Business Ethics- midterm key terms

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descriptive ethics
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As practiced by many social scientists, provides empirical account of those standards that actually ethics guide behavior, as opposed to those standards that should guide behavior.
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ethical values
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Those properties of life that contribute to human well-being and a life well lived. this would include such things as happiness, respect, dignity, integrity, freedom, companionship, health.
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ethics
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Derived from the Greek word ethos, which refers to those values, norms, beliefs, and expectations that determine how people within a culture live and act. reflects on the standards by which people should live and act. concerned with how we act and how we live our lives. most monumental question any human being can ask: How should we live? standards by which an individual chooses to live her/his own personal life, and the standards by which individuals live in community with others (see morality below). the discipline that systematically studies questions of how we ought to live our lives.
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morality
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Sometimes used to denote the phenomena studied by the field of ethics. The text uses it refer to those aspects of ethics involving personal, individual decision making. “How should I live my life?” or “What type of person ought I be?” is taken to be the basic question of this term. it can also can be distinguished from questions of social justice, which address issues of how communities and social organizations ought to be structured.
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normative ethics
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The discipline that deals with norms, those standards of appropriate and proper behavior. Norms establish the guidelines or standards for determining what we should do, how we should act, what type of person we should be. Contrast with descriptive ethics, above.
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norms
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Those standards or guidelines that establish appropriate and proper behavior. It can be established by such diverse perspectives as economics, etiquette, or ethics.
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practical reasoning
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Involves reasoning about what one ought to do.
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risk assessment
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A process to identify potential events that may affect the entity, and manage risk to be within its risk appetite, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of entity objectives.
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stakeholders
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anyone who can be affected by decisions made within a business. More specifically, it’s considered to be those people who are necessary for the functioning of a business.
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social ethics
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The area of ethics that is concerned with how we should live together with others and social organizations ought to be structured. it involves questions of political, economic, civic, and cultural norms aimed at promoting human well-being.
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theoretical reasoning
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Involves reasoning that is aimed at establishing truth and therefore at what we ought to believe.
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values
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Those beliefs that incline us to act or to choose in one way rather than another. We can recognize many different types of these in financial, religious, legal, historical, nutritional, political, scientific, and aesthetic. It also serve the ends of human well-being in impartial, rather than personal or selfish ways.
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change blindness
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A decision-making omission that occurs when decision makers fail to notice gradual changes over time.
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ethical decision
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Requires a persuasive and rational justification for a decision. Rational justifications are developed through making process a logical process of decision making that gives proper attention to such things as facts, alternative perspectives, consequences to all stakeholders, and ethical principles.
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inattentional
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If we happen to focus or are told specifically to pay attention to a particular element of a decision or event, blindness we are likely to miss all of the surrounding details, no matter how obvious.
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moral imagination
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When one is facing an ethical decision, the ability to envision various alternative choices, consequences, resolutions, benefits, harms.
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normative myopia
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The tendency to ignore, or the lack of the ability to recognize, ethical issues in decision making.
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perceptual differences
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Psychologists and philosophers have long recognized that individuals cannot perceive the world independently of their own conceptual framework. Experiences are mediated by and interpreted through our own understanding and concepts. Thus, ethical disagreements can depend as much on a person’s conceptual framework as on the facts of the situation. Unpacking our own and others’ conceptual schema plays an important role in making ethically responsible decisions.
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personal and professional decision making
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Individuals within a business setting are often in situations in which they must make decisions both from their own personal point of view and from the perspective of the specific role they fill within an institution. This requires an individual to recognize that these perspectives can conflict and that a life of moral integrity must balance the personal values with the professional role-based values and responsibilities.
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Autonomy
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From the Greek for “self-ruled,” the capacity to make free and deliberate choices. The capacity for this action is what explains the inherent dignity and intrinsic value of individual human beings.
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Categorical Imperative
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a command or duty that it is without exception. an overriding principle of ethics. Philosopher Immanual Kant offered several formulations of this act so as the maxim implicit in your acts could be willed to be a universal law; treat persons as ends and never as means only; treat others as subjects, not objects.
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Character
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The sum of relatively set traits, dispositions, and habits of an individual. Along with rational deliberation and choice, this accounts how she or he makes decisions and acts.
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Consequentialist theories
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Ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, that determine right and wrong by calculating the consequences of actions.
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Deontological Ethics
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Derived from the Greek word for “duty,” deontological ethics stresses the ethical centrality of such things as duties, principles, and obligations. It denies that all ethical judgments can be made in terms of consequences.
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Duties
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Those obligations that one is bound to perform, regardless of consequences. This might be derived from basic ethical principles, from the law, or from one’s institutional or professional role.
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Egoism
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As a psychological theory, this holds that all people act only from self-interest. Empirical evidence strongly suggests that this is a mistaken account of human motivation. As an ethical theory, it holds that humans ought to act for their own self-interest. this typically distinguish between one’s perceived best interests and one’s true best interests.
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Ethical Relativism
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An important perspective within the philosophical study of ethics, which holds that ethical values and judgments are ultimately dependent upon, or relative to, one’s culture, society, or personal feelings. This denies that we can make rational or objective ethical judgments.
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Human Rights
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Those moral rights that individuals have simply in virtue of being a human being. Also called Natural Rights or Moral Rights.
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Loyalty
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Requires faithfulness; a board member must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization. This means that conflicts of interest are always to be resolved in favor of the corporation.
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Rights
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Function to protect certain central interests from being sacrificed for the greater overall happiness.
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Utilitarianism
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An ethical theory that tells us that we can determine the ethical significance of any action by looking to the consequences of that act. Typically, identified with the policy of “maximizing the overall good” or, in a slightly different version, of producing “the greatest good for the greatest number.”
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Virtue ethics
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An approach to ethics that studies the character traits or habits that constitute a good human life, a life worth living. This ethic provide answers to the basic ethical question “What kind of person should I be?”
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code of conduct
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A set of behavioral guidelines and expectations that govern all members of a business firm.
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compliance-based culture
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A setting in which obedience to laws and regulations is the prevailing model for ethical behavior.
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Culture
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A shared pattern of beliefs, expectations, and meanings that influences and guides the thinking and behaviors of the members of a particular group.
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ethics officers
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Individuals within an organization charged with managerial oversight of ethical compliance and enforcement within the organization.
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Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations
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Developed by the United States Sentencing Commission and implemented in 1991, originally as mandatory parameters for judges to use during organizational sentencing cases. By connecting punishment to prior business practices, the guidelines establish legal norms for ethical business behavior. However, since a 2005 Supreme Court decision, they are now considered to be discretionary in nature and offer some specifics for organizations about ways to mitigate eventual fines and sentences by integrating bona fide ethics and compliance programs throughout their organizations.
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mission statement
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A formal summary statement that described the goals, values, and institutional aim of an organization.
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United States Sentencing Commission
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An independent agency in the United States judiciary created in 1984 to regulate sentencing policy in the federal court system.
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values-based culture
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A corporate culture in which conformity to a statement of values and principles rather than simple obedience to laws and regulations is the prevailing model for ethical behavior.
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Whistleblowing
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A practice in which an individual within an organization reports organizational wrongdoing to the public or to others in position of authority.
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corporate social responsibility
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The responsibilities that businesses have to the societies within which they operate. Actions that companies undertake to address economic, social, and environmental impacts of its business operations and the concerns of its principal stakeholders.
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Corporate sustainability report
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Provides all stakeholders with financial and other information regarding a firm’s economic, environmental and social performance.
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economic model of CSR
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Limits a firm’s social responsibility to the minimal economic responsibility of producing goods and service and maximizing profits within the law.
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integrative model of CSR
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For some business firms, social responsibility is fully integrated with the firm’s mission or strategic plan.
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philanthropy model of CSR
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holds that business is free to contribute to social causes as a matter of charity, but has no strict obligation to contribute to social causes.
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Reputation management
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The practice of caring for the “image” of a firm.
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Social entrepreneurship
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A movement that seeks to address social problems through the creativity and efficiency of market forces. This involves the standard characteristics of innovation, creativity, and risktaking, but marshals these skills to address social needs. This also differs from the work of nonprofit groups such as NGOs and corporate foundations in that they explicitly aim to be profitable.
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social web model of CSR
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The view that business exists within web of social relationships. This model views business as a citizen of the society in which it operates and, like all members of a society, business must conform to the normal range of ethical duties and obligations that all citizens face.
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stakeholder theory
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A model of corporate social responsibility that holds that business managers have ethical responsibilities to a range of stakeholders that goes beyond a narrow view that the primary or only responsibility of managers is to stockholders.

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