: A Deontological (Duty-Based) Approach: Kant, 1804 Also known as deontological ethics (Greek for duty) or nonconsequentialist ethics and holds that the means justify the ends of an action, not the consequences. Act responsibly and respectfully toward all individuals in a situation. Human welfare is a primary stake in any decision.

15 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning15 Universalism: Kants Categorical Imperative 1. A person should chose to act if and only if she or he would be willing to have every person on earth, in that same situation, act exactly that way. 2. A person should act in a way that respects and treats all others involved as ends as well as means to an end.

16 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning16 Universalism: A Deontological (Duty-Based) Approach Weaknesses of universalism and Kants categorical imperative include: It is difficult to think of all humanity each time one must make a decision. Hard to resolve conflicts when the theory states that all individuals must be treated equally. Does not allow for prioritizing ones duties towards others as in stakeholder analysis. Universalism and stakeholder analysis.

17 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning17 Rights: An Entitlement- Based Approach Moral rights are based on legal rights and the principle of duty. Rights can override utilitarian principles. The limitations of rights include: Can be used to disguise and manipulate selfish, unjust political interests and claims Protection of rights can be at the expense of others Limits of rights come into question Rights and stakeholder analysis.

18 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning18 Justice: Procedures, Compensation, Retribution The principle of justice deals with fairness and equality. Two recognized principles of fairness that represent the principle of justice include: Equal rights compatible with similar liberties for others Social and economic inequality arrangement Four types of justice include (p. 85): Compensatory Retributive Distributive Procedural

19 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning19 Justice: Procedures, Compensation, Retribution Problems using the principle of justice include: Who decides who is right and who is wrong? Who has moral authority to punish? Can opportunities and burdens be fairly distributed? Justice, rights, and power are really intertwined. Two steps in transforming justice: Be aware of your rights and power Establish legitimate power for obtaining rights Justice and stakeholder analysis.

20 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning20 Immoral, Amoral, Or Moral Management Immoral management means intentionally going against ethical principles of justice and of fair and equitable treatment of other stakeholders. Amoral management happens when others are treated negligently without concern for the consequences of actions or policies. Moral management places value on equitable, fair, and just concern of others involved.

21 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning21 Immoral Managers: Managers whose decisions, actions and behavior suggest an active opposition to what is deemed to be right and ethical. These managers care only about their or their organizations profitability or success. Legal issues are there to be circumvented and loopholes in the law actively sought. Strategy is to exploit opportunities for personal or organizational gain at any cost.

22 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning22 Amoral Managers: Amoral Managers are neither immoral nor moral but are not sensitive to the fact that their everyday business decisions may have a deleterious effect on others. These managers may lack an ethical perspective in their organizational lives. Typically their orientation is to the letter of the law as their ethical guide. Sometimes we can have a sub category - the unintentional amoral manager.

23 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning23 Un-intentional Amoral Manager: These managers are un-intentionally amoral in their behavior. They tend to see ethical issues are for their private lives and for not their business lives, where different rules apply. They tend to believe that business activity resides outside the sphere to which moral judgments may apply. Amoral managers may not consider a role for ethics in business.

24 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning24 The Moral Manager: In moral management, ethical norms that adhere to a high standard of right behavior are employed. Moral managers not only conform to accepted and high levels of professional conduct, they also lead on issues of ethical behavior. The law is seen as giving a minimal guide to ethical behavior. The spirit of the law in more important than the letter of the law. The objective is to operate well above what the law mandates the firm to do. Moral managers want to be profitable and ethical. Moral managers will use ethical principles to base their judgments upon - justice, rights, the Golden Rule, utilitarianism universalism, etc. When ethical dilemmas arise, moral managers and moral companies will tend to assume leadership in their companies and industries.

25 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning25 Individual Ethical Decision-Making Styles Stanley Krolick developed a survey that interprets individual primary and secondary ethical decision-making styles, that include: Individualism Altruism Pragmatism Idealism

26 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning26 Quick Ethical Tests Bentley College suggests six questions to be asked before making a decision (p. 95). Classical ethical tests (p. 95) The Intuition Ethic The Means-End Ethic Test of Common Sense Test of Ones Best Self Test of Ventilation Test of Purified Idea

27 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning27 Decision Criteria for Ethical Reasoning: 12 Questions Problem Identified Correctly? Identified as if by other party Background of situation? Your loyalty is to whom? Intention in making decision? Intention compared with result?

28 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning28 Decision Criteria for Ethical Reasoning: 12 Questions p.2 Who could decision injure? Can problem be discussed with people affected? Decision valid over a long period? Can you tell all others decision? Symbolic potential if understood or misunderstood? Under what would you allow exceptions to your stand?


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