Wiley-Blackwell. Therefore, if an individual does not agree to follow certain rules, those standards are no longer relevant or valid. Therefore, these moral philosophies are inter-related. Normative Theory and Business Ethics. Business + the Environment. ( Log Out / . They define whats right and wrong, and outline the kind of behavior that businesses should not engage in. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, calls the principles Categorical Imperatives, which are defined by their morality and level of freedom. It involves the study on metaphysical and psychological issues (Shaw & Barry, 2009). Respect for persons is a key principle of Kantian ethics. Kantian Ethics—Kant had no time for Utilitarianism. He finds it comprehensive but yet written in simple language which is ready to understand. This seems to reflect the way some human beings think. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories will be applied to this report and will be used to conclude if this issue is morally permissible. Information Age Publishing. I'm taking a two year course on philosophy and ethics. o Second, it means that business organizations and business practices should be arranged so that they contribute to the development of human rational and moral capacities, rather than inhibit the development of these capacities. A Kantian would morally object to a hierarchical structure that requires those lower down to carry out the orders of those above, more or less without question. This seems to reflect the way some human beings think. Motivation to work harder can come in many forms. Leading 20 th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe (1920-2001). According to Soanes & Stevenson (2010), ethics can be defined as ‘a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field or form of conduct.’ Ever since the olden days, human beings have been trying to decide a clear distinction between right and wrong. No, it could not. What are the implications of this formulation of the categorical imperative for business? It evaluates the related moral principles with respect to contemporary moral dilemmas, bioethics, and broader medical practice. And meanwhile it will use some examples in the business world to describe Kant’s theories thoroughly and at the same time it will also analyze these limitations of his theories. • Formulation three stands opposed to authoritarian hierarchical organizational structures. Leading 20 th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe (1920-2001). Negative freedom emphasizes that an individual should not be deceived or coerced into doing something (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). Since human beings have free will and are able to act from laws required by reason, Kant believed they have dignity or a value beyond price. As a result, critics argue that Kant’s duty-based ethics permits wrong actions to occur that consequently will make the world a less happy place (Painter-Morland & Werhane, 2010). The Open-Book Management: Coming Business Revolution. Do your extreme financial circumstances justify a lying promise? Prentice Hall. Moral virtues: cultivated by habit Offsetting CO 2 emissions sounds great in theory, putting right the things we do wrong so that we are Zcarbon neutral [, but we will get into bad habits. Under open book management, all employees are given all the financial information about the company on a regular frequent basis. During this time, workers are looking at their employers to treat them with respect and reward them for their loyalty. Some Thus, Kantian managers need to create a certain kind of organization. Bowie makes the point that “the categorical imperative is not irrelevant in the world of business” (7). Kant saw business enterprises as moral communities which is further support to the view that employees and consumers should be treated with care and respected. His greatest concern was with the human community and with ways that the human community could live in peace. He has proposed three versions or maxims of categorical imperatives (Bowie, 1999). The philosopher’s work provides a compelling account of a single set of moral principles that can be used to design just institutions for governing society perfectly. If it is solely based on Kant’s first maxim, then, contract making will become irrelevant. In this way, General Motors cut costs and contributed to its bottom line. Smith, J. Kantian ethics follows the Stakeholder theory which is supported by Havard Business School. This article will discuss moral issues that are involved in a business environment by using the principles from normative ethics or deontology. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making& Cases. Meanwhile, positive freedom is the privilege to allow an individual to develop to his or her full capability (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2010). Kantian Ethics is named so because of the man who proposed it. Furthermore, without a certain autonomy given to the managers, an organization will cease to work efficiently. Normative ethics involves coming up with a moral standard to judge an action whether it is morally right or wrong (Shaw & Barry, 2009). These rules should also be accepted by everybody. Business ethics is the study of how a business should act in the face of ethical dilemmas and controversial situations. Using the 2016 Wells Fargo Banking Scandal as an example, this article dissects the case according to the principles of the three classic ethical theorists: Plato, Kant, and Mill. This brings about the advantage that every individual possesses the autonomy and rationale to make informed as well as ethically correct actions (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). Since motives are not considered in telling whether such action is morally acceptable or not the application of the Kantian theory in business night later on results to problems. For example, an individual who is in financial trouble make a fake promise to return back the money which he or she has borrowed. Charlotte. This is because Kant’s duty-based theories only focus on the actions and not the consequences of those actions. In their simplest form, ethics are the moral standards you rely on when you make a decision. Contemporary capitalism is also cosmopolitan and is no respecter of national boundaries. New Jersey. Fords cost/benefit analysis determined it would cost less to ignore it than recall all Pintos. This provides little discrimination according to race, class or age etc. For example, a business may manufacture and sell substandard and unsafe products in their quest for more. Metaethics is the general outlook to ethical studies. For example, for Kant if a merchant is honest so as to earn a good reputation, these acts of being honest are not genuinely moral. For example, the airline industry offers first class, business class and economy class seats on many of their airplanes. The choice between consequentialist and Kantian ethics is a difﬁcult one, as there are many examples which are challenging to each sort of view. Thanks very much for this help. Examples of Ethical Behavior in the Workplace. Donaldson, T & Werhane, P (2007). For Kant, he believes that categorical imperative is the basis principle to determine whether one’s action is deemed to be ethically correct. To many people, this may seem to be an immoral act. An individual’s interest has the power to overrule the interest of the whole group. Risk Assessment Ford Pinto: Fuel tank fault leading to fires if rear-ended. You can hack the network and cancel the launch, but it’s against your professional code of ethics to break into any software system without permission. ( Log Out / However, critics argue that Kant’s duty-based theory does not deal with conflicting situations (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). Content Marketing Team Lead at Udemy for Business . • One example Kant used to illustrate this was a business one. Employees at Springfield Manufacturing Company use Kantian “respect for persons” language when describing the impact of open book management on working conditions. there is 2 topic that you have to address for the assignment: 1. one of the ethical theories that Kantian or utilitarian theory, one line of the definition is enough. Academic writing (Business, health, technology and education related topics), Ethical Theory and Its Application to Contemporary Business Practice, How to insulate your air mattress against the cold, Web 2.0 Platform: How YouTube has changed the way people communicate and collaborate, Suggested Marketing Plan for Telstra (A Telecommunication Company in Australia), The Effect of Culture on Health Outcomes in Australia, Friedman's Ten Flatteners and Their Influence on Asian Countries. . Caroline (Parent of Student), “My son really likes. Utilitarianism: Ethical Theories and Business Essay Sample. As a result, employees will more likely cooperate with the organization in order to help it to get over these hard times. Examples of Utilitarian Ethics. Though inadequate as a sole paradigm for the whole of medical ethics, with principlism, among others, still needing to serve a major role, utilizing Kant’s Categorical Imperative in medical … I think it would be best used as a companion to a text book and as a revision aid. 5 pages, 2417 words. According to Eggleston (453), welfarism is the understanding that the wrongness or rightness of operations depends on society’s conceptions of welfare or wellbeing. By enhancing employee self-respect, open book management supports positive freedom. In their simplest form, ethics are the moral standards you rely on when you make a decision. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories will be applied to this report and will be used to conclude if this issue is morally permissible. • Kant’s distinction between negative freedom and positive freedom is important. If the answer is no, then, according to Kant, the action is unethical. For instance, businesses that commit themselves to the principle of consequentialism may encourage their employees to act as they wish as long as the essential outcome will be to the benefit of the organization. Since employees are able to obtain important information at any point of time, this makes it difficult for employers to deceive or hide any unwanted negative news from them. What are the general implications of Kant’s theory of positive freedom for business practice? • An action is only truly moral if it is morally motivated. Each maxim will be examined on their strengths and weaknesses supported by examples that are related to business. It could not. Negative freedom is freedom from coercion and deception. Many firms also havedetailed codes of conduct, developed and enforced by teams of ethicsand compliance personnel. SC (Teacher), “Very helpful and concise.” The answer is no simply because contracts will cease to exist as nobody will believe that the other party has the intention of keeping their promises. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. In this report the focus will be placed on an article about models working in … Many people engaged in business activity, including accountants andlawyers, are professionals. Based on the first maxim from the categorical imperative, Kant suggests that every action should follow a certain set of guidelines that is adheres by everyone as a universal law without any exception (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, 2004). In Kantian Ethics, humans are valued and believed to be moral agents Weaknesses of Kantian Ethics. For Kant, national boundaries have, at most, derivative significance. Open book management also enhances employee self-respect. When it comes to determining a set of rules, guidelines or principles to follow in the business industry, many will agree that it is difficult for everybody to agree on one due to the complexities of dealing with human nature. The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics. • Let us consider two other examples to illustrate Kant’s point. A Kantian approach to business ethics The importance of purity of motive ... For example, for Kant if a merchant is honest so as to earn a good reputation, these acts of being honest are not genuinely moral. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. No one would enter into a contract if he or she believed the other party had no intention of honoring it. Positive freedom is the freedom to develop one’s human capacities. This is because most employers argue that employees should be well aware there is a chance of unemployment when they are hired for the job position. Many have also argued that capitalism contributes to world peace. For Kant, morality, to be genuine, must have an a priori foundation, and thus be objective and universally and necessarily valid. Kantian Business Ethics. Therefore, this article will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses on Kant’s duty-based ethics. The choice between consequentialist and Kantian ethics is a difﬁcult one, as there are many examples which are challenging to each sort of view. Ferrell, O. To find out, Kant would require us to universalize the maxim of this action: “It is morally permissible for anyone in desperate financial circumstances to make a lying promise, that is, to promise to repay borrowed money with no intention of doing so.” Would such a universalized maxim be logically coherent? Oxofrd University Press. If it can, then the decision would be morally permissible. Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach. Firstly, an action can only be considered as ethically correct if it can be accepted or made into a universal law (Bowie, 1999). A Kantian approach to the organizational design of a business firm as a ‘kingdom of ends’ would endorse these principles: o The firm should consider the interests of all the affected stakeholders in any decision it makes.o The firm should have those affected by the firm’s rules and policies participate in the setting of those rules and policies before they are implemented.o The interests of one stakeholder should never automatically take priority.o No business rule or practice can be adopted which is inconsistent with the first two formulations of the categorical imperative.o Every profit-making firm has a limited, but genuine, duty to do good.o Every business firm must establish procedures designed to ensure that relations among stakeholders are governed by rules of justice. South-Western College Pub. I understand Kant's theory of "act by a maxim that you would want universalized" and the three steps to see whether a maxim can become a categorical imperative, such as universalization, seeing humans as an ends mean and kingdom of means. A Kantian Approach to Business Ethics The writer here talks about a man named Kant who lived in the 18th Century and is best known for defending a version of the “respect for persons” principle which implies that any business practice that puts money on a par with people is immoral or unethical. Critical Theory Ethics for Business and Public Administration. German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an opponent of utilitarianism. Kant would tend to agree. To act from a good will is to act from duty. For responsible decision making in a business environment, a good set of ethics is key. Join George and John as they discuss and debate different Philosophical ideas. It is also known as Deontological Ethics which basically translates into Duty Ethics. o Another example found in the press concerns companies that try to renegotiate contracts. A favorite ploy of General Motors, was to demand price reductions from negotiated contracts with suppliers. Each member of the organization stands in a moral relationship to all the others. • ‘Treating people as means’ does not prohibit commercial transactions. This method is headed by Jack Stack from Springfield Manufacturing Company (Case, 1996). The German philosopher Emmanuel Kant is one of the key contributors of deontological theories, whose famous ethical theories are known as “Categorical imperative” (Crane & Matten 2007). Kantian ethics follows the Stakeholder theory which is supported by Havard Business School. Another advantage of applying this ethical theory is the emphasis given to the moral values of every person. Kantian ethics sure had limitations, Kant had nothing to say about environmental ethics , lack of understanding on animal suffering and the biggest challenge Kantian ethics being too demanding yet Kant moral philosophy has rich implications for business practice. Publicly held corporations have an obligation to make a profit based on their charters of incorporation, legal obligations to shareholders, and an implied contract with the public. Thus, if the employee steals from the boss, the theft is morally wrong. At the moment, we're studying Kantian ethics. Essay on Reflection Essay on Kantian Ethics After reading the Oil rig case, it is evident that the case presented an all too common example of violating sound ethical business behavior where humans When put into the business perspective any action has a maxim which will then become a universal law. Based on the first maxim from the categorical imperative, Kant suggests that every action should follow a certain set of guidelines that is adheres by everyone as a universal law without any exception (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, … This act in itself goes against Kant’s second maxim. Sam (Student), “This is a functional book that explains all the concepts very clearly without any waffle. The later grocer would be doing an immoral thing because he is using the consumers as a means to an end. However, for publicly held corporations and for partnerships, this is not the case. Kant’s third maxim will also mean that an organization should not have a hierarchical organization where workers perform the orders by their managers. One good example is to implement an open book policy where employees are frequently updated with the financial status of their companies (Case, 1996). This means that every individual should be treated with respect and not just as an instrument to achieve personal happiness or goals. Find out more. For example, it will be morally wrong to commit suicide because an individual is seen as using life as a mean to escape from experiencing further misery or hardship. (Amazon verified Customer), http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_chapter/1405101024%5C001.pdf. Painter-Morland, M & Werhane, P (2010). An individual who views the organization purely instrumentally is acting contrary to the “respect for persons” principle. In order to achieve this, Kant’s has suggested two different forms of freedom; negative and positive freedom. Business Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us ... At the moment, we're studying Kantian ethics. A great buy.” Thus, treating the humanity in a person as an end, and not as a means merely, in a business relationship requires two things. • A business manager who accepts Kantian morality would ask for any given decision, does the principle on which the decision is based pass the test of the first formulation, that is, can it be willed universally without contradiction? SAGE Brief Guide to Business Ethics. • Even if Kant is wrong about the necessity of pure motivation for an act’s being moral, he still has a lot to offer the business ethicist. What this formulation of the categorical imperative does do is to put some constraints on the nature of economic transactions. Kantian duty-based ethics says that some things should never be done, no matter what good consequences they produce. Aside from that, companies that place considerable interest on their workers will also provide a sense of security making them more loyal to the firm. He believed in placing the emphasis on happiness the theory completely misunderstood the true nature of morality. Boje, D. M (2008). One of the methods of applying Kant’s duty-based ethics is to have a more democratic workplace. In a nutshell, in order to treat another human being with respect, an action should not involve any form of deception or coercion and it must allow the development of a person’s moral potential. When this situation does not happen, critics debate that employers are not exercising human rights. Kantianism is a key version of the broader ethical perspective known as deontology.According to deontology, there are certain absolute (or nearly absolute) ethical rules that must be followed (for example, the rule that we must respect people’s privacy, and the rule that says we must respect other people’s right to make decisions about their own lives). SAGE Publications. Truly moral actions cannot be contaminated by motives of self-interest. 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