Assignment of monetary value 3
Competitor Intelligence 13
Business Ethics 16
Is business ethics important, if so why? 16
Assignment of monetary value
Utilitarianism and cost-benefit analysis are indispensable tools, in the situations where people have to make decisions. In a free society, individuals, or voluntary associations of individuals (whether corporations, nonprofits, households, or informal gatherings) often need to make decisions. Looking at the costs and benefits of individual decisions is important.
The important thing to note here is, though, that different decision-makers may assign different costs and benefits to the same things, and thus come up with different courses of action. This is because different people have different preferences, different bases of experience, and different goals. Thus, there is no one-size-fits-all cost-benefit analysis, but the tools and principles of cost-benefit an analysis are useful to all.
Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of applying cost-benefit analyses to things that are not usually measured in tangible monetary terms. There are two kinds of objections. One is the objection to any “apples to oranges” comparison. Second is the fact that some things get debased when valued in monetary or utilitarian terms. Both of these are valid criticisms, but in situations where we do need to make decisions, we really have no choice but to weigh different forms of cost and benefit against each other.
This is not to say that there is a single monetary value that we can assign to intangibles, or there is a definite ratio of the worth of one intangible to that of another. Different people will assign different valuations. Some may assign abnormally high valuations to some forms of utility, to the extent that those things become “non-negotiable”. This fits in perfectly wit the broader idea of a cost-benefit analysis.
However, this is true even in the tangible... [continues]
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