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Ethics is not simply the laws of appropriate human conduct and relationships but are urge to do good and be good to others .thus , ethics operate between law and morality. We need to look at these 4 points, 1.Law 2.Morality 3. Self 4. Society Moral theories: 1. Teleological theories: Rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by its consequences.
Prominent thinkers: Bentham & J.S Mill Give priority to good over right. good is the purpose or goal of human actions. Human actions should bring greatest happiness for greatest no. of people. Results or consequences determine the rightness or wrongness of moral actions. Right action is one which maximizes the good.
Defines rightness or goodness of an action by the results. Right actions are those that have good effect on our health , reputation, economic and social well being , environment etc. and also on well being of others . It holds that what makes an action right or wrong is its consequences only. 2 forms of consequentialism : (i) Theory of Ethical Egoism: right actions bring happiness to individuals performing the action. measures consequences to themselves i.e. their own self interest, and to anyone else . An action is morally right if the consequences of that action are more favorable than unfavorable ,only to the agent performing the action.
Right actions bring happiness to greatest no. of people. Any action which brings greatest happiness to the greatest no. of people is a desirable action. Finally , these are the theories that deal with goals and end results of actions.
Rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by its morality and not its consequences. Deal with duties and obligations . Prominent thinkers are Kant, Ross and Rawls . Give priority to right over good. right action may not necessarily maximize the good. right actions may or may not bring happiness to all people. 2 approaches: ( I) Act Deontology : does not follow rules for performing specific actions . (ii) Rule deontology: moral duties or values consist of general rules and not actions acco. To circumstances. do not depend on circumstances of particular situations.
Is concerned primarily with the relationship of business goals and technology to specifically human ends . Studies the impact of good on individual , the firm , the business community and society as a whole. Issues in Teaching Business Ethics Is challenging to put business ethics into practice especially when the wider environment seems to reward unethical business practice such as bribery, the challenge for both education and management is still to learn how to cope with these challenges.
2 models of teaching business ethics
1. Principle based model: focus on theoretical aspects of teaching business ethics. 2. Virtual based model: focuses on practical aspects of teaching business ethics. emphasis is on looking at the company as a virtue seeking ± being struggling to create an ethics for itself and gain a distinct character.
Ethical issues to be taught
Concern with ethics help us to see that in each area of business and management there is an ethical dimension which needs to be addressed. In language of virtue ethics , we might say that a company implicitly or explicitly decides what kind of company it intends to be . It creates a form of character for itself and its employees and expects certain kind of behavior to flow from such a character.
If we reemphasize the basic social values such as love, kindness , honesty, integrity, uprightness, social responsibility, etc. we would be certainly on the right track. The question is how to regain these values on the lost paradise ? The simple solution to this problem is to make ethics and values an integral part of management education. Students need the philosophical perspective as a base to develop this thinking process.
Importance of teaching Ethics
Study carried out at Harvard business school by three of its faculties , response of students: One student says that earlier he didn¶t consider ethical issues as important ones but after taking course on ethics , he has become aware of the need to ask the question of , what is going to be the impact of this decision on the people , that live in that area and environment. Another, student says that the difference such a course has made is the level of analysis. Teaching ethics goes a long way in shaping the culture of a person & through him the culture of the institution where he works and the society where he lives. It transforms the consciousness and commitment of a person to his self work & workplace.
Barriers to teaching ethics
Some people are embedded with the idea that theoretical wisdom is sufficient to bring moral wisdom . It need not be taught as a part of curriculum. There is an expectation that teachers present a variety of moral theories and potential applications neutrally , they do not advocate a particular point of view. In some cases , faculty also fears teaching ethics as a distinct subject as it has very few professional awards. Some believe that learning ethics is a concept that develops in the inner self of a person . It cannot be taught or learnt in classrooms.
Arguments against teaching ethics
People are born with certain values . It is said that ethics are inborn . People cannot learn by lectures. Values are cultured in homes . It is the home where a child learns the values . Home is the primary school for any person. Values are internal : ethics are internal , there cannot be any external ethics.
Arguments in favor
1. Values shaped by external environment. Values cannot be fully developed on their own. they develop in a conductive environment. 2. value is relative : we delegate our one value with other value. It means we have to prioritize our values/ethics. Thus courses in business ethics in undergraduate and MBA program or in business setting are essential.