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Business-Government-Society. Chapter Eight “Making Ethical Decisions in Business” Discuss timeless ethical principles. Discuss a wide arrange of principles and methods for making ethical decisions. Hey kids, it’s “fun with ethics”!!!. Go to this web site to find out if you’re ethical

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business government society
  • Chapter Eight
  • “Making Ethical Decisions in Business”
    • Discuss timeless ethical principles.
    • Discuss a wide arrange of principles and methods for making ethical decisions.
hey kids it s fun with ethics
Hey kids, it’s “fun with ethics”!!!
  • Go to this web site to find out if you’re ethical
  • Submit questionnaire
  • Click the link to find out what your score means
ethic of justice
Ethic of Justice
  • People with this view tend to place more importance on principles, laws or policies
  • Don’t like to make exceptions and worry about setting precedents
  • View problems logically and impartially; objective and fair
  • Disadvantages: seen as cold, uncaring, inflexible
  • More prominent in men than women


ethic of care
Ethic of Care
  • Reduce harm or suffering
  • Every dilemma should be viewed from the perspective of the individual and the circumstances
  • Willing to make exceptions; Flexible, caring and objective
  • Disadvantages: decisions may seem arbitrary, fails to consider precedents
  • More prominent in women then men


14 principles of ethical conduct
14 Principles of Ethical Conduct
  • These are fundamental guides or rules of behavior
  • Each has strengths and weaknesses
  • Some have universal appeal while others apply only to specific situations
  • Goal is to broaden the way you look at, think about, and make tough decisions
the 14 principles
Categorical Imperative

Conventionalist Ethic

The Disclosure Rule

Doctrine of the Mean

Ends-Means Ethic

The Golden Rule

The Intuition Ethic

Might Equals Right

Organization Ethic

Principle of Equal Freedom

Proportionality Ethic

Rights Ethic

Theory of Justice

Utilitarian Ethic

The 14 Principles
the categorical imperative
The Categorical Imperative
  • German philosopher Immanuel Kant
  • He was a perfectionist, ideas are too
  • Must always do what is right
  • Do not perform an action unless that action could become a universal law
    • Quick test of universalizability
  • Weakness of idea is that it is too rigid
the conventionalist ethic
The Conventionalist Ethic
  • An action is ok as long as it is not illegal
  • Business ethics are at a lower standard than personal or social ethics
  • Critics argue that business is too important and powerful to be treated like a game. Decisions impact too many lives.
the disclosure rule
The Disclosure Rule
  • How would it feel to explain the action to a third party or to a larger audience
    • The “Others” test
    • The “Press” Test
      • Aka “The Sunshine Rule”
  • Screens out base motives such as greed and jealousy
  • Doesn’t help answer what you should do instead
the doctrine of the mean
The Doctrine of the Mean
  • Calls for virtue through moderation
  • “The truth lies somewhere in the middle”
  • Ethical acts lie in the middle between excessive and deficient actions
  • This doctrine is inexact and little used today in Western culture
the ends mean ethic
The Ends Mean Ethic
  • “the result validates the deeds”
  • Encourages one to compromise their ethics to obtain a goal
  • Criticism of this view:
    • How we do something may be more important than what we do
    • Character development cannot happen if a person chooses expedient means
the golden rule
The Golden Rule
  • “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
  • Requires seeing the problem from another person’s perspective
  • A view found in all of the world’s major religions
golden rule continued
Golden Rule (Continued)
  • Kant’s “Practical Imperative”
    • Treat employees with respect. They are an end, not just a means to an end for the company.
  • “Test of Reversibility”
    • Would you change places with the person whose life your decision is impacting?
  • Criticism
the intuition ethic
The Intuition Ethic
  • We intuitively know right from wrong
  • Trust our “gut feeling” to tell us if what we are doing is right
  • Draw upon a lifetime of moral lessons
  • Criticism
    • Subjective
    • Not validated by anything outside of the person
the might equals right ethic
The Might Equals Right Ethic
  • What is ethical is what an individual or company has the strength and power to accomplish
  • Take whatever advantage you are able to take
  • Confuses ethics with force
  • Not a legitimate approach in civilized society
the principle of equal freedom
The Principle of Equal Freedom
  • Each person may exercise liberties until the point where they infringe on the liberties of others; protects individual liberty
  • “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”
  • Criticism:
    • When two rights collide, which one has priority over the other?
    • Management must make decisions that benefit many but harm some.
the proportionality ethic
The Proportionality Ethic
  • Applies to decisions having both good and evil consequences.
  • Are handguns good or bad for society?
  • How do we weigh the good against the evil?
principle of double effect
Principle of Double Effect
  • In a situation where good and evil consequences may occur, a manager will be said to have acted ethically if...
    • The good outweighs the evil
    • Managements’ intentions are to achieve good outcomes
    • There is no better alternative
the utilitarian ethic
The Utilitarian Ethic
  • Based on the principle of utility – that actions that promote happiness are right and actions that cause unhappiness are wrong
  • Seeks the greatest good for the greatest number
  • Criticism:
    • Has led to self-interested reasoning
    • What is “the greatest good”?
    • Permits infringements on individual and minority rights
ethics a quick quiz
Ethics – A Quick Quiz
  • Is it legal?
  • Is it good for my company?
  • Is it good for my career?
  • How will I feel later?
  • How would it look in the newspaper?
  • What would I tell my child to do?
  • How would I feel if my family knew?
why ethical decisions are hard
Why Ethical Decisions Are Hard
  • What is versus what ought to be.
  • Good and evil exists simultaneously
  • Knowledge of consequences is limited
  • Corporate stakeholders make competing corporate claims
  • Irreconcilable differences between critics and corporations
  • All humans have feet of clay
  • New dilemmas of science and technology
review of chapter eight
Review of Chapter Eight
  • What is the difference between Ethics of Justice and Ethics of Care?
  • How does the disclosure rule screen out base motives?
  • What is the criticism of the “Ends Means Ethic”?
  • True or false, the Golden Rule is only found in Judeo-Christian religions?
  • How does the disclosure rule help screen out base motives?
  • What is the criticism of the utilitarian ethic?