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WHAT DOES ETHICS MEAN TO YOU?
The meaning of ―ethics‖ is hard to pin down, and the views many people have about ethics is shaky. • Many people tend to equate ethics with their feelings. But being ethical is clearly not a matter of following one‘s feelings. In fact, feelings frequently deviate from what is ethical.
• Nor should one identify ethics with religion. Yet if ethics were confined to religion, then ethics would apply only to religious people. But ethics applies as much to the behavior of the atheist as to that of the saint. Ethics, however cannot be confined to religion nor is it the same as religion. • Being ethical is also not the same as following the law. Laws, like ethics, can deviate from what is ethical.
• Being ethical is also not the same as doing ―whatever society accepts.‖ Standards of behavior in society can deviate from what is ethical. An entire society can become ethically corrupt (e.g. Nazi Germany). If being ethical were doing whatever society accepts, one would have to find an agreement on issues which does not, in fact, exist.
WHAT, THEN, IS ETHICS ?
If ethics does not mean all these things then what is ETHICS ?
ideas prevailing in a group. norms. morals. It is a person‘s own attitude & beliefs concerning good behavior. . • It means character. right & wrong.ETHICS: Knowledge @ XISS • Ethics comes from the Greek word ‗Ethos‘ – moral character or custom. • The word ‗ethics‘ refers to principles of behavior that distinguish between good & bad. • Ethics are principles of personal & professional conduct. Ethics reside within individuals & as such are defined separately by each individual in his own way.
Knowledge @ XISS . It asks how these standards apply to our lives and whether these standards are reasonable or unreasonable—that is..Continued…. • Ethics refers to code of moral principles & values that govern the behavior of a person or group with respect to what is right or wrong. • Ethics is the discipline that examines one's moral standards or the moral standards of a society. whether they are supported by good reasons or poor ones.
Continued…. • Ethics is the study of moral standards—the process of examining the moral standards of a person or society • The ultimate aim of ethics is to develop a body of moral standards that we feel are reasonable to hold—standards that we have thought about carefully and have decided are justified standards for us to accept and apply to the choices that fill our lives Knowledge @ XISS ..
ETHICS IS BASICALLY TWO THINGS: • First. slander. And. ethical standards include standards relating to rights. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well founded reasons. Ethics refers to those standards that impose reasonable obligations to refrain from rape. or specific virtues. and fraud. and the right to privacy. obligations. such as right to life. compassion. murder. ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do. assault. stealing. usually in terms of rights. fairness. . the right to freedom from injury. benefits to society. and loyalty. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty.
and striving to ensure that we. then. . laws. As.. the continuous effort of studying our own moral beliefs and our moral conduct. Ethics also means.Continued……. ethics refers to the study and development of one‘s ethical standards. feelings. Knowledge @ XISS • Secondly. and the institutions we help to shape. So it is necessary to constantly examine one‘s standards to ensure that they are reasonable and well-founded. live up to standards that are reasonable and solidly based. and social norms can deviate from what is ethical.
VALUES MORALS ETHICS .
Morals are far more about good and bad than other values. A person can be described as immoral. which is useful when we have to trade off meeting one value or another. ETHICS: you can have professional ethics. whilst morals tend to be externally imposed on other people. should and shouldn‘t. MORALS AND ETHICS: VALUES are the rules by which we make decisions about right and wrong. but you seldom hear about professional morals. Morals are motivation based on ideas of right and wrong. MORALS have a greater social element to values and tend to have a very good acceptance. good and bad. . We thus judge others more strongly on morals than values. Values are beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment.DIFFERENCES BETWEEN VALUES. yet there is no word for them not following values. Ethics tend to be codified into a formal system or set of rules which are explicitly adopted by a group of people. Ethics are thus internally defined and adopted. They also tell us which are more or less important.
and associations) -Experience. Learning. music. magazines.Morality: The standards that an individual or a group has about what is right and and wrong or good and evil. Nonmoral standards: The standards by which we judge what is good or bad and right or wrong in a nonmoral way. MORALITY Where do these standards come from? -Family -Friends -Various societal influences (church. school. Intellectual development may lead the maturing person to revise these standards -Through the maturing process the person may develop standards that are more intellectually adequate and so more suited for dealing with the moral dilemmas of adult life. TV. Moral Standards: The norms about the kinds of actions believed to be morally right and wrong as well as the values placed on the kinds of objects believed to be morally good and morally bad. . We do not always do what we believe is morally right nor do we always pursue what we believe is morally good.
• The meanings of the terms ―ethics‖ and ―morality‖ can be differentiated based on their origins in ancient Greek and Latin. respectively • Greeks – philosophers. Romans – builders • Greeks often have meanings that are primarily philosophical study. Morality comes from the Latin word Moralis – custom or manner. while the Latin derived words imply ―doing the thing.‖ • Ethics comes from the Greek word Ethos – moral character or custom.MORALITY AND ETHICS • Ethics and Morality have something to do with the concepts of good and bad. .
‖ Morality is the subject matter that ethics investigates . and our standards about conduct. is used to refer to what we would call moral conduct or standards. Ethics is ―the study of morality. • Their modern meanings relate to the way people act – either good or bad • Morality. strictly speaking. • Morality is looking at how good or bad our conduct is. Ethics is used to refer to the formal study of those standards or conduct.Continued…… Knowledge @ XISS • Both words deal with the customs or the manner in which people do things.
but the two terms can be used interchangeably. but that is less common than just saying ―ethics‖. there is an ethics class. rather than one named ―morality. . Hence in most colleges.Continued…… Knowledge @ XISS • One refers to the study of conduct as moral philosophy.‖ One might say that morality is ethics in action.
TYPES OF STUDY OF ETHICS: The study of ethics or moral philosophy can be divided into three broad areas: • Descriptive Study • Normative Study • Analytical Study (or Metaethics) Although ethics is a normative study of ethics. . the social sciences engage in a descriptive study of ethics.
a descriptive study attempts to describe or explain the world without reaching any conclusions about whether the world is as it should be.‖ • A descriptive study is one that does not try to reach any conclusions about what things are truly good or bad or right or wrong. Instead. . • Descriptive ethics lets us see if we ―walk the walk.Descriptive Study • Descriptive ethics is simply describing how people behave.
. In short. One should be honest. this is called ―veracity.Normative Study • Normative ethics tries to establish norms or typical appropriate behaviors people should perform. in the language of ethics.‖ Fairness or Justice is another norm • A normative study is an investigation that attempts to reach normative conclusions—that is. a normative study aims to discover what should be. conclusions about what things are good or bad or about what actions are right or wrong.
Analytical Study (or Metaethics) • Metaethics often looks at how people determine for themselves what norms to follow.Peers .g.Culture .Media .Moral Self Reflection .Teachers . The Ten Commandments) .Religion (e. • There are many sources or determinants of people‘s personal ethical beliefs: .Parents .
Sociopaths do not feel guilt because they do not believe their actions are wrong. These people often do whatever they think that they can ―get away with. they will violate almost any ethical norm. Their decision to comply with ethical norms is NOT based on whether they will get caught. is the motivator of honest people. Knowledge @ XISS . but because they will know that they did something they think is wrong. on the other hand.‖ if they know they are not being watched and are unlikely to get caught.ROLE OF GUILT AND FEAR IN ETHICS • Some maintain their conduct within accepted ethical norms because of the fear of getting caught. • Guilt.
then what is BUSINESS ETHICS ? . THEN. IS BUSINESS ETHICS ? If ethics is all these things.WHAT.
. services & in relationships with stakeholders. • Business ethics is a specialized study of right and wrong applied to business policies. which always tells you the direction in terms of where to go. ―Business ethics is generally coming to know what is right or wrong at the work place & doing what is right. This is in regard to products.BUSINESS ETHICS • Application of moral principles to business problems. and behaviors. institutions. It is sensitizing the managers at the work place about how they should act so that they hold some kind of moral compass. • According to Carter Macnamara.
Business Ethics in other words.Continued…… Knowledge @ XISS • Business Ethics is a specialized study of moral right and wrong that concentrates on moral standards as they apply to business institutions. • It is a study of moral standards and how these apply to the social systems and organizations through which modern societies produce and distribute goods and services and to the behaviors of the people who work within these organizations. and behavior. organizations. is a form of Applied Ethics .
• If an organization does not behave in accordance with the social system‘s expectations.Importance of Ethics in Business: Ethical considerations in business are important to managers as individual‘s personal life & business life cannot be neatly separated with respect to moral judgments. • This is an industrial society & its values tend to become those of the entire culture. namely • For the individual. if he is to be a whole & healthy personality. Knowledge @ XISS . it might not merely lose its market share of face another piece of legislated control but might lose its very right to exist. Importance of ethics can be explained in the following explanations. job is the centre of life & its values must be in harmony with the rest of life.
Knowledge @ XISS .OBJECTIVES OF BUSINESS ETHICS Two folds objective of business ethics: 1) It evaluates the human practices by calling upon moral standards. 2) To give prescriptive advice on how to act morally in specific situations.
.e. when you are in a dilemma. • It helps to maintain moral standards in turbulent times i. often called as ―Ethical Dilemma.BENEFITS OF BEING ETHICAL IN BUSINESS According to Carter Macnamara the benefits of managing ethics in an organization are: • It improves the society.‖ Ethical Dilemma is a situation that arises when all alternative choices or behaviors have been deemed undesirable because of Potentially negative consequences making it difficult to distinguish right from wrong.
) It helps to avoid criminal omissions & commissions It helps to improve the public image of the organization Unethical companies have a tough time in hiring and retaining talent Employees want to work in an ethical and socially responsible organization.Continued…… • • • • • • • • Knowledge @ XISS It also cultivates strong team work in the organization It aligns employee behavior with the ethical values It helps to support employee growth It also serves as an insurance policy (person is insured against going the wrong way. .
3 C‘s OF BUSINESS ETHICS • It is related with Compliance • It is related with Contribution • It is related with Consequences Knowledge @ XISS .
• Myth: Ethics is a personal or individual matter and not a public matter. Truth: Ethics is a publicly debatable matter.MYTHS ABOUT BUSINESS ETHICS • Myth: Business Ethics is more a matter of religion than management. a public affair and not an individual or a personal affair. Truth: Business Ethics is more a matter of management • Myth: Employees are ethical so we don‘t need to pay attention to Business Ethics. Truth: Most managers face complex ethical dilemma at workplace. .
• Myth: Good Business means good Ethics Truth: It is not necessary that a business doing good is ethical as well. Truth: Business and Ethics go hand in hand. • Myth: Ethics in business is relative.Continued….. . • Myth: Business and Ethics do not mix. • Myth: Information and Computing are amoral Truth: Information should not be misleading and accuracy has to be maintained in the technology being used. (Ethical Relativism) Truth: There are absolute things that exist in ethics.
THREE ISSUES IN BUSINESS ETHICS Though business ethics cover a variety of topics. there are three basic types of issues: Systemic Issues Corporate Issues Individual Issues Knowledge @ XISS .
legal. or other social systems within which businesses operate. and social practices within which businesses operate. These include questions about the morality of capitalism or of the laws. political.Systemic Issues Questions raised about the economic. Knowledge @ XISS . industrial structures. regulations.
These include questions about the morality of the activities. or organizational structure of an individual company taken as a whole. policies. practices. Knowledge @ XISS .Corporate Issues Questions raised about a particular company.
or character of an individual. Knowledge @ XISS . actions.Individual Issues Questions about a particular individual within an organization and their behaviors and decisions. These include questions about the morality of the decisions.
having objectives and actions. which can be moral or immoral just as an individual's action might be. not to corporations themselves Others counter that corporations do act like individuals. However. Corporate actions do depend on human individuals who should be held accountable for their actions. they also have policies and culture that direct individuals. • • Knowledge @ XISS • • Some theorists maintain that moral notions apply only to individuals.Continued………. . it makes perfectly good sense to say that a corporate organization has moral duties and that it is morally responsible for its acts. Nonetheless. and should therefore be held accountable for the effects of these corporate artifacts. Perhaps neither extreme view is correct.
. The best a company can do is follow the old adage. "When in Rome. do as the Romans do. because different societies have different ethical beliefs. there is no rational way of determining whether an action is morally right or wrong other than by asking whether the people of this or that society believe it to be right or wrong . there are no absolute moral standards. • Ethical relativism is the theory that. In fact. the multiplicity of moral codes demonstrates that there is no one "right" answer to ethical questions." In other words.ETHICAL RELATIVISM When faced with the fact that different cultures have different moral standards. the managers of some multinationals have adopted the theory of Ethical Relativism.
by itself. He concluded that in some cultures people are better informed than in others. Similarly. entail that truth does not exist. • The late Philosopher James Rachels put the matter quite succinctly: The fact that different societies have different moral codes proves nothing. the fact of disagreement does not. . At the very least.Criticisms of Ethical Relativism Theory: • Critics of ethical relativism point out that it is illogical to assume that because there is more than one answer to an ethical question that both answers are equally correct─ or even that either answer is correct. disagreement in ethics might signal nothing more than that some people are less enlightened than others.
For example. the most telling criticisms of the theory point out that it has incoherent consequences. Knowledge @ XISS . it becomes impossible to criticize a practice of another society as long as members of that society conform to their own standards. How could we maintain that Nazi Germany or pre-Civil War Virginia were wrong if we were consistent relativists? There must be criteria other than the society's own moral standards by which we can judge actions in any particular society.Criticisms continued……… • However.
and cognitive abilities develop as they age. so also their ability to deal with moral issues develops as they move through their lives. Lawrence Kohlberg has identified six stages in the process of moral development (in three levels) Knowledge @ XISS . they change their values in very deep and profound ways. emotional. Just as people's physical.MORAL DEVELOPMENTS As people mature.
Instrument and Relativity Orientation LEVEL TWO: Conventional Stages 1. Social Contract Orientation 2. Punishment and Obedience Orientation 2. Autonomous or Principled Stages 1. Law and Order Orientation LEVEL THREE: Post – Conventional. Interpersonal Concordance Orientation 2.LEVEL ONE: Pre – Conventional Stages 1. Universal Ethical Principles Orientation .
At this stage. At these first two stages.Level One: Pre – Conventional Stages 1. Instrument and Relativity Orientation. The child's reasons for doing the right thing are to avoid punishment or defer to the superior physical power of authorities. right. There is little awareness that others have needs similar to one‘s own. bad. the physical consequences of an act wholly determine the goodness or badness of that act. 2. right actions become those that can serve as instruments for satisfying the child‘s own needs or the needs of those for whom the child cares. . the child is able to respond to rules and social expectations and can apply the labels good.At this stage. Punishment and Obedience Orientation . and wrong.
Laws are to be upheld except where they conflict with other fixed social duties. friend. peer group. daughter. Law and Order Orientation .Level Two: Conventional Stages 1. and so on. and trust. or nation is now seen as valuable in its own right. . Interpersonal Concordance Orientation . brother. such as family and friends. affection.Good behavior at this early conventional stage is living to the expectations of those for whom one feels loyalty. Right action is conformity to what is generally expected in one's role as a good son. regardless of the consequences. Maintaining the expectations of one's own family. 2.Right and wrong at this more mature conventional stage now come to be determined by loyalty to one's own larger nation or surrounding society.
right action comes to be defined in terms of moral principles chosen because of their logical comprehensiveness.At this first postconventional stage. Instead. Social Contract Orientation .Conventional Stages 1. the person no longer simply accepts the values and norms of the groups to which he or she belongs. and due process. the person now tries to see situations from a point of view that impartially takes everyone's interests into account. 2. and consistency. universality.At this final stage.Level Three: Post . the person becomes aware that people hold a variety of conflicting personal views and opinions and emphasizes fair ways of reaching consensus by agreement. At these stages. Universal Ethical Principles Orientation . . contract.
and for not offering any argument to back it up. has also criticized Kohlberg's theory on the grounds that it describes male and not female patterns of moral development. His structure implies that later stages are better than the earlier ones. Gilligan claims that there is a "female" approach to moral issues that Kohlberg ignores. Kohlberg has been criticized for this implication.Criticisms of Kohlberg‘s Theory: • Kohlberg's own research found that many people remain stuck at an early stage of moral development. a feminist psychologist. • Carol Gilligan. Knowledge @ XISS .
Knowledge @ XISS .Criticisms Continued……. one of the central aims of ethics is the stimulation of this moral development by discussing. and criticizing the moral reasoning that we and others do. moving from a focus on the self through conventional stages and onto a mature stage where we critically and reflectively examine the adequacy of our moral standards. finding one set of principles "better" when it has been examined and found to have better and stronger reasons supporting it. • Both Gilligan and Kohlberg agree that there are stages of growth in moral development. Therefore... analyzing.
. prohibit. prohibit. institution. value. policy. and (b) evidence or information that shows that a particular person.MORAL REASONING Moral reasoning refers to the reasoning process by which human behaviors. institutions. or condemn. or policies are judged to be in accordance with or in violation of moral standards. or condemn. or behavior has the kinds of features that these moral standards require. Moral reasoning always involves two essential components: (a) an understanding of what reasonable moral standards require. value.
Continued……. Knowledge @ XISS . 3. Factual evidence must be accurate. and complete. Moral standards must be consistent. To evaluate the adequacy of moral reasoning. 2. relevant. Moral reasoning must be logical. ethicists employ three main criteria: 1.
MORAL RESPONSIBILITY AND BLAME • Moral responsibility can refer to two different but related things: • First. • Second. forming intentions about how they will act. and then carrying out that action. a person has moral responsibility for a situation when it would be correct to morally praise or blame that person for the situation. Knowledge @ XISS . a person has moral responsibility for a situation if that person has an obligation to ensure that something happens. Agents are creatures that are capable of reflecting on their situation. • People who have moral responsibility for an action are usually called moral agents.
that ignorance does not excuse the wrongful injury.Continued……… • Moral responsibility is directed not only at judgments concerning right or wrong. that completely eliminate a person's moral responsibility for causing wrongful injury. they are directed at determining whether a person or organization is morally responsible for having done something wrong. Sometimes. . • Ignorance and inability to do otherwise are two conditions. called excusing condition. Ignorance and inability do not always excuse a person. however. People are not always responsible for their wrongful or injurious acts: moral responsibility is incurred only when a person knowingly and freely acts in an immoral way or fails to act in a moral way. When one deliberately keeps oneself ignorant to escape responsibility.
Knowledge @ XISS . The person caused or helped cause it. The person did so knowing what he or she was doing. or failed to prevent it when he could and should have. 3.Continued……… A person is morally responsible for an injury or a wrong if: 1. 2. The person did so of his own free will.
Generally.Continued……… Ignorance may concern the relevant facts or the relevant moral standards. This is because moral responsibility requires freedom. ignorance of the facts eliminates moral responsibility. Knowledge @ XISS . which is impossible in the case of ignorance of the relevant facts. Inability eliminates responsibility because a person cannot have a moral obligation to do something over which he or she has no control.
The person did not inflict the injury or the wrong of his own free will Knowledge @ XISS . The person did not cause and could not prevent the injury or wrong.Continued……… A person is NOT morally responsible for an injury or a wrong if 1. The person did not know he was inflicting the injury or the wrong. 2. 3.
ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST BUSINESS ETHICS Business Ethics is a process of rationally evaluating our moral standards and applying them to business situations. However. People object to the entire notion that ethical standards should be brought into business organizations. . many people have raised objections to the very idea of applying moral standards to business activities.
as "loyal agents. essentially. they argue that the pursuit of profit in perfectly competitive free markets will. • Third. ensure that the members of a society are served in the most socially beneficial ways. • Second. ." are obligated to serve their employers single-mindedly. in whatever ways will advance the employer's self-interest. nothing more than obeying the law.Continued……. by itself. They make three general objections: • First. they claim that employees. they say that obeying the law is sufficient for businesses and that business ethics is.
could be carried out in an ethical vacuum. • Another argument claims that ethical companies are more profitable than other companies . Business is a cooperative activity whose very existence requires ethical behavior. • Another more developed argument points out that no activity. there is no reason to exempt business activity from ethical scrutiny. Arguments for bringing ethics into business: • One argument points out that since ethics should govern all human activity. business included.Continued…….
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