Ethical Theories in Finance

Topics: Ethics, Virtue ethics, Utilitarianism Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: August 22, 2011
Ethical Theories
Sheri Wernert
BUS 670: Legal Environment
Professor Gentry
December 19, 2010
Ethical Theories
In every day life a person is bound to have ethical issues that must be decided. This is also true for the business world. With cases evolving each day of unethical companies such as Enron ethics is now being viewed as an important part of training for many companies. Which ethical theory to follow depends on the individual and there are many theories to be considered. How does a person tell what theory they believe they follow? Knowing the different theories and how they are viewed are key. Ethical theories are either teleological or deontological which can then be broken down further. Deontological ethical theories are theories that focus on decisions or actions alone (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010). Theories such as the rights theory and justice fall under this category. While teleological theories are theories that focus on the consequences of a decision. Utilitarianism and profit maximization theories are considered this form (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010). The Rights Theory encompasses a variety of ethical philosophies holding that certain human rights are fundamental and must be respected by other humans. This can also be explained as rights and duties are related in such a way that the rights of one person implies the duties of another person (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010). For example, if a company has the right of payment for a product from a customer, then that customer has the duty to pay for the product. Over the years many as being difficult to achieve agreement about which rights are protected have criticized this theory. Some say that it also promotes moral fanaticism and creates a sense of entitlement reducing innovation, entrepreneurship, and production (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010). The Justice Theory can be considered to have different foundations. John...
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