This act in itself goes against Kant’s second maxim. Employees are also expected to work in a democratic manner i.e. According to Eggleston (453), welfarism is the understanding that the wrongness or rightness of operations depends on society’s conceptions of welfare or wellbeing. It involves the study on metaphysical and psychological issues (Shaw & Barry, 2009). For example, the airline industry offers first class, business class and economy class seats on many of their airplanes. These requirements, if implemented, would change the nature of business practice. The second maxim states that a person should be treated as an end and not the means to achieve an end (Bowie, 1999). No one would enter into a contract if he or she believed the other party had no intention of honoring it. This allows the ability for every human being to be treated with respect under a set of rules that are agreed by everyone. • ‘Treating people as means’ does not prohibit commercial transactions. 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. What are the implications of this formulation of the categorical imperative for business? Since the good acts of even the most enlightened corporations are almost always justified in part on the grounds that such actions are profitable, it may appear that even the best actions of the best corporations are not truly moral. If the answer is no, then, according to Kant, the action is unethical. Respect for persons is part of the Categorical Imperative, the formula Kant designed to make ethical decisions. It would not be stretching a point too far to say that the managers of a publicly held corporation have promised to strive for profits. The Kantian categorical imperative process of rational reflection and reasoned social discourse is theoretically capable of forming the moral environmental maxims applicable to business. Due to the current economic downturn, many companies are laying off their employees. It evaluates the related moral principles with respect to contemporary moral dilemmas, bioethics, and broader medical practice. Since Kantian Ethics is universalised to all humans, it suggests that all humans should be treated equally under the same ethical system. Sample Answer. Information Age Publishing. It is an excellent basis for my revision." Many firms also havedetailed codes of conduct, developed and enforced by teams of ethicsand compliance personnel. Immanuel Kant is probably one of the most prominent figures in this area (Brenkert & Beauchamp, 2009). This means that every individual should be treated with respect and not just as an instrument to achieve personal happiness or goals. Each maxim will be examined on their strengths and weaknesses supported by examples that are related to business. It does not provide us with explanation of what happens when two absolutes clash. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. ( Log Out /  For responsible decision making in a business environment, a good set of ethics is key. It simply means that a set of rules that are made should treat every individual with respect and dignity. Moral Issues in Business. The choice between consequentialist and Kantian ethics is a difficult one, as there are many examples which are challenging to each sort of view. Ethics on the job: Cases and Strategies. However, a bit more should be said, especially in light of the fact that the general public judges business from a strict Kantian position. 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). Brenkert, G. G & Beauchamp, T. L (2009). • Let us consider two other examples to illustrate Kant’s point. Leading 20 th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe (1920-2001). Case, J (1996). If it can, then the decision would be morally permissible. • An action is only truly moral if it is morally motivated. The 'Confusion to Avoid' sections at the end of each chapter will be particularly useful.” However, critics argue that Kant’s duty-based theory does not deal with conflicting situations (Donaldson & Werhane, 2007). Open book management also enhances employee self-respect. One of the methods of applying Kant’s duty-based ethics is to have a more democratic workplace. South-Western College Pub. Business ethics may seem like an abstract concept, but it carries a huge influence in the corporate world and beyond. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories will be applied to this report and will be used to conclude if this issue is morally permissible. Many people engaged in business activity, including accountants andlawyers, are professionals. One of the positive outcomes from the first maxim is that it ensures a certain level of certainty when it comes to ethical decision making (Case, 1996). Sam (Student), “This is a functional book that explains all the concepts very clearly without any waffle. German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an opponent of utilitarianism. Boston. Each school of thoughts portrays different issues that argue about the meaning of being morally right. Kantian Business Ethics. For example, an individual who is in financial trouble make a fake promise to return back the money which he or she has borrowed. New Jersey. Springer. Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics: Strengths and Weaknesses. Negative freedom is freedom from coercion and deception. Ferrell, O. Kantian duty-based ethics says that some things should never be done, no matter what good consequences they produce. Another advantage of applying this ethical theory is the emphasis given to the moral values of every person. Positive freedom is the freedom to develop one’s human capacities. Normative Theory and Business Ethics. An individual’s interest has the power to overrule the interest of the whole group. Donaldson, T & Werhane, P (2007). 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. 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. Examples of Ethical Behavior in the Workplace. He has proposed three versions or maxims of categorical imperatives (Bowie, 1999). Suppose you desperately needed money. Do your extreme financial circumstances justify a lying promise? It could not. Leading 20 th century proponent of Kantianism: Professor Elizabeth Anscombe (1920-2001). “I’m just so grateful without your site I would have crumbled this year” Oxofrd University Press. Would such a tactic pass the test of formulation one? Both the action and principle must be coherent in order to be considered as ethically or morally wrong (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, 2004). I think it would be best used as a companion to a text book and as a revision aid. I'm taking a two year course on philosophy and ethics. Some Thus, Kantian managers need to create a certain kind of organization. ( Log Out /  Thus, one human being cannot use another simply to satisfy his or her own interests. Starting from an ethics of care poses a different question: does giving a bribe reinforce or weaken the bonds of human relationships defining my place in the world? o First, it requires that people in a business relationship not be used, i.e. 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. At the moment, we're studying Kantian ethics. Kantian Ethics is named so because of the man who proposed it. 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. Recently, there has been a movement in KANTIAN ETHICS . Under open book management, all employees are given all the financial information about the company on a regular frequent basis. Wadsworth Publishing. Businesses in today’s world raise many ethical issues and it is important to understand which actions are right and which ones are wrong. 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). In Kantian Ethics, humans are valued and believed to be moral agents Weaknesses of Kantian Ethics. D (2008). Employees lay off during economic turmoil has bad consequences. These rules should also be accepted by everybody. Smith, J. 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. 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). With complete information and the proper incentive, employees behave responsibly without the necessity of layers of supervision. Who was Immanuel Kant? German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an opponent of utilitarianism. Find out more. Kant answers with a resounding no. Thousand Oaks. Furthermore, workers often jump from one job opening to another in search for better personal benefits. Business ethics is the study of how a business should act in the face of ethical dilemmas and controversial situations. Beverly. Kantian ethics, with an emphasis on the concepts of patient dignity, autonomy, and the second formulation of the Categorical Imperative, could be a helpful addition for medical ethics education. An important thing to note is that Kant makes very certain that everyone on Earth should be treated as an ends and never as a means. Immanuel Kant (Prussia, 1724-1804) was one of the most influential intellectuals in the field of political philosophy. Although Kant’s duty-based ethics have its limitations and challenges but if the three maxims are taken as a whole, it can serve as a guide to managers and professionals on managing their organizations better (Boje, 2008). However, one concept cannot stand on its own without being dependent on the others (Shaw & Barry, 2009). What does this mean? Shaw, W.H & Barry, V (2009). Thanks very much for this help. When put into the business perspective any action has a maxim which will then become a universal law. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making& Cases. Based on full article to be found at:http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_chapter/1405101024%5C001.pdf. People get a chance to act, to take responsibility, rather than just doing their job. 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, … In order to achieve this, Kant’s has suggested two different forms of freedom; negative and positive freedom. When employees are given more autonomy in an organization, they will feel a sense of belonging making them more motivated to do a better job. Costco’s Decision To Pay Fair Wages Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) is one of the biggest successes in American retail. Hiring developers or posting ads with us... at the boss, world! 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