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Bus 303STUDYGUIDE.docx

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Simon Fraser University
Business Administration
BUS 303
Kathleen Burke

Bus 303 -Stakeholders are people, or groups of people, who have an interest in a business decision (p5) -The communities affected by modern business are MORE AWARE than ever before of corporate malfeasance, and are DEMANDING more than ever before that they be treated fairly, and their rights not be trampled by corporate (in) action (p5) -ethics is the application of, or acting within, moral principles. In other words, an ethical person has values, and acts in accordance with those values (p7) -“normative” means how things ought to be (p7) -“legality” can be defined as compliance with legal obligations (p7) -a “moral” manager is a business person in a position to make corporate decisions, who takes ethical duties into account when making a decision (p7) -CSR was born from the desire of modern business to act morally and in congruence with legitimate wishes of its stakeholders (p8) -Corporations have four distinct responsibilities: to be financially viable (earn a profit); to comply with legal obligations; to act ethically; and to aspire to “give back” to the community (p8) -The Pyramid of Social Responsibility: Philanthropic Responsibilities -be a good corporate citizen, contribute to your community Ethical Responsibilities -be ethical; obligation to do what is right, just, fair Legal Responsibilities -obey the law Economic Responsibilities -be profitable -the purpose of a theory of ethics, is to establish and justify the content of a moral life, and to provide principles or guidelines for how to behave morally -determining what is ethical requires concern for others; must be more than only self interest -study of ethics appeals to logic, not instinct -study of ethics seeks integrated and justifiable reasons for knowing the right action -no ethical theory is perfect -theories of ethics have become secular (related to the natural world, and not connected to religion) Teleological Theory -suggests that each thing in the world has some purpose, and what is right leads to the ultimate purpose. Utilitarianism is one of the best known and widely applied teleological theories. In utilitarianism, utility, or the maximization of human wellbeing and the absence of pain is the desired moral outcome Normative Theories -explore what ought to be and what one should do; they do not describe or evaluate actual states or events. I.E a normative theory of ethics may say that one should not commit murder, but actual commissions of murder would have no bearing on whether this moral principle is correct Teleological Ethics -aka consequentialism, is concerned with the PURPOSE of things. The right act is the one that achieves the desired outcome. Utilitarianism states that maximizing utility/happiness is the desired moral outcome Deontological Ethics -maintains that one’s moral duties or obligations determine the right actions in every circumstance, regardless of the consequences. One must do something because “it is the right thing to do” Social Contract Theory -is the basis of an approach to ethics that seeks to provide a sufficient amount of social order to allow individuals to pursue their individual goals. Under this “contract”, one consents to certain conditions or restrictions, based on the fact that one also benefits from being part of a functioning society -an instrumental good is one that is valuable b/c it leads to something else -an intrinsic good is one that is good in and of itself, it is inherently right and does not depend on anything else Utilitarianism -associated with works of Bentham and Mill -pleasure and pain govern human life -“it is better to be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied” – Mill -Mill argued that any person capable of lower and higher level pleasures would clearly prefer the higher level pleasures Contemporary Utilitarianism -the focus of utilitarianism is human wellbeing but the foundation of utilitarianism remains the same -Four main characteristics; consequentialism (rightness of an action is determined by its consequences), hedonism (utility is pursuit of wellbeing), maximalism (focus is on greatest amount of wellbeing for most people), universalism (everyone’s happiness must be considered, one’s own interests cannot count for more than another’s) -ACT utilitarians require one to consider consequentialism, hedonism, maximalism and universalism when facing a particular situation -RULE utilitarians ask what the likely outcome would be in all similar situations and then make a decision based on that calculation Disadvantages of Utilitarian Theory -allows for the possibility of harming one, or a minority of individuals for the greater “good” -problem of being able to categorize/measure happiness -utilitarianism could potentially be used to justify any actions that lead to an acceptable outcome Deontological Theory -duty or obligation -argues that the right action any situation stems from the obligation to behave morally in every circumstance -intention or principles behind actions must be morally pure Kantian Ethics -for Kant, the ultimate object for humans is a Good Will -maxim: the principle on which a decision is made (I.E honesty is a maxim) -Kant would therefore argue that one must tell the truth in every situation -individual should never be used as a means to another end The Categorical Imperative -a command that one must obey in all moral questions; one must always do y -universalizability is the key part of this formulation; it requires the maxim to be considered in all situations; y is always right Challenges to Kantian Ethics -inflexible -conflicting duties and rights Social Contract Theory -it is understood that individuals in a society live together to achieve mutual benefit and a quality of life that would not be achievable without cooperation -individuals consent to the conditions and terms of the social contract -person’s individuality is to be respected, individual interests should not be aggregated into overall well- being -Rawl’s argues that a rational individual would seek to design a society that provides for the least well- off; one would want to ensure fair treatment and minimal provisions for those at the bottom of the social order in case one were to end up in that position -two fundamental principles of justice; 1)each person have maximum basic liberties to the extent that they don’t conflict with the liberties of others 2)inequality is attached to positions and offices open to all -Rawl’s theory of justice is concerned with the distribution of advantages and disadvantages in a fair society Critiques of Social Contract -critics say the theory is too broad/narrow -some argue that Rawl’s theory would lead to a complete redistribution of benefits and burdens -mistaken ethical beliefs can be rooted in 1) faulty premise 2) faulty logic Critical Thinking -learning how to sort out which points of view are well supported -essential for making good ethical decisions -is a set of tools for evaluating claims and opinions Argument -an interrelated set of claims designed to convince the speaker’s audience to accept some claim or point of view -has two basic components:1)conclusion – the claim that the speaker is trying to get his audience to accept 2) premise – the reasons that the speaker provides to attempt to convince his or her audience to accept the argument’s conclusion Three Characteristics of a Good Ethical Argument 1) plausible premise 2) Relevant premise 3) Premises that provide sufficient support for its conclusion Factual Premise -explain the facts of the case you are considering Ethical Premise -bring some ethical rule or principle or value to bear Straw Man -any argument in which the arguer criticizes a weakened or distorted version of his or her opponent’s point of view, rather than dealing directly with that point of view -is a fallacy because it relies on a premise that is irrelevant to the issue Ad Hominem (appeal to person) -an argument that focuses on criticizing a person, rather than n focusing in the strengths of that person’s reasoning -is a fallacy because typically the identity or character of the person making the claim is not relevant to deciding whether the claim is true or not Argum
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