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MGMT 1040
William(bill) Woof

Ethics of Management Chapter 1- The Nature of Moral Problems in Management Three premises/requirements for resolving moral issues related to firms: 1. Recognize that moral problems in business are complex and difficult to resolve • Moral issues in business usually involve individuals, groups etc who are going to be hurt/harmed while others will be benefited • Some will have their rights ignored/denied while others will have their rights recognized • This mixture of problems makes it difficult for managers to decide upon the correct course of action 2. Understand that business managers can’t rely upon their moral standards of behaviour or intuitive feelings when faced with a moral issue • Individuals/groups in a global economy come from different cultural and religious traditions and live in different economic/social situations. Thus, their moral standards of behaviour differ substantially 3. Accept that it is not enough for a manager to simply reach a decision based on what they believe is right/wrong and proper balance of benefits in any situation • Managers have to go further and convincingly explain why that balance should be viewed as best • A convincing explanation requires objective methods of analysis which include: o Economic outcomes based on impersonal market forces o Legal requirements based on impartial social and political processes o Ethical duties based upon universal ethical principles • This logical process starts by listing harms, benefits and rights • Process is continued onto the tripartite economic, legal and ethical analysis Understanding the Different Standards • Most people when faced with a moral issue turn to their moral standards of behaviour o Moral Standards of Behaviour: our intuitive gauges for decisions and actions • The problem is that our moral standards of behaviour are subjective. They are personal • Such an understanding is not acceptable when we are faced with a major moral problem such as lying to substantial numbers of stockholders in a company, or even to larger numbers of the customers of that firm • Moral standards of behaviour differ between people because goals, norms, beliefs and values upon which they depend also differ • Personal Goals: our expectations of outcomes or the things we want out of life and the things we expect others will probably want out of life as well (material possessions, personal goods, social aims etc.) • Personal Norms: our expectations of behaviour. They are the ways we expect to act and the ways in which we expect others to act in given situations • Personal Beliefs: our expectations of thought. They are the ways we expect to think and the ways in which we expect others to think about given situations • Personal Values: our priorities among goals, norms and beliefs. They are the ways we judge the relative importance of what we want to have, how we want to act and why we believe as we do • The goals, norms, values and beliefs of a person will vary depending on cultural, religious traditions, economic and social situation of a person Recognize Moral Impacts • Impacts are the relative outcomes that people think about when they first begin to consider a morally controversial decision or action • First step: benefits, harms, rights, wrongs o Benefits: whose well-being will be
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