Law and Ethics 5
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is a consciousness of what is right or wrong in the workplace and taking responsibility for an ethical course of action in business operations given its impact on owners, investors, employees, customers, and the community at large (collectively known as stakeholders).
expansive term that includes a business entity's owners, investors, employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community
those who will generally feel a feel a direct impact based on the decision
those without any direct connection to the business, but may suffer some adverse consequences in an indirect way
refers to generally accepted standards of right and wrong in a given society. standards may be based on the law and/or religious and personal belief systems.
is the term used to describe having a conscious system in use for decising moral dilemmas
Principle based approach
ethical decisions that are made according to a set of established principles or standards such as religious tenets or codes such as the Koran or the Old Testament
- source of individual decision making and NOT subject to exceptions, but are tempered by other religious principles such as mercy and justice
- duty based ethics (sense of duty to human dignity)
- categorical imperatives (make deicisons with an eye toward the potential consequences
universalized test- everyone took the same actions, if one can consistently act in accordance with the notion that society benefits from everyone acting the same way, then the act is moral
ethical course of action is the one that provides the most happiness for the greatest number of people, and has the least harmful consequences for the majority of the community
stems from the utilitarian system of moral philosophy
majority good placed ahead of the individual good when faced with a moral dilemma
business ethics in the workplace context emphasizes prioritizing moral values for the organization and ensuring behaviors are aligned with those values
- cultivation of strong teamwork and productivity
- clarity in business operations
- strong public image
- staying the ethical course in turbulent times
Common traits to ideal ethical organizations
- -management has articulated a clear vision of integrity throughout the organization
- -reward systems are aligned with the vision of integrity
- -responsibility is seen as individual rather than collective in that individuals are willing to assume personal responsibility for actions of the organization
- -policies and practices of the organization are aligned with the vision
- -the vision of integrity is well integrated into the decision making process so that any significant management decision has ethical value dimensions
*most important outcome is behavior that is consistent with the organizations value system (fair and just behaviors in the workplace)
Corporate social responsibility
involved broader based identification of important business and social issues, and a critique of business organizations and practices.
fundamental notion is that conscious resides not just in individuals but also in a corporation
3 schools of thought of CSR (corp social responsibility)
- The narrow view (invisible hand)
- the moderate view (government's hand)
- The broad view (management's hand)
The narrow view : the invisible hand
Adam Smiths invisible hand: a deliberately amorality in corporate decision making is encouraged in the name of a new morality: the common good is best served when each of us and out economic institutions pursue not the common good or moral purpose, but rather society is best served when we pursue a competitive advantage
The moderate viewe: government's hand
government is seen as the most valuable source of setting guidelines because it represents the moral views of the general public
the regulatory hands of the law and the political process provide the basis for ethical decision making
The broad view: Management's hand
corporations have a social responsibility and that profitiability is secondary
the majority is not willing to buy into such a radical notion that business prosperity should be an afterthought, instead they argue that CSR is in the publics interest and a company's self interest, and a company does well by employing socially responsible principles in their business operations
triple bottom line: company's creation (destruction) of envirnmental and social value.
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