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Ethical theories

4 major ethical theories with examples..

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Ethical theories

  1. 1. THEORIES IN ETHICS Presented By: Somya (13105 Khushbu(13105 1
  2. 2. Lets see an example…. 2 The Reluctant Donor Case: Suppose that you are famous transplant surgeon, and that your transplants always work. You have five patients, each of whom needs a transplant. One needs a heart, one a brain, two need one lung each, and one needs a liver. You have a patient named “Mr. Kumar” who has come in today to find out the results from some lab work. You know from the results of the lab work that Mr. Kumar would be a perfect donor for each of your five other patients, and you know that there are no other available donors. So you ask Mr. Kumar if he would be willing to be cut up and have his organs distributed. He declines your kind offer. But you then realize that you could cut Mr. Kumar up without his permission during some minor surgery he has already consented to. Is it permissible for you do so?
  3. 3. Business Ethics: What Does It Really Mean? Definitions • Ethics involves a discipline that examines good or bad practices within the context of a moral duty • Moral conduct is behavior that is right or wrong • Business ethics include practices and behaviors that are good or bad 3
  4. 4. Business Ethics: What Does It Really Mean? Two Key Branches of Ethics • Descriptive ethics involves describing, characterizing and studying morality – “What is” • Normative ethics involves supplying and justifying moral systems – “What should be” 4
  5. 5. Sources of Ethical Norms Fellow Workers Family Friends The Law Regions of Country Profession Employer Society at Large Religious Beliefs The Individual Conscience 5
  6. 6. Ethics and the Law • Law often represents an ethical minimum • Ethics often represents a standard that exceeds the legal minimum Ethics Law Frequent Overlap 6
  7. 7. Making Ethical Judgments Behavior or act that has been committed Prevailing norms of acceptability Value judgments and perceptions of the observer compared with 7
  8. 8. 3 Models of Management Ethics Three Types Of Management Ethics 8
  9. 9. Three Models of Management Morality and Emphasis on CSR 9
  10. 10. Developing Moral Judgment External Sources of a Manager’s Values • Religious values • Philosophical values • Cultural values • Legal values • Professional values 10
  11. 11. Developing Moral Judgment Internal Sources of a Manager’s Values • Respect for the authority structure • Loyalty • Conformity • Performance • Results 11
  12. 12. Can Business Ethics Be Taught And Trained? • Ethic courses should not: – Advocate a set of rules from a single perspective – Not offer only one best solution to specific ethical problems – Not promise superior or absolute ways of thinking and behaving in situations 12
  13. 13. Can Business Ethics Be Taught And Trained? • Scholars argue that ethical training can add value to the moral environment of a firm and to relationships in the workplace by: – Finding a match between employer’s and employee’s values – Handling an unethical directive – Coping with a performance system that encourages unethical means 13
  14. 14. Ethics-Moral Disengagement • Social Learning Theory – Moral reasoning translates to moral action through self regulatory processes • You do things that bring you self-worth • You avoid things that avoid self censure • You have to disengage from your normal internal self sanctions to commit unethical or deviant acts 14
  15. 15. Theories of Ethics • Four major theories of ethics in the Western world – Utilitarianism: net benefits – Rights: entitlement – Justice: fairness – Egoism: self-interest 15
  16. 16. How does this work? Inclination Intended Result Will Duty Actual Result What makes an act right or wrong?
  17. 17. Ethical Theory 1: Utilitarianism • Famous Proponents: Jeremy Bentham, J.S. Mill • What makes something good or bad, right or wrong, is that it produces the greatest amount of pleasure (or lack of pain) for the greatest number of people • Basic Principle: Greatest Happiness Principle  Maximizing positive outcomes for the largest number of people, negative outcomes for lowest number of people  One should chose the action which will lead to the greatest happiness (i.e. pleasure, lack of pain) overall  One’s own pleasure and pain only count as much as any other person’s affected 17
  18. 18. Utilitarianism (Contd) • Assessment of net benefits includes any important indirect effects • Example: assessing the effects of pollutant discharge from a factory on the immediate surrounding environment and those down stream or down wind from the factory • Two forms: act and rule 18
  19. 19. Act utilitarianism • It asks a person to assess the effects of all actions • Rejects the view that actions can be classified as right or wrong in themselves • Example: lying is ethical if it produces more good than bad 19
  20. 20. Rule utilitarianism • It asks a person to assess actions according to a set of rules designed to yield the greatest net benefit to all affected • Compares act to rules • Does not accept an action as right if it maximizes net benefits only once • Example: lying is always wrong or “thou shalt not lie” 20
  21. 21. Limitations of Utilitarianism • Hard to use in difficult to quantify situations • Does not include rights and justice 21
  22. 22. Example • A few doctors decide that a number of experiments on a few people, even if most of them died, would be worth it if they could find a cure for a disease that would relieve the suffering of millions of people. Utilitarianism would give the approval for such because it produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people. 22
  23. 23. 23 Inclination Intended Result Will Duty Actual Result What makes an act right or wrong?
  24. 24. Ethical Theory 2: Justice • Looks at the balance of benefits and burdens distributed among members of a group • Can result from the application of rules, policies, or laws that apply to a society or a group • Just results of actions override utilitarian results • Rejects view that an injustice is acceptable if others benefit the action 24
  25. 25. Ethical Theory 3: Rights • Right: a person’s just claim or entitlement • Focuses on the person’s actions or the actions of others toward the person  Legal rights: defined by a system of laws  Moral rights: based on ethical standards • Purpose: let a person freely pursue certain actions without interference from others 25
  26. 26. Rights (contd) • Features • Respect the rights of others • Lets people act as equals • Moral justification of a person’s action • Examples • Legal right: right to a fair trial in the United States • Moral right: right to due process within an organization 26
  27. 27. Rights (contd) • Rejects view of assessing the results of actions • Expresses moral rights from individual's view, not society's. Does not look to the number of people who benefit from limiting another person's rights • Example: right to free speech in the United States stands even if a person expresses a dissenting view 27
  28. 28. Types Of Rights • Negative rights: do not interfere with another person’s rights • Positive rights: A person has a duty to help others pursue their rights Negative: do not stop a person from whistleblowing Positive: coworker helps another person blow the whistle on unethical actions 28
  29. 29. 29 Inclination Intended Result Will Duty Actual Result What makes an act right or wrong?
  30. 30. Ethical Theory 4: Egoism • Famous Proponents: Ayn Rand, Adam Smith • What makes something good or bad, right or wrong, is that it satisfies one’s desires, or meets one’s needs • Basic Principle: Self-interest of person doing, considering, or affected by the action • One should chose the action which most realizes or conduces to one’s own self-interest • Important Variation: should the person look simply to self- interest, or to enlightened or rational self-interest? • Conception of Rational Self-Interest is basic component of capitalist economy and business models 30
  31. 31. Types of Egoism Individual Ethical Egoism – Judges actions only by their effects on one’s interests – Usually rejected by moral philosophers as a defensible basis of ethics Universal Ethical Egoism – Can include the interests of others when assessing one’s actions – Still self-centered: pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain – “Enlightened self-interest.” Considers the interests of others because the person wants others to do the same toward him or her 31
  32. 32. Objections regarding Egoism Theory • Does not resolve conflicts in people’s interests • One party would always have the pursuit of his or her interests blocked 32
  33. 33. Questions From The Ethical Theories • Utilitarianism: does the action yield the greatest net benefits? • Rights: does the action negatively affect someone’s moral rights? • Justice: does the action give a fair distribution of costs and benefits among those affected? • Egoism: will the action lead to other people behaving toward me in a way I would like? 33
  34. 34. 34 Thank You..!!!

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