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Shaw Chap 1 Morality.docx

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MGMT 1040
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Chapter 1 Notes  Ethics (moral philosophy) deals with individual character as well as the moral rules that guide a person's conduct o Looks at questions such as what is right and wrong, fair and unfair, duty and obligation, justice and injustice, etc o The terms "ethical" and "moral" are completely interchangeable  Business and organizational ethics o Business ethics focuses on studying what is considered right and wrong, good/bad, and human conduct in general in a business context  Ex. What should an employee do when their superiors refuse to look into potential wrongdoing happening in the company? o An organization is a group of people working together to achieve some sort of common purpose  This purpose may be for profit, such as in a business, but it can also be to provide a not- for-profit service such as health care Moral versus non-moral standards  Whenever one attempts to answer a moral question or make a moral judgment, you make your decision based on your moral standards o Wearing shorts to a formal dinner party is not proper etiquette, but it does not pose a threat to human well-being o Moral standards differ from these because they deal with behavior that has serious consequences to human welfare, and can harm or benefit people  Moral standards take precedence over all other standards, including your self-interest  Ex. Our morals tell us not to rob our neighbor's home, even though we could justify it on non-moral grounds by saying that it would give you lots of money or a thrill  The soundness of a moral standard depends on the reasons that support it  These reasons are not created by one specific person or group of people  Morality and etiquette o Etiquette refers to the norms of what is considered correct behavior in a polite society, a special code of social courtesy o We often judge people's manners as "good" or bad", and the conduct that goes with the manners as "right" or "wrong"  These statements mean socially appropriate or inappropriate, and do not express judgments about ethics, only manners o Rules of etiquette are non-moral in character  However, violating etiquette can raise moral problems  Ex. A boss calling a female employee as "honey" shows bad manners, but if it also lowers the worth of female employees or spreads sexism, it creates a moral issue  Morality and law o There are 4 different types of law  Statute  Laws created by legislative bodies, such as the parliament, provincial legislative assembly, etc in Canada or the Congress and state legislatures in the U.S.  Legislatures are limited in their knowledge, so they can create boards who issue detailed regulations of certain kinds of conduct, called administrative regulations  Regulations  Administrative regulations  Ex. Licensing boards that create regulations governing the licensing of physicians and nurses  Legally binding as long as the regulations don't exceed the board's statutory powers and don't conflict with other laws  Common law  Precedent set through judge rulings in various cases in the past, which are referred to when dealing with similar cases  Constitutional law  Court rulings on the requirements of the Constitution and the constitutionality of legislation  The Supreme Court is able to decide if laws are compatible with the Constitution, and are able to interpret it  This gives them the greatest judiciary powers o Breaking the law is not always immoral, and the legality of an action does not make sure that it's morally right  An action can be illegal but morally right  Ex. Helping a Jewish family hide from the Nazis was against German law in 1939  An action that is legal can be morally wrong  It is legal for a company chairman to lay off workers and use half the money saved to boost the pay of executives, but the morality of this is open to debate o Law codifies a particular society's customs, ideals, norms and moral values  Changes in law tend to reflect the changes in what a society thinks is right and wrong, but sometimes the law can alter people's ideas about right and wrong as well  Sensible and morally sound laws alone are not sufficient to establish moral standards  Morality and professional codes o Professional codes exist between etiquette and law o Rules that govern the conduct of members in a specific profession o Professional codes can include a mix of moral rules, professional etiquette, and restrictions that are used to benefit the group's economic interests  Due to this, they are not a complete or reliable guide to moral obligations  Where do moral standards come from?  There are various influences on our moral principles o Upbringing, principles of those around us, standards of our culture, our experiences, and critical reflections on these experiences  An important question is not what or how we came to have our principles, but if they can be justified o Some argue that morality boils down to religion o Others argue for ethical relativism  Ethical relativism is the idea that morality and right/wrong is not a product of religion but a function of what a particular society believes is right and wrong o Both of these views are wrong Religion and morality  Any religion gives people who believe it a worldview, and part of this involves some moral instructions, values and commitments o Ex. Don't do something to others that you don't want done to you  One of humankind's highest moral ideals found in all the great religions of the world  Religious bodies occasionally state positions on specific political, educational, economic, and medical issues which can mold public opinion on them  Morality doesn't need to depend on religion
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