Legal and Social Environment of Business Ethical Dilemmas

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Philosophy Pages: 5 (1801 words) Published: March 7, 2013

Ethics is an essential component of all situations and decisions of life, whether personal or professional. Ethics defines itself as, a systemized set of generally accepted standards or moral values and also the academic study of such belief systems (Massey stream glossary). Ethics can further be divided into various categories depending on the issues and aspects of each respective case. An ethical dimension of business decision-making has been discussed in ‘A Sticky Situation’, which is faced by Kent Graham (Shaw, Barry, & Sansbury, 2009). In this particular case, Kent Graham faces various normative theories of ethics. The situation faced by Kent Graham is very much important to be discussed as it deals with a very general situation which are faced by several people in their professional lives these days and also it gives a wide scope to study and analyze the various ethical dimensions of normative ethics. The situation faced by Kent Graham majorly constitutes of an ethical dilemma, which is the decision he has attempted and made. Kant’s ethics is also reasonably highlighted in this case as he is torn into two minds between a professional account manager and a responsible family head. One of the most important ethics that Kent Graham displays in this case is his egoism, which is compensated by his act as it also includes virtue ethics. Utilitarianism has also been highlighted in the decisions and situations faced by Kent Graham in this particular case study.

One of the most considered and repeatedly occurring problem in ethical dimensions is the ethical dilemma. Ethical dilemma defines itself as a situation in which there is no obvious right or wrong decision. These arguments can be refuted in various ways, for example by showing that the claimed ethical dilemma is only apparent and does not really exist (thus is not a paradox logically), or that the solution to the ethical dilemma involves choosing the greater good and lesser evil, or that the whole framing of the problem is omitting creative alternatives, or more recently that situational ethics or situated ethics must apply because the case cannot be removed from context and still be understood (wikipedia). Rules-based reasoning is concerned with how we make the decision, not its consequences. Rules-based reasoning argues that the ends can never really be known until long after we’ve made our decision, so therefore we can only guess as to the likely ends or consequences, and that this is very unreliable (Boyel, 2006). In this situation of the particular case study, Kant Graham tackles a major ethical dilemma. He is torn between the two completely different tracks of decision to make. On one side he has to start closing some big accounts, which would benefit his company, and he would personally gain benefits, which would lead to his family welfare. On the other hand he feels tinged with uncertainty and guilt, as he has not revealed the truth to the Spray-On Inc. company. If the receiving company came to know that the deal was not completely true and the goods were out sourced, then the Dura-Stick Company as well as him personally will face many complicated problems. But he is bound to his duty and faces heavy confusion to make the right decision and faces the ethical dilemma. Today we tend to approach the study of ethics from the point of view of individuals, with each person having his or her own special personal interests and relationships (Roger ). Kant’s ethics is considered to be an important section of ethical dimension. Kant sought moral principles that do not rest on contingencies and that define actions as inherently right or wrong apart from any particular circumstances (Shaw & Barry). He believed that moral rules in principle, be known as a result of reason alone and are not based on observations. Kant basically emphasizes on the good will hidden in the actions of an individual’s...
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