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Ethics

Ethics or moral philosophy is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and
recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.[1] The term ethics derives from the Ancient
Greek word ethikos, which is derived from the word ethos (habit, "custom"). The branch of
philosophy axiology comprises the sub-branches of ethics and aesthetics, each concerned with values.[2]

As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions "What is the best way for people to live?" and
"What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?" In practice, ethics seeks to resolve
questions of human morality, by defining concepts such as good and evil, right
and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. As a field of intellectual enquiry, moral philosophy also is
related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory.

Three major areas of study within ethics recognised today are:[1]

1. Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, and how
their truth values (if any) can be determined
2. Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action
3. Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted) to do in a specific situation
or a particular domain of action[1]

Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines
ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all
aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations.

When there is a disconnect between stated and operating values. What makes an action valuable may in turn depend on the ethic values of the objects it increases. or euthanasia.Applied Ethics is the branch of ethics which consists of the analysis of specific. However. VALUES PROVIDE THE BASIS FOR JUDGMENTS ABOUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE SELF TO SUCCEED IN LIFE TO BEHAVE ETHICALLY IS TO BEHAVE IN A MANNER THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH WHAT IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO BE RIGHT OR MORAL. environmental ethics. with the aim of determining what action of life is best to do or live (deontology). values determine what is right and what is wrong. and an action of low. or at least relatively highly. business ethics. That someone can be an individual or. An object with "ethic value" may be termed an "ethic or philosophic good" Values can be defined as those things that are important to or valued by someone. ETHICAL BEHAVIOR IS THE BEDROCK OF MUTUAL TRUST So how do values relate to ethics. Additionally. It deals with right conduct and good life. putting value to them. valuable action may be regarded as ethically "good" (adjective sense). and should be the basis for the behavior of its members. it may be difficult to determine what is "acceptable. what if members of the organization do not share and have not internalized the organization's values? Obviously. In recent years applied ethical issues have been subdivided into convenient groups such as medical ethics. The principles by which the society functions do not necessarily conform to the principles stated." The same thing works at the level of the society. or to describe the significance of different actions (axiology). animal rights. and what do we mean by ethics? One of the keys is in the phrase we quoted above from the DA pamphlet: "Values are what we. One place where values are important is in relation to vision. Those in power may covertly allow the use of force to suppress debate in order to remain in power. or at least relatively low. value may be regarded as "bad". as a profession. and sexual ethics. Values Introduction In ethics. To behave ethically is to behave in a manner consistent with what is right . judge to be right. in the sense that a highly. a disconnect between individual and organizational values will be dysfunctional. and doing what is right or wrong is what we mean by ethics. while the values that really guide organizational behavior are very different. an organization. It may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects. an organization may publish one set of values. Values are the embodiment of what an organization stands for. controversial moral issues such as abortion. collectively. decreases or alters." Individually or organizationally. value denotes something's degree of importance. perhaps in an effort to push forward a positive image.

A recent duty-based theory is that by British philosopher W. Ross." He believes reflects our actual moral convictions:  Fidelity: the duty to keep promises  Reparation: the duty to compensate others when we harm them  Gratitude: the duty to thank those who help us  Justice: the duty to recognize merit  Beneficence: the duty to improve the conditions of others  Self-improvement: the duty to improve our virtue and intelligence  Non-maleficence: the duty to not injure others  Truthfullness  Fairness  Respect for Autonomy Ethical Norms Norms are informal guidelines about what is considered normal (what is correct or incorrect) social behavior in a particular group or social unit. Norms form the basis of collective expectations that members of a community have from each other. rather than conceptual abstractions that describe. Norms are the ways an individual expects all the people to act in a given situation. permissions. and honesty.D. may not be obeyed and cannot be enforced except by sanctions of a group who use penalties as disapproval or exclusion. common normative abstract concepts include sincerity. Ross argues that our duties are "part of the fundamental nature of the universe. and play a key part in social control and social order by exerting a pressure on the individual to conform. What does "generally considered to be right" mean? That is a critical question. justification. They are inconsistent and universal. Norms are expectation of proper behavior not the requirement of that behavior. oriented to effecting an action. Norms are concepts (sentences) of practical import. which emphasizes prima facie duties. Common normative sentences include commands. and prohibitions. Norms are not published. . explain. and part of the difficulty in deciding whether or not behavior is ethical is in determining what is right or wrong. and express.or moral. Ethical values .

do no harm. Ethical Principles and Standards Four fundamental ethical principles (a very simple introduction)  The Principle of Respect for autonomy Autonomy is Latin for "self-rule" We have an obligation to respect the autonomy of other persons. However.) We have an obligation not to harm others: "First. Corollary principle: It is wrong to waste resources that could be used for good.  The Principle of Beneficence We have an obligation to bring about good in all our actions." which is a technical legal term. . Corollary principles: honesty in our dealings with others & obligation to keep promises. Corollary principle? We must take positive steps to prevent harm. which is to respect the decisions made by other people concerning their own lives. It gives us a negative duty not to interfere with the decisions of competent adults." which means that one did not intend to harm. Combining beneficence and non-maleficence: Each action must produce more good than harm.  The Principle of non-maleficence (It is not "non-malfeasance. Corollary principle: Don't increase the risk of harm to others. adopting this corollary principle frequently places us in direct conflict with respecting the autonomy of other persons. and a positive duty to empower others for whom we’re responsible. we are obligated to minimize the harm we do. This is also called the principle of human dignity." Corollary principle: Where harm cannot be avoided. & it is not "nonmalevolence.

The following principles are the ones most commonly appealed to in applied ethical discussions:  Personal benefit: acknowledge the extent to which an action produces beneficial consequences for the individual in question. There is not one consistent set of standards that all companies follow. and impartially. fairly. and fair distribution of benefits.  Principle of benevolence: help those in need. privacy.  Principle of justice: acknowledge a person's right to due process. The above principles represent a spectrum of traditional normative principles and are derived from both consequentialist and duty-based approaches. free expression.  Principle of paternalism: assist others in pursuing their best interests when they cannot do so themselves.  Social benefit: acknowledge the extent to which an action produces beneficial consequences for society.  Rights: acknowledge a person's rights to life. good behavior. personal benefit and social benefit. promote values such as trust. . but each company has the right to develop the standards that are meaningful for their organization.  The Principle of justice We have an obligation to provide others with whatever they are owed or deserve.  Principle of harm: do not harm others. and/or kindness. Corollary principle: Impose no unfair burdens.  Principle of honesty: do not deceive others. such as a version of act-egoism that might focus only on an action's short-term benefit. In public life. we have an obligation to treat all people equally. Normative Principles in Applied Ethics Arriving at a short list of representative normative principles is itself a challenging task. The principles selected must not be too narrowly focused. The first two principles. fairness. information. fair compensation for harm done. The five general principles Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility Principle C: Integrity Principle D: Justice Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity Ethical standards Principles that when followed.  Principle of autonomy: acknowledge a person's freedom over his/her actions or physical body. and safety. Combining beneficence and justice: We are obligated to work for the benefit of those who are unfairly treated.  Principle of lawfulness: do not violate the law.

and normative ethical systems which consider the merits of actions themselves. harm. Ethics and Morality Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner.[2] Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness. character. or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles. honesty. justice. or knowledge about morals. or the origin of morals. indifference toward.are consequentialist since they appeal to the consequences of an action as it affects the individual or society. Different systems of expressing morality have been proposed. it is the disjunction between right and wrong. An example of normative ethical philosophy is the Golden Rule. and the various rights are based on moral rights.[1] Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy. religion. The principles of benevolence. while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of. or culture. proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions. opposition to that which is good or right)." Moral philosophy includes moral ontology."[3] Immorality is the active opposition to morality (i. and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper: In other words. The principles of autonomy. which states that: "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. including deontological ethical systems which adhere to a set of established rules. WILLBERN'S LEVEL OF PUBLIC MORALITY  ETHIC OF COMPROMISE AND SOCIAL INTEGRATION  ETHIC OF PUBLIC POLICY DETERMINATION  ETHIC OF DEMOCRATIC RESPONSIBILITY  SERVICE ORIENTATION AND PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS  CONFLICT OF INTEREST  BASIC HONESTY AND CONFORMITY TO LAW . decisions. The remaining principles are duty-based.e. as well as moral epistemology. paternalism. and lawfulness are based on duties we have toward others. or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal.

His research originally was focused on boys aged ten to sixteen.External Individual . morality is ultimately a personal compass of right and wrong. Ethics versus Morals comparison chart Ethics Morals What are they? The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a Principles or habits with respect to particular class of human actions or a particular right or wrong conduct. and was later refined and revised. Usually consistent. The "Gray" A person strictly following Ethical Principles may A Moral Person although perhaps not have any Morals at all.Lawrence Kohlberg Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Judgment. Likewise. although can They tend to be consistent within a certain change if an individual’s beliefs context. each with two stages. His theory illustrates the development of moral judgment proceeding through three levels. Because we believe in something being right or wrong. Lawrence Kohlberg developed a theory describing the development or moral judgment based on concepts of objectivity. Where do they Social system . change. "Make it fit" Origin Greek word "ethos" meaning"character" Latin word "mos" meaning "custom" Acceptability Ethics are governed by professional and legal Morality transcends cultural norms guidelines within a particular time and place Theory of Moral Development . justice. Flexibility Ethics are dependent on others for definition. but can vary between contexts. may violate Ethical Principles within a given system of choose to follow a code of ethics as it rules in order to maintain Moral integrity. also prescribe dos and don'ts. one could bound by a higher covenant. While morals group or culture. would apply to a system. . and fairness.Internal come from? Why we do it? Because society says it is the right thing to do.

Conventional morality includes the society and societal roles in judging the morality of an action. . For example. and individualism and exchange. a child gives away her lunch to a street peasant because she thinks doing so means being nice. this stage includes the use of punishment so that the person refrains from doing the action and continues to obey the rules. a person steals money from another person because he needs that money to buy food for his hungry children. Stage 2: Instrumental Relativist Orientation In this stage.History of the Theory How did Kohlberg come up with the theory of moral development? All his ideas started from the research he performed with very young children as his subjects. Stage 1: Punishment. Level 2: Conventional Morality The second level of morality involves the stages 3 and 4 of moral development. In Kohlberg’s theory. Stage 3: Good Boy-Nice Girl Orientation In this stage. but he wanted to find out the reasons why these children think that the character is morally right or not. For example. Levels and Stages of Moral Development Level 1: Preconventional Morality The first level of morality. we follow the law because we do not want to go to jail. the person is said to judge the morality of an action based on how it satisfies the individual needs of the doer. He found out that children are faced with different moral issues. a person judges an action based on the societal roles and social expectations before him. he was not really asking whether or not the person in the situation is morally right or wrong. the children tend to say that this action is morally right because of the serious need of the doer. preconventional morality. In each scenario that Kohlberg related to the children. This is also known as the “interpersonal relationships” phase.Obedience Orientation Related to Skinner’s Operational Conditioning. and their judgments on whether they are to act positively or negatively over each dilemma are heavily influenced by several factors. can be further divided into two stages: obedience and punishment. For instance.

For instance. a policeman refuses the money offered to him under the table and arrests the offender because he believes this is his duty as an officer of peace and order. Kohlberg Stages of Moral Development Approximate Age Range Stage Substages 1) Avoid punishment Birth to 9 Preconventional 2) Gain Reward 3) Gain Approval & Avoid Age 9 to 20 Conventional Disapproval 4) Duty & Guilt 5) Agreed upon rights Age 20+ maybe never Postconventional 6) Personal moral standards .Stage 4: Law and Order Orientation This stage includes respecting the authorities and following the rules. Stage 5 : Social Contract Orientation In this stage. This is mainly concerned with the universal principles that relation to the action done. this orientation is when a person considers universally accepted ethical principles. the person is look at various opinions and values of different people before coming up with the decision on the morality of the action. Stage 6 : Universal Ethical Principles Orientation The final stage of moral reasoning. Level 3: Postconventional Morality The post-conventional morality includes stage 5 and stage 6. as well as doing a person’s duty. The judgment may become innate and may even violate the laws and rules as the person becomes attached to his own principles of justice. The society is the main consideration of a person at this stage.

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Carol Gilligan Carol Gilligan was born on November 28. -Gilligan says this is shown in the role of Mother & Wife -Situation sometimes carries on to ignoring needs of self.” Women must learn to deal to their own interests and to the interests of others. and finally to post conventional or principled morality. She felt that . Pre Conventional -Person only cares for themselves in order to ensure survival -This is how everyone is as children In this transitional phase. thought the tasks of development were separation from mother and the family. Theory of Moral Development . 1936. Freud thought women's moral sense was stunted because they stayed attached to their mothers. In this transitional phase. then they were obviously lacking. the male view of individual rights and rules was considered a higher stage than women's point of view of development in terms of its caring effect on human relationships. Conventional -Responsibility -More care shown for other people. She felt that Kohlberg only studied “privileged. If women did not succeed in this scale. . Her theory is divided into three stages of moral development beginning from " selfish. Another great theorist.” Gilligan said that this caused a biased opinion against women. -Some people never reach this level. She has received her doctorate degree in social psychology from Harvard University in 1964m and began teaching at Harvard in 1967. Lawrence Kohlberg. Her opinions were presented in her famous book. the person 's attitude is considered selfish. She thinks that women hesitate to judge because they see the complexities of relationships. Eventually Gilligan became independent and began to criticize some of Kohlberg’s work. white men and boys. Another famous theorist. “Gilligan’s goal is was to prove that women are not “moral midgets”. and the person sees the connection between themselves and others. Post Conventional -Aceeptance of the principle of care for self and others is shown. she was going against many psychological opinions. Erik Erickson. in New York City. in Kohlberg ' s stage theory of moral development. Then in 1970 she became a research assistant for the great theorist of moral development. Therefore Gilligan's goal was a good cause. " In a different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development " which was published in 1982. to social or conventional morality. tensions between responsibility of caring for others and caring for self are faced.

This might be followed by the post conventional stage when care for oneself and another colleague might be equal. and a good impression is trying to be made. and that the samples used were too small. (Not everyone reaches the post conventional stage) . which can be seen after developing relationships with colleagues. According to Gilligan. She says Gilligan used unreliable evidence. however they should care just as much about themselves as the do about others. The conventional stage is shown when the job is just acquired. This is followed by the conventional stage. that researchers have not been able to duplicate her work. Gilligan says that her work has been published in articles and journals and Sommer’s points are inaccurate. Gilligan says that in our society women really like to help others. especially in the case of education Gilligan's Theory and the Workplace A person could undergo this process of "the ethic of care" when entering a new job. PhD. In terms of education everyone should focus on it and everyone's need for education is important. She feels strongly that promoting an anti-male agenda hurts both males and females. women can gain personal independence after they forget about the idea that their proper role is to overcome their interests to the interests of their husbands. Gilligan's Theory and Education Carol Gilligan's theory helps both men and women in seeing each other in a different perspective. children. A person should not put the needs of others in front of their own. or other people they care about.Is She Wrong? There has been some criticism of Gilligan's work and by Christina Hoff Sommers. Gilligan’s Theory and Society Gilligan's ideas are against the struggle of women against our society's idea of their “gender-determined " role. She says that Gilligan does not have data for her research.

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Legislation: It is already stated that the Government will intervene and enact laws only when the businessmen become too unethical and selfish and totally ignore their responsibility to the society. No society can tolerate such misbehavior continuously. its standard of ethical conduct tends to rise. Any unethical behavior or conduct on the part of the company shall endanger its established reputation. there are also a number of factors. Besides. 3. Personal Code of Ethics: A man’s personal code of ethics that is what one considers moral is the foremost responsible factor influencing his behavior. 2. Self-regulation is. These provide some guidelines to the business managers in determining what are acceptable or recognized standards and practices. of course. product safety. better and produce impressive results. Hence. most companies are very cautious in this respect. Ethical Code of the Company: When a company grows larger. It will certainly exert pressure on the Government and the Government consequently has no other alternative to prohibit such unhealthy behavior of the businessmen. Government Rules and Regulations: Laws support Government regulations regarding the working conditions. which significantly influence the managers to take ethical decisions. They issue specific guidelines to their subordinates regarding the dealings of the company. Some of them are: Image: Factors influencing business ethics 1. public image and goodwill. . 4.Factors influencing Business Ethics Business leaders today are well aware of the ethical issues and hence they want to improve the ethical standards of the business. statutory warning etc.

the consumers will become indifferent towards the company. which strictly adhere to the ethical code. Hence only those firms. When other firms. in the same industry are strictly adhering to the ethical standards. the society itself may turn against a company. If a company supplies sub-standard products and get involved in unethical conducts. in the same industry. Factor Rank Today Rank in 10 Years Corporate scandals 1 4 Marketplace competition 2 2 Demands by investors 3 5 Pressure from customers 4 3 Globalization . Social Pressures: Social forces and pressures have considerable influence on ethics in business. Ethical Climate of the Industry: Modern industry today is working in a more and more competitive atmosphere. can retain its position unaffected in its line of business. the firm in question should also perform up to the level of others. If the company’s performance is below than other companies. 6. Such refusals shall exert a pressure on the company to act honestly and adhere strictly to the business ethics.5. it cannot survive in the field in the long run. Sometimes.