Reasons to be concerned with Ethics
•Reputationand competitive advantage
•Employeetrust, loyalty, commitment and initiative
The need to study Business Ethics
•If business managers see the need to focus on ethical behavior, so should business students
•Preparation for career in contemporary business
•Consumers are affected by decisions made by businesses
What are values?
•Thosebeliefs or standards that incline us to act or to choose in one way rather thananother
•Acompany’s core values are those beliefs and principles that provide theultimate guide in the company’s decision-making.
•Anotherway of saying a corporation has a set of identifiable values.
•Butthere is no “right” set of core values.
Ethics and Ethos
•Theword “ethics” is derived from the Greek ethos,meaning “customary” or “conventional.”
•Tobe ethical in the sense of ethos is to conform to what is typically done, toobey the conventions and rules of one’s society and religion.
•Denies that simple conformity andobedience are the best guides to living
•Rejects authority as the sourceof ethics
•Defends the use of reason as thefoundation of ethics
•Seeks a reasoned analysis ofcustom and a reasoned defense of how we ought tolive
•Utilitarianismdetermines right and wrong in terms of consequences.
Deontological theories emphasize ethics as a matter of principle
•We can determine the ethicalsignificance of any action by looking to the consequences of that act.
•Maximizing the overall good orThe Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of People
•Utilitarianism provided strongsupport for democratic institutions and policies.
What does utilitarianism focus on?
•Utilitarianism looks at theconsequences of actions.
•Utilitarianism is pragmatic: noone is ever right or wrong in every situation. It all depends on theconsequences.
•Bentham- only pleasure, or at least the absence of pain was intrinsically valuable.
•Happiness must be understood interms of pleasure and the absence of pain.
•Unhappiness must be understood tobe the presence of pain and the absence of pleasure.
•Pleasure and pain are the twofundamental motivational factors of human nature.
Utilitarianism differs from egoism
•Utilitarianacts are judged by their consequences for the general and overall good (eachindividual affected by the action).
•Egoismfocuses only on individual self-interests.
Free Market-preference utilitarianism
•Free market economics is a formof “preference utilitarianism” where the utilitarian goal is the maximumsatisfaction of preferences.
•Efficiency structures our economy.
•We allow individuals the freedom to bargain for themselves.
•Agreements occur only when both parties believe a transaction will improve their own position.
•Competition works to improve the overall good.
Challenges to Utilitarianism
–Finding ways to measure happiness
–Differing versions of the good and implications for human freedom
–The principle of consequentialism means that the ends justify themeans, but there are certain rules we must follow no matter what theconsequences.
•Sometimesthe correct path is determined not by consequences but by certain duties.
•Duties= Obligations, Commitments, and Responsibilities
•Deontologydenies the utilitarian belief that the ends do justify the means. There are just some things we should do, orshould not do, regardless of the consequences.
Deontology focuses on:
•Focuseson the dignity of individuals. Individuals have rights that should not be sacrificed simply to producea net increase in the collective good.