Business ethics is the behavior that business sticks to in its every day relations with the world. However, it applies not only to how the business interacts with the world in whole, but also to dealings with a single customer and even to internal actions. Every organization should include good business ethics. Moral reasoning is integral part of business ethics. L. Kohlberg determined three levels of moral development that consists of six stages. The stages of Kohlberg 's model relate to the qualitative moral reasoning adopted by individuals. According to this model, a person can not skip any stages and make headway sequentially. So, in this essay I will analyze Kohlberg 's levels of moral reasoning, my own development concerning this model, how to reach the highest stage and how internal culture of organization influence moral reasoning of its employees.
Moral reasoning is the process which develops proper attitudes and behaviors toward other people in society, based on social and cultural norms, rules, and laws. Moral reasoning is also called moral development.
Lawrence Kohlberg is an American psychologist who studied this process in the mid of XX century. He based his ideas of moral reasoning on Piaget 's moral reasoning and morality of cooperation. Kohlberg believed that a child is devoid of moral, ethics, and honesty at birth and the family is the first mine of moral development for an individual. His method involves asking people to try to solve moral dilemmas described in little stories, and after that he could follow their reasoning. He was not interested in particular answers; he was interested in how the person got to his or her answer.
“Kohlberg’s observations regarding moral growth suggest a “quantum” approach: instead of a smooth transition toward full ethical maturity, Kohlberg observed moral growth occurring in stages where persons consolidate at one level before moving on toward another. Kohlberg’s original theory (1981)
References: Neil Brady, David Hart. (2007). An Exploration in to the Developmental Psychology of Ethical Theory with Implications for Business Practice and Pedagogy. Journal of Business Ethics, 76:397–412 DOI10.1007/s10551-006-9290-3 Stephen P. Robbins, Mary Coulter. (2009). Management (10th ed.)