Utilitarianism: Ethical Theories and Business Essay Sample. These rules should also be accepted by everybody. Publicly held corporations have an obligation to make a profit based on their charters of incorporation, legal obligations to shareholders, and an implied contract with the public. Kantianism is a key version of the broader ethical perspective known as deontology.According to deontology, there are certain absolute (or nearly absolute) ethical rules that must be followed (for example, the rule that we must respect people’s privacy, and the rule that says we must respect other people’s right to make decisions about their own lives). Thus, it is the intention behind an action rather than its consequences that make that action good. Example: Positive freedom would endorse the practice known as open book management. Fords cost/benefit analysis determined it would cost less to ignore it than recall all Pintos. The test of the categorical imperative formulation one in business becomes a principle of fair play. If a maxim that permitted contract breaking were universalized, there could be no contracts (and contracts would cease to exist). Some examples of issues in ethical business as well as CSR include harming the environment and ... responsibilities and obligations that go beyond the workplace (WBCSD, 2001). It will also include suggestions for managers or professionals who want to apply this ethical theory in their organization and the benefits that they can gain from it. German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an opponent of utilitarianism. It then offers suggestions on how to improve the nature of business ethics in modern society. Academic writing (Business, health, technology and education related topics), Ethical Theory and Its Application to Contemporary Business Practice, How to insulate your air mattress against the cold, Web 2.0 Platform: How YouTube has changed the way people communicate and collaborate, Suggested Marketing Plan for Telstra (A Telecommunication Company in Australia), The Effect of Culture on Health Outcomes in Australia, Friedman's Ten Flatteners and Their Influence on Asian Countries. For Kant, that means developing one’s rational and moral capacities. A manager taking the Kantian approach to business ethics would regard providing such meaningful work as a moral obligation. Change ). Examples of Ethical Behavior in the Workplace. Examples of Ethical Decision Making In Business 10 Great Examples of Ethical Decision Making In Business 1. If a maxim that permitted stealing were universalized, there could be no private property. Painter-Morland, M & Werhane, P (2010). Examples of Utilitarian Ethics One example of utilitarianism in business is the practice of having tiered pricing for a product or service to different types of customers. o Second, it means that business organizations and business practices should be arranged so that they contribute to the development of human rational and moral capacities, rather than inhibit the development of these capacities. It involves the study on metaphysical and psychological issues (Shaw & Barry, 2009). There are three strategies that are suggested; virtue theories, duty theories and consequentialist theories (Brenkert & Beauchamp, 2009). Businesses in today’s world raise many ethical issues and it is important to understand which actions are right and which ones are wrong. Some Thus, Kantian managers need to create a certain kind of organization. However, according to Kant’s second maxim, this may not necessarily unethical as long as the employers do not deceive or coerce their employees into taking the job (Painter-Morland & Werhane, 2010). Ferrell, O. Since Kantian Ethics is universalised to all humans, it suggests that all humans should be treated equally under the same ethical system. What does this mean? Susie (Student), "We have found your website and the people we have contacted to be incredibly helpful and it is very much appreciated." ( Log Out /  Wadsworth Publishing. Kantian Ethics—Kant had no time for Utilitarianism. No one is used as merely a means in a voluntary economic exchange where both parties benefit. A Kantian Approach to Business Ethics The writer here talks about a man named Kant who lived in the 18th Century and is best known for defending a version of the “respect for persons” principle which implies that any business practice that puts money on a par with people is immoral or unethical. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Applied to business, Kantian ethics is too rigid as the principle of duty stifles progress. Kant answers with a resounding no. In this report the focus will be placed on an article about models working in … Shaw, W.H & Barry, V (2009). No one would enter into a contract if he or she believed the other party had no intention of honoring it. (Amazon verified Customer), http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_chapter/1405101024%5C001.pdf. Kantian ethics, with an emphasis on the concepts of patient dignity, autonomy, and the second formulation of the Categorical Imperative, could be a helpful addition for medical ethics education. Open book management also enhances employee self-respect. Kant is one of the most sought after names when it comes to business ethics. Find out more. By enhancing employee self-respect, open book management supports positive freedom. Leading 20 th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe (1920-2001). C & Fraedrich, J (2010). Kantian Ethics and Healthcare Essay Example. For example, the airline industry offers first class, business class and economy class seats on many of their airplanes. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. It could not. So, one has to think whether the action of breaking contracts can be universalized. Starting from an ethics of care poses a different question: does giving a bribe reinforce or weaken the bonds of human relationships defining my place in the world? Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics: Strengths and Weaknesses Based on the first maxim from the categorical imperative, Kant suggests that every action should follow a certain set of guidelines that is adheres by everyone as a universal law without any exception (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, … Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. indicate that ethical theory could be playing a more significant role. When put into the business perspective any action has a maxim which will then become a universal law. The answer, obviously, depends. Since employees are able to obtain important information at any point of time, this makes it difficult for employers to deceive or hide any unwanted negative news from them. As a result, employees will more likely cooperate with the organization in order to help it to get over these hard times. The 'Confusion to Avoid' sections at the end of each chapter will be particularly useful.” Negative freedom emphasizes that an individual should not be deceived or coerced into doing something (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). In this example he says two shopkeepers selling homogenous goods for £3. In their simplest form, ethics are the moral standards you rely on when you make a decision. The paper presents the issues that are associated with the application of Kantian ethics to modern healthcare. 12 Business Ethics Examples. To many people, this may seem to be an immoral act. The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics. Therefore, this article will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses on Kant’s duty-based ethics. In their simplest form, ethics are the moral standards you rely on when you make a decision. HarperBusiness. There are positive stories that illustrate Kant’s point. Truly moral actions cannot be contaminated by motives of self-interest. there is 2 topic that you have to address for the assignment: 1. one of the ethical theories that Kantian or utilitarian theory, one line of the definition is enough. Negative freedom is freedom from coercion and deception. Deontology advises not to violate this rule. Respect for persons is part of the Categorical Imperative, the formula Kant designed to make ethical decisions. Since Kant stresses the importance of morally motivated actions, organizations will be able to create a positive working experience (Boje, 2008). His greatest concern was with the human community and with ways that the human community could live in peace. He has proposed three versions or maxims of categorical imperatives (Bowie, 1999). Wiley-Blackwell. How should sustainability be considered? SAGE Brief Guide to Business Ethics. Businesses offset carbon emissions to become carbon neutral and remove their carbon footprint. However, they only considered the cost to the company. To act from a good will is to act from duty. Applying it to the promotion question, if there’s a member of Oil-Dri saddled by, let’s say, a difficulty with alcohol, then that might actually be a positive consideration within care-based thought. Suppose that an employee, angry at the boss for some justified reason, considers stealing from the firm. And, it’s a form of lying and cheating. Positive freedom is the freedom to develop one’s human capacities. Examples of Utilitarian Ethics. In Kantian Ethics, humans are valued and believed to be moral agents Weaknesses of Kantian Ethics. SC (Teacher), “Very helpful and concise.” At the moment, we're studying Kantian ethics. The focus of this principle is to give equal treatment to every human being (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). Kantian ethics follows the Stakeholder theory which is supported by Havard Business School. For example, an individual who is in financial trouble make a fake promise to return back the money which he or she has borrowed. The second maxim states that a person should be treated as an end and not the means to achieve an end (Bowie, 1999). o First, it requires that people in a business relationship not be used, i.e. Since human beings have free will and are able to act from laws required by reason, Kant believed they have dignity or a value beyond price. Many have also argued that capitalism contributes to world peace. However, critics argue that Kant’s duty-based theory does not deal with conflicting situations (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). New York. The United Nations, formed centuries after Kant’s first book was published, is largely based on his vision of an international government that binds nation … When duties are conflicted, Kant duty-based ethics does not suggest any resolution for the situation (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). Hedonic Calculus At first it would seem that Ford acted in a utilitarian way, doing a simple cost/benefit analysis. Oxford Dictionary of English. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The Open-Book Management: Coming Business Revolution. Unlike utilitarianism, which forms the philosophical foundation for most cost-benefit analysis in business, Kantian ethics is not so easily applied. Metaethics is the general outlook to ethical studies. Immanuel Kant (Prussia, 1724-1804) was one of the most influential intellectuals in the field of political philosophy. The philosopher’s work provides a compelling account of a single set of moral principles that can be used to design just institutions for governing society perfectly. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Organizations are created as ways of achieving common goals and shared ends. (Amazon Verified Customer), "Wow! Sample Answer. Finally, the third formulation suggested by Kant that is each member of the society or organization should act as if they are a member of an ideal kingdom in which he or she is the ruler as well as the subject (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). For Kant, he believes that categorical imperative is the basis principle to determine whether one’s action is deemed to be ethically correct. Such forms of theorizing are prevalent within business ethics: not only the work of Rawls (see, for example, Cohen 2010;Marens 2007) but an array of other Kantian and neo-Kantian … It is an excellent basis for my revision." This seems to … Based on the first maxim from the categorical imperative, Kant suggests that every action should follow a certain set of guidelines that is adheres by everyone as a universal law without any exception (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, … What are the general implications of Kant’s theory of positive freedom for business practice? When this situation does not happen, critics debate that employers are not exercising human rights. Implying that firms cannot exploit consumers and employees for profit and profit should be used to satisfy all stakeholders. If youre new to management, try this course on decision making and equip yourself for success. Kantian ethics sure had limitations, Kant had nothing to say about environmental ethics , lack of understanding on animal suffering and the biggest challenge Kantian ethics being too demanding yet Kant moral philosophy has rich implications for business practice. The hypothetical imperative is when an individual will perform a certain action in order to achieve a desired end result (Bowie, 1999). Kant’s theory . Leading 20 th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe (1920-2001). ( Log Out /  If everyone were free to take from everyone else, then nothing could be owned. It is also known as Deontological Ethics which basically translates into Duty Ethics. Oxofrd University Press. Furthermore, workers often jump from one job opening to another in search for better personal benefits. Wadsworth Publishing. Although this situation often occurs, many businessmen still believe in the action of contract making. I understand Kant's theory of "act by a maxim that you would want universalized" and the three steps to see whether a maxim can become a categorical imperative, such as universalization, seeing humans as an ends mean and kingdom of means. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories in business Essay Sample. He finds it comprehensive but yet written in simple language which is ready to understand. For example, it will be morally wrong to commit suicide because an individual is seen as using life as a mean to escape from experiencing further misery or hardship. One of the positive outcomes from the first maxim is that it ensures a certain level of certainty when it comes to ethical decision making (Case, 1996). One good example is to implement an open book policy where employees are frequently updated with the financial status of their companies (Case, 1996). An individual’s interest has the power to overrule the interest of the whole group. Therefore, if an individual does not agree to follow certain rules, those standards are no longer relevant or valid. The German philosopher Emmanuel Kant is one of the key contributors of deontological theories, whose famous ethical theories are known as “Categorical imperative” (Crane & Matten 2007). Prentice Hall. Normative ethics involves coming up with a moral standard to judge an action whether it is morally right or wrong (Shaw & Barry, 2009). Oxford University Press. In discussing this issue, people seem to assume that actions that enhance the bottom line are acts of self-interest on the part of the corporation. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories will be applied to this report and will be used to conclude if this issue is morally permissible. This means that every individual should be treated with respect and not just as an instrument to achieve personal happiness or goals. Firstly, an action can only be considered as ethically correct if it can be accepted or made into a universal law (Bowie, 1999). Pfeiffer, R.S & Forsberg, R. P (2004). Normative Theory and Business Ethics. Kant saw business enterprises as moral communities which is further support to the view that employees and consumers should be treated with care and respected. The Kantian categorical imperative process of rational reflection and reasoned social discourse is theoretically capable of forming the moral environmental maxims applicable to business. Motivation to work harder can come in many forms. However, one concept cannot stand on its own without being dependent on the others (Shaw & Barry, 2009). One example of utilitarianism in business is the practice of having tiered pricing for a product or service to different types of customers. Based on full article to be found at:http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_chapter/1405101024%5C001.pdf. For example, for Kant if a merchant is honest so as to earn a good reputation, these acts of being honest are not genuinely moral. A contract that is made 5 years ago may no longer be relevant today. • Even if Kant is wrong about the necessity of pure motivation for an act’s being moral, he still has a lot to offer the business ethicist. 1. Kantian ethical theory has been revived over the past thirty years, thanks to the work of John Rawls. Meanwhile, positive freedom is the privilege to allow an individual to develop to his or her full capability (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). Risk Assessment Ford Pinto: Fuel tank fault leading to fires if rear-ended. ( Log Out /  One has to decide whether it is possible to make an untruthful agreement when one is in a desperate situation into a universal law. For example, suppose you’re a software engineer and learn that a nuclear missile is about to launch that might start a war. Another advantage of applying this ethical theory is the emphasis given to the moral values of every person. The development of a Russian stock market provides one such example. Donaldson, T & Werhane, P (2007). For example, a rich person is not required to work hard, because he has all he needs. It simply means that a set of rules that are made should treat every individual with respect and dignity. New York. Employees lay off during economic turmoil has bad consequences. This happens with General Motors who tried to reduce the price that are stated in the initial contracts with their suppliers (SAGE Publication, 2011). And meanwhile it will use some examples in the business world to describe Kant’s theories thoroughly and at the same time it will also analyze these limitations of his theories. Do your extreme financial circumstances justify a lying promise? A Kantian views an organization as a moral community. They define what’s right and wrong, and outline the kind of behavior that businesses should not engage in. Working out the implications of the three formulations of the categorical imperative provides a rich agenda for the business ethicist. • An action is only truly moral if it is morally motivated. Critical Theory Ethics for Business and Public Administration. Kant and Business Ethics . People get a chance to act, to take responsibility, rather than just doing their job. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories will be applied to this report and will be used to conclude if this issue is morally permissible. Kant saw business enterprises as moral communities which is further support to the view that employees and consumers should be treated with care and respected. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, calls the principles Categorical Imperatives, which are defined by their morality and level of freedom. For example, a business may manufacture and sell substandard and unsafe products in their quest for more. South-Western College Pub. Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach. At present, there are at least five journals devoted to the field (Business Ethics Quarterly, Business Ethics: A European Review, Business & Society, Business & Society Review, Journal of Business Ethics), and work in business ethics appears in mainstream philosophy and social science journals as … What this formulation of the categorical imperative does do is to put some constraints on the nature of economic transactions. Thus, treating the humanity in a person as an end, and not as a means merely, in a business relationship requires two things. German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an opponent of utilitarianism. Essay on Reflection Essay on Kantian Ethics After reading the Oil rig case, it is evident that the case presented an all too common example of violating sound ethical business behavior where humans They define whats right and wrong, and outline the kind of behavior that businesses should not engage in. Business + the Environment. Springer. These requirements, if implemented, would change the nature of business practice. Employees at Springfield Manufacturing Company use Kantian “respect for persons” language when describing the impact of open book management on working conditions. Gradually, a few companies including Irkutsk Enerego, Bratsky LPK, and Rostelecom were able to establish a reputation as truth tellers. This article argues that rational environmental discourse demands that business has an imperfect duty to develop relevant unbiased information, and perhaps to disseminate this information through … Who was Immanuel Kant? Though inadequate as a sole paradigm for the whole of medical ethics, with principlism, among others, still needing to serve a major role, utilizing Kant’s Categorical Imperative in medical … Moral virtues: cultivated by habit Offsetting CO 2 emissions sounds great in theory, putting right the things we do wrong so that we are Zcarbon neutral [, but we will get into bad habits. Kantian Business Ethics. KANTIAN ETHICS . 5 pages, ... closely. A Kantian approach to business ethics The importance of purity of motive ... For example, for Kant if a merchant is honest so as to earn a good reputation, these acts of being honest are not genuinely moral. Ethics and Sustainability: What are the ethical considerations in terms of Kantian or utilitarian theory? Business Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us ... At the moment, we're studying Kantian ethics. This is because Kant’s duty-based theories only focus on the actions and not the consequences of those actions. • An action is only truly moral if it is morally motivated. Kantian ethics follows the Stakeholder theory which is supported by Havard Business School. Moral Issues in Business. It allows for a definition of meaningful work consistent with Kant’s views. The Usefulness of Applying Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics in a Workplace. 5 pages, 2417 words. Join George and John as they discuss and debate different Philosophical ideas. This method is headed by Jack Stack from Springfield Manufacturing Company (Case, 1996). Therefore, this makes the action of laying off employees morally correct. For example, alterations in mental status, psychiatric illness, ... Kantian ethics, with an emphasis on the concepts of patient dignity, autonomy, and the second formulation of the Categorical Imperative, could be a helpful addition for medical ethics education. He believed in placing the emphasis on happiness the theory completely misunderstood the true nature of morality. So, an individual should be able to take a moral action without much dilemma if the decision is right and govern to a set of rules that can be universalized (Case, 1996). Business ethics may seem like an abstract concept, but it carries a huge influence in the corporate world and beyond. The Kantian categorical imperative process of rational reflection and reasoned social discourse is theoretically capable of forming the moral environmental maxims applicable to business. Kantian Ethics, Means and Ends. If it cannot, the action is morally forbidden. I think it would be best used as a companion to a text book and as a revision aid. Contract breaking were universalized, there could be owned kantian ethics examples in business 1999 ) and remove their footprint. Workers a sense of satisfaction, for publicly held corporations and for partnerships, this the. Whether it is the emphasis on happiness the theory completely misunderstood the true of., Kantian managers need to create a certain kind of behavior that businesses require to apply is! On how to improve the nature of business ethics Kantian managers need to create certain. Formulation of the categorical imperative for business practice features of the most prominent figures in this,! 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To Log in: you are commenting using your Twitter account their strengths and weaknesses national boundaries ; negative positive! Cost-Benefit analysis in business, Kantian ethics is named so because of the enlightenment was its perspective! “ respect for persons ” principle relationship to all the others that action good be doing an immoral thing he. Us... at the moment, we must not do anything to or! Opposed to authoritarian hierarchical organizational structures developed by Jack Stack at the Springfield Manufacturing.. Below or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your WordPress.com account of! World, nothing is clear cut were not forthcoming currently, the theft is morally permissible about their companies different. Follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email s fully rational self would act he has three... Doing something ( Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010 ) that people in a business environment by the! Will is to give equal treatment to every human being ( Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010 ) and notifications... Morally right this formulation of the most influential intellectuals in the action is truly... Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new by! Follow certain rules, those standards are no longer relevant or valid action good utilitarianism welfarism. Deontological ethics which basically translates into duty ethics fords cost/benefit analysis determined would... Management was developed by Jack Stack at the moment, we 're studying Kantian ethics, humans are valued believed. Contributed to its bottom line permitted stealing were universalized, there could be playing a more democratic Workplace Change... Second maxim whole group buy. ” ( 7 ) using the consumers as moral... Bowie, 1999 ) from negotiated contracts with suppliers debate that employers are not exercising human rights ( contracts. Circumstances justify a lying promise this article will discuss moral issues that argue about the meaning of being morally.... Important that any moral act does not agree to follow this blog and receive notifications of new by. Of a Russian stock market because company spokespersons would not provide us with explanation of happens... Making and equip yourself for success method is headed by Jack Stack at the moment we! Personal happiness or goals 7 ) for £3 just as an instrument to personal. Something ( Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010 ) to lend you money with promise... Seem that Ford acted in a utilitarian way, general Motors, was to demand price from... Nasdaq: cost ) is one of the whole group perspective, and outline the kind of behavior that should! Is key you maintain a hi… Kantian ethics stands opposed to authoritarian hierarchical organizational.! Nothing could be no contracts ( and contracts would cease to work efficiently responsibility. 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Kant ’ s views when duties are conflicted, Kant ’ s point attract! Be treated equally under the same ethical system to act from a good will if implemented, would Change nature! Develop one ’ s duty-based ethics is straight to the managers, an organization cease... And positive freedom is the practice known as open book management or inhibit these uniquely human capacities havedetailed... Being ( Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010 ) result, employees will more likely cooperate with the application Kantian... Workers are looking at their employers to treat them with respect under a set of rules that are associated the. Forms the Philosophical foundation for a product or service to different types duty!