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ADMS 3660 (48)
Lecture

Points from lt 1.docx

10 Pages
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Department
Administrative Studies
Course Code
ADMS 3660
Professor
Anton Petrenko

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Points from lt 1 Business Ethics is a specialized study of moral right or wrong. It concentrates on moral standards as they apply to business policies, institutions, and behaviour. Why business ethics is so important Financial risks, Reputation and competitive advantage, Consumer boycotts, Efficiency and effectiveness Employee trust, loyalty, commitment and initiative, Increased regulation Lt2 Relativism Thesis: The rightness or wrongness of beliefs can be determined only relatively to the culture or moral tradition of a group Morals standards give the ultimate criteria that make any action or person morally right or wrong: e.g. “Those actions are right that treat human beings, whether you or another person, as an end and not simply as a means.” or “Those actions are morally right that maximize overall good (happiness) more than alternative actions” Moral principles, or rules, make evaluations of types or classes of actions or individuals: e. g. “Violation of the freedom of speech is wrong” or “Offending others is wrong.” Moral judgements give moral evaluations of specific actions or individuals: e. g. “Filming and releasing “Innocence of Muslims” is wrong (or right).” Psychological egoism is the view that all individuals ultimately act only for selfish reasons and are not capable of other motivations. Aristotle (384–322 BC) believed that humans are fundamentally rational and being such they use their reason to seek happiness and well-being (over a lifetime). The ethical theory of egoism maintains that the moral rightness or wrongness of action/rule depends on whether it serves the interests of the person or promotes their own well-being. The only moral obligations one has is to oneself. Those actions (or rules) are right for a person if and only if they promote the person’s self-interest at least as much as any alternative action (or rule) or if they harm their interests the least. One of the paradoxes of egoism is that unrestrained pursuit of self-interest can come into conflict with others and lead to the state of affairs that are contrary to the selfish interests of the egoist. It is rational, therefore, to restrain one’s self-interest so that others do so in return. Thus, egoist can justify rules like “Do not steal,” “Do not harm,” which make orderly society possible. Such state would ensure security (against crime), but it would not enforce: benevolence (helping others through welfare, universal education, health care) or b) paternalism (forcing people to do things for the their own good: regulation of safety, health, drugs, narcotics, employment, homosexuality etc…) I am going to be arguing from this perspective According to Utilitarianism, we can determine the ethical significance of an act by looking to the consequences of that act. Utilitarianism is typically identified with the policy of “maximizing the overall good,” or producing “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Roots of utilitarian thinking can be found in Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), David Hume (1711-1776), and Adam Smith (1723-1790). According to Utilitarianism, the only intrinsic (in itself) good is the satisfaction of one’s preferences or maximization of one’s happiness. Its moral standard (MS) is based on this value: no act is bad or good in itself--it is bad or good only in so far as it fails/succeeds to produce the good consequences for the greatest number of people. Lt3 Deongionlogical perspective Weak Paternalism: Several circumstances (ignorance, intellectual immaturity, emotional disturbance, social pressures) could decrease a person’s ability to make free and informed (autonomous) decisions. Weak paternalism is compatible with the theory’s positive obligations to assist in special circumstances (e.g. children, patients), but it applies only when a special relationship exists. Lt4 Argue that their focus is from a utliatrian perspective(how they conduct their business) Free market encourages efficiency in the market place, which leads to optimal distribution of costs and benefits within the society. Society benefits overall. Business is a private property, therefore, owners have the right to decide what to do with it, whether it is to pursue public or private ends I will arge from a deontological perspective Corporate executive is an employee of the business owners. She has a direct responsibility to her employers to conduct business in accordance with their interests. This is my argument: Unlike private property, corporate property was a legal creation for specific social goal: financial investment in exchange for limited legal liability. Perhaps the relationship between investors and corporate managers is not one of employer and employee but one of a corporate manager and a client (labour market; financial market; capital market, etc…). Stating the objections of utillian perspective Allocating/Measuring Public Goods: No pricing mechanism exists for estimating costs of public goods (clean air, fisheries, friendly communities, or scenic views) to ensure optimal allocation Individual/Social Rationality: Pursuit of self-interest can lead to worse outcomes than would have been achieved through cooperation or regulation (prisoner’s dilemma), resulting public harm The moral minimum approach According to the Moral Minimum Approach, the responsibility to the stockholders is overridden by the moral duty not to cause harm (to others) but not overridden by the duty to prevent harm (to others). Responsibilities will shrink or increase depending on definition of causing harm. Moral responsibility An individual is morally responsible for those wrongful acts which he/she performed (or wrongly omitted) and for those injurious effects he/she brought about (or wrongly failed to prevent) when this was done knowingly and freely. Can be mitigated by: uncertainty; difficulty; degree of involvement; non-seriousness of the wrong Lt5 Worker often face coercive choices (not as free) Lt6 discrimination using a genuine equality argumentEquality requires treatment of likes alike – it is violated when identical items are treated differently, and different items are treated the same way. Hostile Work Environment: Hostile work environment occurs when a pattern of sexual harassment within the workplace prevents a women from doing her job. Henson v. Dundee, 682 F.2d 897,902 (1982):“Sexual harassment which creates a hostile or offensive environment for members of one sex is every bit the arbitrary barrier to sexual equality at the workplace that racial harassment is to racial equality.” US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has established a guideline that defines hostile work environment as conduct of sexual nature which “… has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.” If the effect of the act is determined by the alleged victim, then any innocent flirtation might be viewed as harassment as long as it offends the victim Arguments for Women-based Standard: 1) Reasonable person standard is simply a disguised version of a reasonable “man” standard (standard fashioned by offender). It will simply preserve the status quo2) Men and women simply perceive sexual experiences differently: what is normal for man might be harassment for a women. Lt7 Narrow (classical stockholder) View The responsibilities of an individual at a workplace derive only from the employment relationship between the individual and the employer. The responsibility of the employee is to conduct business in accordance with the wishes of the employer because employees are agents of the employer. (Friedman /Stockholder Model) Their view2) Deontological Defense (Agent)Employers are often in a vulnerable position in relation to their employees (e.g. managers). To protect their property rights against possible harm at the hands of employees, employees must have strong fiduciary duties towards employers, which override other ethical considerations. Non-managerial employees are required to do specific tasks, which need supervision. Hence, they consent to obeying employers when they take the job, leaving other duties at the door. Employees as agents: Employees have a duty to perform certain tasks (work), act on behalf of the employer, and owe to the employer fiduciary duties of loyalty, trust, obedience, and confidentiality (among others). These duties are primary for the employee, trumping others (within law and ethical custom). My argument :Broader (stakeholder) View Employee also has other relationship and, therefore, responsibilities to other parties. When individual enters the workplace, these other relationships and responsibilities do not get suspended or take the back sit to the responsibilities fixed by the employment relationship. All the responsibilities must be balanced. All responsibilities are co related Reasons for my argument:Non-managerial employees: Consent alone is not sufficient to excuse someone from personal responsibility, and, arguably, its not always free (unequal bargaining positions). Since the authority of the employer exists only within the employment relationship, the responsibility of the employee to obey must be limited to directives that are:(a) job-related, (b) reasonable (or doable), (c) legal and ethical (cannot violate law or employee’s own ethical integritybecause they are not gate keepers specified in the case, Gatekeepers are professionals with specialized knowledge that serves some public good and is certified by some public agency (doctors, lawyers, engineers). Because lack of this expertise makes public vulnerable, professionals have special duties to the public, which tramp other responsibilities Loyalty is often understood as a willingness to make personal sacrifices in the interest of the firm. Do employees have a responsibility to be loyal? A whistleblower is an employee or other insider who informs the public or a government agency of an illegal, harmful, or unethical activity done by their business or institution. Whistleblowing pits the responsibilities to the third parties (those harmed by the activities) against employee’s responsibilities to their employer. Because Whistleblowing potentially puts the employee at risk, it also raises the issue of employee’s responsibility to self and one’s family Some (R. DeGeorge) argue that Whistleblowing is permissible and/or obligatory if: Permissible:a) serious threat of real harm (greater than harm from whistleblowing) exists. b) WB made good-faith efforts to exhaust all internal mechanisms for preventing the harm. Obligatory: a) documented evidence that can convince an impartial
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