Generally, ethic is similar to moral value that regulates the behavior of people and we use ethic to justify what is right and wrong. Business Ethic is therefore the standard to justify what is good or bad in making a business decision or in running a business (Geer, 1994). Business ethic is relevant to both conducts of individuals and business organizations. Some of the enterprises just simple ignore the business ethics and run the business practically as profit was the sole target for them. Ethical action may not be practical to a business, while practical action may not be ethical to others. It constitutes an ethical dilemma. A manager should therefore strike a balance between “ethical” and “practical” before making a decision.
In this paper, I will explore approaches to address ethical dilemma and what aspects will be considered before making an ethical business decision. I will use the tourism industry as an example to examine that can an enterprise only focus on business ethic or the profit and whether or not the business ethics are the key element for it to consider before making decision. I will examine both the positive correlation and negative correlation and draw a conclusion at last.
We always wonder what are our ethical standards base on and how can we apply those standard to different circumstances. Many ethicists and philosophers have suggested several approaches to address ethical dilemma. The most common three approaches suggested are the utilitarian approach, moral right approach, justice approach (Velasquez, Moberg, Meyer, Shanks, McLean, DeCosse, André, Hanson, 2009).
Utilitarian approach is to make a decision base on ethical action that can maximize the benefit or minimize the harm for the majority of people. It deals with consequences and emphasizes the result of a decision. According to the definition, ethical business action is an action that benefits the stakeholders, the community, and the environment most. However, it is difficult to find out what is good due to changing characters and behaviors (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks, Meyer, 2010) and people may not always have the same view on what is a good and what is harm.
The moral right approach is based on human nature that people can decide what they want to do on their own. They have the right of free consent, the right to privacy, the right of freedom of conscience, the right of free speech, the right to due process and the right to life and safety (BrowneM. Neil Browne (Author)› Visit Amazon's M. Neil Browne PageFind all the books, read about the author, and moreSee search results for this authorAre you an author? Learn about Author Central , Giampetro-Meyer, Williamson,2003). According to this approach, ethical action is the best action to protect and respect the stakeholders’ moral right. Right also imply duty, base on this approach people also have duty to respect others’ rights. However, we cannot ensure that the companies maintain the ethical standards depend on their highest value priority.
The justice approach bases on the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle that all equals should be treated equally. According to this approach, the ethical actions treat all people equally or fairly based on a standard which is defensible (Conroy, 2010). Favoritism and discrimination are therefore unjust and wrong. However, this approach may not have adequately accounts for the rights and needs of everyone affected and it is difficult to see if the decision is based on a defensible standard or an imbalance of power (Yuter, 2008).
All approaches mentioned above help us to address ethical dilemma and to know what we do can be considered as ethical. Although, it is difficult to putting the approaches together as they explain what is “ethical” in different ways, they give us some information to determine what is ethical in different circumstance. The majority of business decisions...