Chapter 4: Ethics and Ethical Reasoning

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Ethics
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A conception of right or wrong conduct. Deal with fundamental human relationship.
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Ethical Princioles
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Guides to moral behavior
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Business Ethics
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Application of general ethical ideas to business behavior
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Ethical Relativism
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Concept which holds that ethical behavior should be defined by various period in time in history, a society’s traditions, the special circumstance of the moment, or personal opinins
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Five key reasons business should be ethical
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1. To meet the demands of business stakeholders 2. To enhance business performance. 3. To comply with legal requirements. 4. To prevent or minimize harm 5. To promote personal morality
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Enhance business performance
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Business executives recognize that ethical actions can directly affect their organization’s bottom line,and have chosen to reward these actions accordingly.
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U.S corporate sentencing guidelines
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provide a strong incentive for business to promote ethics at work.
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Sarbanes Oxley Act
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This law seeks to ensure that firms maintain high ethical standards in how they conduct and monitor business operations.
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Why ethical problems occurs in business
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1. Personal gain and selfish interest 2. Competitive pressure on profits 3. Conflict of interest 4. Cross-culture contradictions
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Ethical egoist
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A manager or employee who puts his or her own self-interest above all other considerations
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Conflicts of interest
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when a individual’s self-interest conflicts with acting in the best interest of another, when individual has obligation to do so.
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Four methods of ethical reasoning
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1. Virtues 2. Utilitarian 3. Rights 4. Justice
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Virtues
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Values and character are critical determining factors
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Utilitarian
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Referred to as cost benefit analysis because it compares the costs and benefits of a decision, a policy, or an action.
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Human right
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a person or group is entitle to something or is entitled to be treated in a certain way.
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Justice
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benefits and burdens are distributed equitably and according to some accepted rule.

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