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Chapter Three

Ethical Principles, Quick Tests, And DecisionMaking Guidelines
Copyright © 2003 by SouthWestern, a division of Thomson Learning


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

These twelve questions can help individuals:        Openly discuss the responsibilities necessary to solve ethical problems Facilitate group discussions Build cohesiveness and consensus Serve as an information source Uncover ethical inconsistencies Help a CEO see how managers think Increase the nature and range of choices 3  Copyright © 2003 by South-Western.Decision Criteria for Ethical Reasoning   A first step in addressing ethical dilemmas is to identify the problem and related issues. a division of Thomson Learning . Laura Nash developed twelve questions to ask yourself during the decision-making period to help clarify ethical problems.

and complete Ethical standards used should be consistent   A simple but powerful question can be used throughout your decision-making process in solving ethical dilemmas:  What is my motivation for choosing a course of action? Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. a division of Thomson Learning 4 .Decision Criteria for Ethical Reasoning  The following three criteria can be used in ethical reasoning:   Moral reasoning must be logical Factual evidence cited to support a person’s judgment should be accurate. relevant.

a division of Thomson Learning 5 . Two conditions that eliminate a person’s moral responsibility for causing harm are:   Ignorance Inability  Mitigating circumstances that excuse or lessen a person’s 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 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western.Decision Criteria for Ethical Reasoning   A major aim of ethical reasoning is to gain a clearer and sharper logical focus on problems to facilitate acting in morally responsible ways.

Ethical Relativism: A Self-Interest Approach  Ethical relativism holds that no universal standards or rules can be used to guide or evaluate the morality of an act. This is also referred to as naïve relativism. 6    Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. The logic of ethical relativism extends to culture. This view argues that people set their own moral standards for judging their actions. a division of Thomson Learning .

a division of Thomson Learning . and moral standards Imply an underlying laziness Contradicts everyday experience Relativists can become absolutists  Problems include:     Relativism and stakeholder analysis. 7 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. customs.Ethical Relativism: A Self-Interest Approach  Benefits include:  Ability to recognize the distinction between individual and social values.

Copyright © 2003 by South-Western.  The moral authority that drives utilitarianism is the calculated consequences or results of an action. or wrong on the basis of its consequences.Utilitarianism: A Consequentialist (ResultsBased) Approach  The basic view holds that an action is judged as right. regardless of other principles that determine the means or motivations for taking the action. good. a division of Thomson Learning 8 .  Utilitarianism includes other tenets.

Utilitarianism: A Consequentialist (ResultsBased) Approach  Problems with utilitarianism include:      No agreement exists about the definition of the “good” to be maximized No agreement exists about who decides How are the costs and benefits of nonmonetary stakes measured? Does not consider the individual Principles of rights and justice are ignored  Utilitarianism and stakeholder analysis. Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. a division of Thomson Learning 9 .

© 2003 by South-Western.  The categorical imperative consists of Copyrighttwo parts.Universalism: A Deontological (Duty-Based) Approach This view is also referred to as deontological ethics or nonconsequentialist ethics and holds that the means justify the ends of an action. not the consequences.  Kant’s principle of the categorical imperative places the moral authority for taking action on an individual’s duty toward other individuals and humanity. a division of Thomson  Learning 10 .

a division of Thomson Learning 11 . Copyright © 2003 by South-Western.Universalism: A Deontological (Duty-Based) Approach  The major weaknesses of universalism and Kant’s categorical imperative include:  Principles are imprecise and lack practical utility  Hard to resolve conflicts of interest  Does not allow for prioritizing one’s duties  Universalism and stakeholder analysis.

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.Rights: An EntitlementBased Approach    Moral rights are based on legal rights and the principle of duty. 12 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. a division of Thomson Learning . Rights can override utilitarian principles. The limitations of rights include:    Can be used to disguise and manipulate selfish.

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 Compensatory Retributive Distributive Procedural  Four types of justice include:     Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. Retribution   The principle of justice deals with fairness and equality. a division of Thomson Learning 13 .Justice: Procedures. Compensation.

rights. Two steps in transforming justice:   Be aware of your rights and power Establish legitimate power for obtaining rights 14 Copyright © 2003 by South-Western.Justice: Procedures. Compensation. and power are really intertwined. . a division of Thomson Learning  Justice and stakeholder analysis. 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.

Amoral.   Copyright © 2003 by South-Western.Immoral. and just concern of others involved. Or Moral Management  Immoral management means intentionally going against ethical principles of justice and of fair and equitable treatment of other stakeholders. a division of Thomson Learning 15 . Moral management places value on equitable. fair. Amoral management happens when others are treated negligently without concern for the consequences of actions or policies.

a division of Thomson Learning   Stockholder model Stakeholder model 16 .  Two social responsibility orientations of businesses and managers toward society include: Copyright © 2003 by South-Western.Four Social Responsibility Roles  Figure 3.  The four social responsibility modes reflect business roles toward stockholders and stakeholders.3 illustrates four ethical interpretations of the social roles and modes of decision-making.

that include:     Individualism Altruism Pragmatism Idealism Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. a division of Thomson Learning 17 .Individual Ethical Decision-Making Styles  Stanley Krolick developed a survey that interprets individual primary and secondary ethical decision-making styles.

Quick Ethical Tests  The Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College suggests six questions to be asked before making a decision.  Classical ethical tests:        The Golden Rule The Intuition Ethic The Means-End Ethic Test of Common Sense Test of One’s Best Self Test of Ventilation Test of Purified Idea Copyright © 2003 by South-Western. a division of Thomson Learning 18 .