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ETHICS  Personal Ethics Definition  Absolutism vs. Relativism  Deontological vs. Teleological/ Consequential  Ethical decision-making models (AAA and Tucker)    Professional Ethics Corporate Social Responsibility        Is it unethical not to offer prayers? Is it unethical to violate a traffic signal? Is it unethical to steal? Is it unethical to tell a lie? Is it unethical to go to a dance party? Is it unethical to accept a business gift? If ethics is a personal matter why should professional bodies be concerned with this? Ethics is concerned with what society considers to be right or wrong. It therefore relates to standards of behaviour. At first this may appear to overlap with one purpose of law, in that law seeks to address behaviour of which society disapproves. However, ethical principles may be adopted that discourage behaviour that is undesirable but legal. ABSOLUTISM RELATIVISM Ethical foundations in religion or deeply embedded values, universally accepted by society. Not to kill To always tell the truth Business gifts are bribe so unacceptable Deontological (Duty) Ethical decisions as per the circumstances and consequences. It is right to kill if the cause is just To tell a lie if the purpose is noble Varies from culture to culture Teleological (End) A highly successful and dynamic chief executive officer who has been caught up in a scandal relating to his personal life, reported widely in the national newspapers and on television, with resultant embarrassment to his organization. Should he resign? Absolutism approach  Relativism approach  Absolutism Definition of basic duties and explanation of some common instances Application of ethical principles in specific circumstances Relativism A Asks B To do C In breach of A – Boss, Employer, Husband, Friend etc B – Manager/ person in ethical dilemma C – Unethical act D – Standard, Code, Policy etc D An accountant joined a multinational company as its Finance Director. The company had acquired a land on which it built its industrial units. The Finance Director discovered that prior to his joining, one of the units had been sold at a very high price than the amount appearing in company’s records. The difference had been lent to another company, in which MD was a major shareholder. Furthermore MD had kept his relationship secret from the Board. The FD asked the MD to disclose this to Board. However the MD refused. Identify A, B, C, D in the above.  The ethical dilemma faced by Finance Director.  AAA Model (American Accounting Association) Step 1 What are the facts of the case? What are the ethical issues in the case? What are the norms, principles, and values related to the case? What are the alternative courses of action? Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 What is the best course of action that is consistent with the norms, principles, and values identified in Step 3? What are the consequences of each possible course of action? Step 7 What is the decision? An auditor uncovers an irregular cash payment and receives an unsatisfactory explanation for it from the client’s finance director. He suspects the cash payment is a bribe paid to someone but can’t prove it. The client then offers to pay the auditor a large amount of money if he pretends not to have noticed the payment. The amount of money offered by the client is large enough to make a significant difference to the auditor’s wealth. Should the auditor take the money? Use AAA model to analyse the situation. Tucker’s Model Step 1 Is it PROFITABLE? Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Is it LEGAL? Is it FAIR? Is it RIGHT? Is it SUSTAINABLE/ ENVIRONMENTALLY RIGHT? Big Company is planning to build a new factory in a developing country. Analysis shows that the new factory investment will be more profitable than alternatives because of the cheaper labour and land costs. The government of the developing country has helped the company with its legal compliance, which is now fully complete, and the local population is anxiously waiting for the jobs which will, in turn, bring much needed economic growth to the developing country. The factory is to be built on reclaimed ‘brown field’ land and will produce a lower unit rate of environmental emissions than a previous technology. Use Tucker’s model to analyse the situation. Some more information has emerged about Big Company’s new factory in the developing country. The ‘brownfield’ land that the factory is to be built on has been forcefully requisitioned from a community (the ‘Poor Community’) considered as ‘second class citizens’ by the government of the developing country. The Poor Community occupied the land as a slum and now has nowhere to live. Use Tucker’s model to analyse the situation. The American Accounting Association model invites the decision maker to explicitly outline their norms, principles, and values, while Tucker’s model allows for discussion and debate over conflicting claims. Both are potentially useful to senior decision makers.