Parameters of Ethical Decision Making

Ethical dilemma Ethical dilemma Ethical behavior can be defined as the actions that conform to the societal expectations and morals. This includes upholding attributes such as responsibility, honesty and fairness in the business actions. The importance of ensuring that a business is operating in an ethical manner has benefits to the both the business and the society. For the business, it ensures that the good employees are retained, it creates an ample working environment, creates customer loyalty and it ensures that legal confrontations do not divert the business from its core endeavor. However, a difficult choice comes in the conflict between making a decision based on morals or based on values. In this paper , an analysis of John Rawls theory of Justice as fairness will be carried out, together with analysis of other approaches that are used for ethical decision making. Fairness as Justice contains two principles that according to John Rawls, should always work as a unit and not individually in order to achieve their purpose. These include the liberty principle and the equality principle. The fair equality principle and the difference principle are part of the equality principle. The liberty principle sets the human being as the basic minimum standard for the fair and just institution. The equality principle acknowledges the difference in human being and it places that as an advantage to all. This means that the advantages are present to all and a veil of ignorance exits in front of the advantage putting everyone in the original position. Other ethical decision making approaches include utilitarian, universalism, moral rights and cost-benefit approach (Brooks and Dunn, 2010). Ethical decision making according to the utilitarian approach suggests that any action taken should always be for the good to the majority. The two major contributors of this ethical decision making approach are John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. Utilitarianism is considered a consequentialist classical approach of normative ethics that places actions as right or wrong based on the overall good and happiness. Act utilitarianism also called direct utilitarianism isolates certain actions under specific conditions while Rule utilitarianism isolates specific rules under specific conditions (Fumerton and Jeske,2010). One non-consequencialist approach to ethical decision making is based on morality. An ethical decision is one that focuses on moral principles despite the consequences. A decision can therefore be deemed ethical if it is perceived the best approach at that time. Decisions should therefore be made according to different situations and hence morality cannot be standardized as cited by Dreier (2005).. Another decision making approach is known as universalism. Universalism argues that actions should be taken based on ones intuition as a human being. This therefore implies that despite our differences, a decision should be valued based on humanity. This means that fairness will always be maintained if people think about whether or not he/she would want the same actions to be made against them.One ethical issue that is normally found in business is honesty. Under utilitarianism, honesty can be considered an ethical decision so long as its outcomes increase happiness. However, according to Immanuel Kant lying is considered an unethical act because it removes the aspect of respecting basic humanity standards. Therefore, making an honest in businesses and in the society decision will always remain controversial based on the outcomes of the actionReferencesBrooks, L. J., amp. Dunn, P. (2010). Business amp. professional ethics for directors, executives, amp. accountants. Mason, OH: South Western Cengage Learning.Dreier, J. (2005). Contemporary Debates In Moral Theory. Oxford: John Wiley amp. Sons..Fumerton, R. A., amp. Jeske, D. (2010). Introducing philosophy through film: Key texts, discussion, and film selections. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell.

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