Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Utilitarianism, Virtue ethics Pages: 9 (1753 words) Published: August 17, 2013
BBA313
DEONTOLOGICAL (NONCONSEQUENTIAL), TELEOLOGICAL (CONSEQUENTIAL), VIRTUE

ETHICAL THEORIES -

WEEK/ TOPIC 3:

Dr. Ziska Fields

HOMEWORK: (1 PAGE ONLY)
Today the Arms Procurement Commission began public hearings into what appears to be the biggest corruption scandal in the history of South Africa. Apply the Global Business Standards Codex and explain if and how the Defense Department used these principles, what they could have done differently if the Codex was applied

GLOBAL BUSINESS STANDARDS CODEX
• Fiduciary Principle (Diligence, Loyalty) • Property Principle (Protection, Theft) • Reliability Principle (Contracts Premises, Commitments) • Transparency Principle (Thruthfulness, Deception, Disclosure, Objectivity) • Dignity Principle (Respect for the Individual, Health and Safety, Privacy and Confidentiality, Use of Force, Associatiation & Expression, Learning & Development, Employment Security) • Fairness Principle (Fair Dealing, Fair Treatment, Fair Competition, Fair Process) • Citizenship Principle (Law & Regulation, Public Goods, Cooperation with Authorities, Political Noninvolvement, Civic Contribution • Responsiveness Principle (Addressing Concerns, Public Involvement)

LEARNING OBJECTIVES (TOPIC 3)

After completion of this topic, you will be able to: 1. Describe the main ethical theories and apply it to business scenarios

© iStockphoto.com/Dan Bachman

ETHICAL THEORIES
Three periods in history of ethics Greek period (500 BC-AD 500)

• The man who performed his duties as a citizen = good man • Greeks – “Man is the measure of all things” – he decides for himself what is right and wrong • Socrates, Plato and Aristotle emphasised the need and importance of understanding the nature of goodness • Stoics emphasised that goodness is natural to man, laws of morality are the laws of nature – rational and comprehensive to human reason

ETHICAL THEORIES
Medieval period (AD 500 – AD 1500) • Attention was given to inner aspect of morality due to spread of Christianity

• Changed Greeks’ view that ethics is a part of politics • The standard of right and wrong was according to God’s law in the Bible and was against any doubts

ETHICAL THEORIES
Modern period (AD 1500 onwards) • Individualism more important that priests’ preaching and church principles

• Human freedom and human accomplishments more important than the Christian revelation • The difference between right and wrong was subjective, depending on the attitude of the individual making the moral judgement

ETHICAL CONCEPTS & THEORIES
• Developed by moral philosophers over generations to distinguish ethical from unethical behaviour

• Viewpoints from which guidance can be obtained along the pathway to a decision • Each theory emphasizes different points in order to reach an ethically correct decision • Theories are directed towards achieving a common set of goals (Ethical principles)

ETHICAL CONCEPTS & THEORIES

ETHICS DEFINED
The domain of ethics is centrally concerned with human CHARACTER (the kind of people we are) and CONDUCT (how we relate to others) Three key questions comprise the focus of this domain:

1.
2.

What is good or bad for humans?
What constitutes right or wrong conduct?

3.

How ought we to live and treat others?

ETHICS OF CONDUCTS

CONSEQUENTIALISM
The rightness/wrongness of an action is determined by its consequences or results

The right action is the one that: • Promotes the greatest happiness of the greatest number (maximizes social utility) = Utilitarianism



Produces results that maximise a person’s selfinterest = Ethical Egoism

CONSEQUENTIALISM UTILITARIANISM
• Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) - Creator of Utilitarianism
• Goodness = human well-being – what benefits is good and what harms is evil • Two concepts of importance: • Pleasure and pain governs our lives • Pleasure makes life happier and pain makes it worse • Utility – net benefits and usefulness produced...
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