Sarah E. Kempisty
College and Semester:
TESC, February 2014
Ethics & Business Professional
Assignment 1 Questions for Thought
Answer each of the following items thoroughly. Each numbered item should require no more than one page (250 words) as a response. 1. What does the term ethics mean to you? Do you see a difference between ethics and morality? Explain your answer. The term ethics to me can be very in-depth but very simply, elaborates on what is right and what is wrong. I consider myself as having ethics because I know right from wrong and because it was instilled upon me at a young age. Very simply, my values guide me along the right paths, eliminating possible gray areas. Both ethics and morality are about doing the right thing in everyday life to better the world but there are some differences even though they very much coincide. Ethics displays rules and guidelines over all, in hopes that these guidelines will become the social norm. Ethics permeates every facet of our life, whether it be at our home or workplace. It sets many different ways to look at situations and helps justify what is good and what is bad. Morality is more of a focus on what we do as individuals, in hopes of promoting the greater good. Ethics tells us that if someone needs help we should help them. Morality is shown when a person decides to hone in on the ethics that they know and step up to the plate and help that person. Morality is also deciding to help that person without looking for any type of recognition or validation. Morality tells us to do it simply because it is the right thing, not because bad karma will come back to us if we don’t. Ethics gives us the way or paths to carry out our morality in order to make the world a better place.
2. Which of the ethical perspectives described in Chapter 1 do you rely on the most when making ethical choices? What do you see as the major strengths and weaknesses of this ethical theory? The ethical perspectives described in Chapter 1 that I tend to use when making ethical choices, are based on Confucianism. The guidelines and rules from these perspectives strengthen my morality by keeping me honest, trustworthy and kind. They allow me to put others before myself. As Johnson (2012) stated, key strengths in Confucianism are the “Golden Rule (“Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you”)” (pp.30) and “that profit should never take precedence over moral behavior or concern for others” (pp.31). The Golden Rule is exactly that and it is a rule of thumb in my life. Before I do anything or talk to anyone about situations involving others, I question if it would hurt me if it was done to me. Along with this, if profit, power and status are taken off of a pedestal, it would be easier for people to be ethical. People would be less likely to try and knock someone down in the work place to get ahead. One would be able to focus on working side by side with someone else (building relationships) to get more accomplished. Although these strengths may seem ideal, they could have their flaws as well and may not pan out the way one would desire. Johnson (2012) stated, “Placing too much importance on relationships can undermine justice or fairness” and this major weakness can cause problems (pp.32). One following Confucianism may end up giving jobs to family members and friends instead of a stranger who is better qualified and may continue to be taken advantage from there on out (Johnson 2012). Even with the possibility of these flaws, the good can outweigh the bad. This is why I chose the ethical theory known as Confucianism.
Johnson, C. E. (2012). Organizational Ethics A Practical Approach (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.....
References: Johnson, C. E. (2012). Organizational Ethics A Practical Approach (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc..
Please join StudyMode to read the full document