Businessethics is an essential part of any organization or company because it helps usunderstand what is morally right or wrong in our society. Business ethics canbe defined as the study of either a right or wrong action, duty and obligation,moral norms, individual character and responsibility all in the context of abusiness.
This helps us to obtain a better understanding on future problemsthat we may encounter. According to Albert Carr, ethics has nothing to do witha business. He says this because the main objective of a business is to win andobtain profit in context with certain rules. So, should we always have to makethe morally right choice when we should be prioritising our profit? We can geta better understanding based on this scenario. An example of a scenario wouldbe a manager at a local pharmacy. He is aware that one of his staff quite oftenwould steal some medication from their shop. However, the manager is aware thatthe staffs dad is very sick and he is unable to buy the medication himselfbecause of insufficient funds. Should the manager file a report to the police andfire his staff because of theft which is morally wrong in any society or shouldthe manager just turn a blind eye because he knows that the staff is unable toafford it and that he is only doing that because his dad is very sick.
Due tothese circumstances, it makes the managers decision much more complicated.Hence, throughout this assignment, we will be discussing the different types oftheories and the case study of Mr Michael Chong. Firstly,we are going to discuss the consequentialist theory.
This theory tells us thatthe morality of a persons action will be judged based upon the consequencesthat it creates. In other words, this means that if your actions have apositive outcome, then it is seen as a morally right action. However, if youraction has a negative outcome, then it is seen as an immoral action. This iswhy this theory can be then divided into two sections which is egoism andutilitarianism. This is because egoism takes into account whether a personshould consider the consequence for their self and utilitarianism takes intoaccount if everyone else will be affected together as a greater number.
Egoismcan be defined as whether the morality corresponds with ones self interest.This means that they treat their self interest as the morality and priority. Ifthere is a scenario whereby it isn’t in their self interest, quite often theiractions would seem as immoral by the public. We can further discuss and relate thistopic of egoism based on the case study of Firestone 500 steel radical tires.After Firestone introduced their 500 steel radical tyres, they later discoveredthat the tyre was prone to separate at high speeds which later on resulted in34 highway deaths. Firestone responded by discontinuing the tyres. However, anewspaper had stated that Firestone would remove the tyres immediately from themarket.
This was not the case because Firestone only did a ‘rolling phaseout’but continued to manufacture the tyre. When questioned about it, thespokesperson from Firestone said that it was only in their policy to ask forcorrections if it was beneficial to them. In other words, Firestone would onlyrelease a statement if it was bringing a benefit to them. They didn’t careabout the newspaper article and were more interested in their profits as theystill continued selling the tyres. This relates directly to the egoism theory.This clearly tells us that Firestone did not care about moral ethics at allbecause of their high egos. Besides that, there are also a few types of egoismthat we learn about.
The first is personal egoists. This means that the personwill adapt to the egoist ethic for themselves however they do not feel thatother individuals have the right to. Only that particular individual is allowedto do so.
The second type is impersonal egoists. This can be defined as onesself interest should motivate another persons behaviour. This is another formof egoism because some people will be willing to help other people if it helpspromote their own well being/ self interest.
Furthermore, there are alsoobjections to egoism. The first is that the theory is not sound. This meansthat not all acts carried out by humans are meant to be selfish. Although itmay seem as a selfish act, some people acquire a different way of thinking andit would be unfair to label them under the category of egoism. The secondobjection is that egoism is not a moral theory at all. It explains that egoismcompletely misses the point of morality which main purpose is to hold back ourselfish desires for coexistence with others.
The third objection is that egoismignores blatant wrongs. This means that all wrong actions can be morallyneutral unless they are in conflict with another persons advantage. Thenext consequentialist theory is utilitarianism. This theory states that we shouldbehave in a way that creates the most amount of benefit or happiness for thegreater amount of people that will be affected by our actions. This theoryfocuses on right or wrongs based on outcomes. The main people that practicedthis theory are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Jeremy Bentham take onutilitarianism if more focused on the individuals and the pleasure that isobtained from the particular experience. This can be related closely to the HedonicUtilitarianism.
His popular quote was that ‘the act is best which brings outthe greatest amount of pleasure’. John Stuart Mill however felt like there wassome changes that needed to be made towards Bentham’s theory. Mill felt thatBentham’s theory tends to focus on the individual and it failed to take intoconsideration of the effects that ones actions could have on somebody else.Mill then altered Bentham’s theory into his own and stated that ‘the act whichis best will bring out the greatest amount of pleasure, on balance, for thegreatest number.
In other words, Mill’s theory emphasises that the actions mustbe done with a sense of morality and the actions must bring the right consequence. Now, weare going to discuss on the theory of non-consequentialist. This theory is basicallyvice versa of the theory of consequentialist. It tells us that we should judgebased on the reasons behind the persons actions and not the outcome. In otherwords, if your actions are off good intentions, then it is seen as a morallyright action.
This theory tends to rely on the fact of your moral duty. Yourmoral duty usually consists of responsibility, obligation and moral beliefs. Firstly,we have Immanuel Kant’s ethics. His theory explains that we do not need to be awareof the