Deontology Should Govern Decision Making in Business

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction.................................................................................................................2 2. Decision making in business.......................................................................................2 3. Characteristics of deontology .....................................................................................3 4. Arguments in favour of applying deontology in business...........................................4 5. Arguments against applying deontology in business..................................................6 6. Conclusion...................................................................................................................9
References.........................................................................................................................9

“Deontology should govern decision making in business”. Discuss.

1. Introduction
Boylan (2000: 2) refers to ethics as “the science concerning the right and wrong of human action”.

Teleology and deontology are the two major schools of thought that dominate ethical decision-making in the context of business.

Teleology refers to consequences and is founded on the principle of utility maximisation. This concept judges behaviour by its effects on the overall welfare of all stakeholders.

Deontology, on the other hand, views consequences as secondary. Under this philosophy, decisions and acts are evaluated in terms of their intrinsic worth. Deontology is more demanding than teleology, because it rates decisions and acts in absolute terms. For example, even if a decision or action satisfies the rule of the majority, deontology would reject that particular option if, as a result of it, a minority of stakeholders are likely to suffer.

2. Decision making in business
When business firms are charged with infractions, and when there is legal investigation on the managers of those firms,



References: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/kabernd/indep/carainbow/Theories.htm http://atheism.about.com/od/ethicalsystems/a/Deontological.htm http://www.ehow.com/about_6686029_role-business-ethics-decision- king.html#ixzz2AatMlvUJ

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