Ethics is a branchof philosophy that is concerned with ethics and values. Ethics as a study ofhuman “activities, for a specific purpose, is to determine whether aparticular action or behaviour is right or wrong, Ethics act as an importantfactor during make a right decision, as the intention is based on the level ofmoral values and principals.In today’s businessenvironment, ethics means the morals and values that can be classified intobusiness specific groups such as medical, legal and social media ethics.
Business ethics seekto understand ethical issues arising from business practices, institutions,decision-making and their relationship to universal human values and they arebased on the principle of fairness and integrity and focus on the benefits ofstakeholders. Stakeholders include those individuals and groups without whichthe organization does not exist. It includes shareholders, employees,customers, government etc…The first section ofthis report will evaluate the main philosophical approaches to morals andethics. The second sectionof this report will explore the wide range of contemporary issues involvingbusiness, management and ethics including corporate social responsibility,radical perspectives and capitalism The third section ofthis report will apply and analyse different theories of moral philosophy froman ethical case study. Case study:The growing use of zero-hours contactswithin the United Kingdom Retail, hospitality and factory sectors. There are seriousethical issues over zero hour’s contracts. These contracts are commonly used toemploy people without guarantying that working hours will be offered.
Thisethical issue arises in the recent years especially in retail, fast food andhospitality sector after the economic crises in 2007.Zero hours contractsare highly beneficial for companies and organizations to minimize staffingcosts and enabling them to respond flexibly in a rapidly changing marketplacebut have a negative impact on the feelings and the attitudes of employeeswithin the UK.As an example of thefast-food chain, MacDonald’s has been one of the biggest users of Zero HoursContracts in Britain, these contracts allowed the fast-food chain to reducestaff if they are not required which means MacDonald’s do not provide anyguarantee on the employees’ income which leading to lower levels ofproductivity and job security.Zero hours contractsare important for the success of the jobs market, but they must be fair andwork for both parties. Some employees actually value the flexibility zero hourscontacts provided in a minority of cases but on the other hand, most employeesaccept these contracts because they have no other options.Many people haveproblems with these kinds of contracts and many companies misused theseflexible contract types.
Ethically, such contracts can cause employees to feellike slaves, as they can’t work when they are available and need for money butthey have to work when the employers want.There are manyphilosophical approaches and ethical theories that can be used to define theethical issues in zero hour’s contacts. Like deontology, utilitarianism andKant. Thedifferent approaches to morality and ethics: Philosophical ethicsdiffer from religious, cultural, legal approaches to ethics by seeking to studyethics through a rational, secular view based on the concepts of humanhappiness or well-being. Themain advantage of the philosophical approach to ethics is that it avoids theauthoritarian foundations of religion and law, as well as the subjective,arbitrary and irrationality that may characterize purely moral or culturalmoral views. There are few main different ways in which people canapproach morality and ethics. These include: Deontologicaltheories According todeontologists, morality consists in the fulfilment of moral obligations orduties.
People aremorally required to do certain acts in order to uphold a rule of law. The rightor wrong is determined by an ethical rule independent from its consequences orhow happiness or pleasure is distributed as a result of compliance with ornon-compliance with this rule.Many people thinkthat zero hours contracts are wrong, even though organizations and companies ingeneral, economically benefited from these kinds of contracts.
Suppose alsothat employers are able to conditions the employees to the point where theyactually enjoyed working under zero hours contracts. A deontologist, however, would argue that evenif organizations conduct a detail cost/benefit analysis of zero-hours contractsand decided that it created more pleasure in society than pain, it would stillbe wrong. Therefore, deontologists believe that right and wrong havenothing to do with pleasure, pain, or consequences. Morality is based on whether acts conflict withmoral rules or not, and the motivation behind those acts.
KantianTheory Ethics is possibleonly in societies that possess the natural qualities of rationality and freewill. We cannot hold a person responsible for his actions unless that person isable to know the right from wrong and is able to do the right and avoid the wrong.So the morality of people action cannot be separated from intent. Good actionsarise out of good intentions and bad actions arise out of bad intentions.To evaluate zerohour’s contracts According to Kantian theory there is a difference between goodcompanies ethically and a good company legally. A good company ethicallybehaves in accordance with the universal ethical rules that are ratified at alltimes in all places and there is no need to threaten good companies by law todo the right thing and avoid employed people with zero hours contracts as theyact as a goodwill and avoid using these kinds of contracts from the ethicalviewpoint.
On the other hand, a good company legally do the right thing out offear of getting in trouble and breaking the rules.