Notes On Business Ethics

Submitted By a11jag
Words: 4576
Pages: 19

Business Ethics
Unit 1

I. Ethics is the study of the right (good) using reason, analysis, synthesis, and reflection A) Ethics ≠ morality (just requires that you know someone else’s opinion) Can explain using reason B) Universal Rule guiding behavior Applied to every decision
II. Steps in process A. Identify proposed action (what is right/wrong?) B. Identify important dimension of the decision (varies by rules) C. Decide if the action is ethical 1. Ethical tests approach ->public disclosure test (front pg of paper exposure) -> ventilation test (”air out” decision) -> purified idea (ask 1 authority) -> gag test “feel right” gut test -> test one’s best self 2. Conventional approach – pre-existing standards or rules -> legal/ not legal? -> social standards (societal disapproved) -> professional standards -> organizational standards 3. Principled approach – identifying “summon bonum”
III. Utilitarianism – based on utility or usefulness A. Decision rule – act to produce the greatest aggregate good (sum of all harms and benefits)
N (# of people affected x AMT x Probability will be affected
1 -$50,000 .99
20,000 +100 .75 etc. once summed – what makes the world a “better” place

easy example: 1 + -1000 x 1.00 = -1000 11 + 100 x 1.00 = 1100__ 100 => positive, yes negative, no
-Who am I harming and by how much
IV. Kantian Deontology – based on (deon) meaning “duty” in Greek Imamanuel Kant – human rights approach)
[rights] imposed duties on others and honoring the duties is what is ethics/ unethical -> what do I have to “do” to respect the rights ( Do unto others….)
-> identify rules you would will to be universal [never and always] A. decision rule – categorical imperative
V. Justice – based on fairness - can you be fair and moral - retributive justice
VI. Ethics of care (feminist ethics) – trust -> act of building relationships with others bonds = good, broken bonds = bad -> quality/ quantity of trust in the world


III. Utilitarianism (Benthum, Mill) utility, usefulness …the “greatest happiness” principles A) decision Rule—act to produce the greatest aggregate good for society -> conseq x N x Prob 1 2 3 4 B) Steps in Applying utilitarian analysis 1) Identify possible alternatives
Maternity leave options: 6 months paid leave employer pays, 6 months paid leave Gov. pays, no leave, 6 months leave no pay.

For every alternative you’ll create a number (how much that alternative is worth to society) 2) identify consequences to those affected going to have a huge list every time. benefits of paid leave: mother, child, family.
Harms of paid leave: daycare companies loose business, company or gov that has to pay salary, the women may loose chance for promotion or even getting the job in the first place when the company knows women will have a baby
Decide how many people would take advantage of this policy. 3) quantifying the consequences 4) choose alternative with the highest cumulative outcome C) Difficulties in applying utilitarianism 1) identifying all the interested parties (everyone that might be affected by your decision) 2) identifying all the possible consequences to those parties. 3) measuring preferences (quantifying part) 4) dealing with uncertainty D) Advantages of utilitarianism 1) clear explanation of why an action is right 2) it forces the decision maker to think in stakeholder terms (anyone that has a stake in the decision, anyone affected by it) 3) clear tie between normative ethics (what should be, what’s right and wrong) and predictive ethics (thinking what other peoples ethical point of views will be and create a way to change that position) 4) multiple alternatives are cleanly comparable