Question : Ethical theories are useful in guiding company decisions. Based on your research, which ethical theory is most useful in guiding company decisions and why?
To majority of the people, it is not difficult to draw a clear line between what is good and bad. The problem however lies on who is to make these judgments and on what grounds should we accept these justifications. When associating this concept with decision making in organisation, it highlights the importance of employees displaying ethical behavior within its assembly.
As every employee processes different experiences, philosophies, culture and religions, it results in perceptual differences, ethical disagreements due to diverse individuals experiencing and analyzing problems (Hartman & Desjardins 2008). Ethical theories can be generally differentiated into two main categories, the consequence based/ teleological and non consequences-based/ deontological. When engaged in the decision making process within an organization, ethics guides the company in terms of what is correct and wrong. In the below write-up we will be discussing on how these various people incorporates ethical theories into the decision making process in organizations.
Consequences-based/ Teleological Ethics
Teleological ethics also known as Consequentialist ethics, determines if an action is right or wrong based solely on its results (Pojman & Fieser 2011). It however does not ignore the process of which decisions are made, but placing more emphasis on producing the best possible decision (Albarran 2009).
Consequences Based / Teleological- Ethical Egoism
Ethical egoism regards moral rules as irrelevant. Belonging to the consequences based theories, ethical egoism does not forbid people from performing actions that would benefit those around them. For instance, situations whereby personal interest aligns to those around them, and while helping themselves may result in the favor of others. The theory therefore evaluates that what makes an action right is the maximization of self interest.
However there are advocates who argue that ethical egoism is the only theory which respects the integrity of others, having three reasoning behind that. Firstly, it states that no one human being can be more familiar of your wants and needs than themselves. Trying to help others fulfill their goals and objectives may result in more mischief than good. Secondly, the idea of looking out for others may intrude into one's privacy. Lastly, making someone an object of charity would be emotionally degrading to the party. It deprives them of their dignity and self interest, creating a false assumption that they are incompetent to care for themselves (Shafer-Landan 2012). It is therefore concluded that in Ethical egoism theory, if everyone were to only act on their self interest, it will result in everyone being better off.
Consequences Based/ Teleological - Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism focuses on social improvement and explains that an action or behavior would only be ethically right if it maximizes utility and benefits the greatest number of people (Frankena, cited in Edward 2001). Therefore, when putting utilitarianism into use during decision making, every aspect and possibilities of good and bad outcomes must be taken into consideration, if the good outweighs the bad, than decision is deemed to be ethical.
Utilitarianism are categorized into two sub dimension, Rule-utilitarianism assumes that the same procedure is followed by handling identical situations, correctness and wrongness of a behavior depends on the benefits and negative results it produces. Act-utilitarianism derives the most suitable action based on calculating the usefulness of all alternatives and choosing the one which produces the most utility (Hinman 2012).
In Utilitarianism, self interest and individualism should be brought to the lowest and emphasis should be placed on collectivism and the welfare of...
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