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BusinessEthicsNow

Part 1 Understanding Ethics

Ethics
in Action
Doing the Right Thing

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>>What is Ethics?

>>What is Ethics?
Ethics
The manner by which we try to live our lives according to a standard of right or
wrong behavior in both how we think and behave toward others and others
toward us.
A set of moral standards or ethical principles that provide guidance of conduct in
daily lives.
Denition of whats right or wrong is a result of many factors, including family,
religion, traditions and beliefs of the society.

>>Understanding Right and Wrong


Moral standards
Principles based on religious, cultural, or philosophical beliefs by which judgments
are made about good or bad behavior.

Morality represents collection of all inuences over the lifetime.


Influences from many sources: Friends Family Ethnic background Religion School
Media (television, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet) Personal role models
and mentors

Provide a moral compass (a sense of personal direction) to guide in the


choices make in our life.

>>Understanding Right and Wrong


How Should I Live?
Standards of ethical behavior are absorbed by osmosis through observation of
examples (both positive and negative) set by everyone parents, family, friends, etc.
Adoption of ethical standard is ultimately unique as an individual
For those who influenced by religion believe that behaving ethically toward others
represents a demonstration of religious devotion (motivated by fear of divine punishment
after life or a reward for living virtuous life)

Others may choose ethical behavior based on experience of human existence rather than
any abstract concepts of right and wrong as determined by a religious doctrine

Values and Value System


Values or morals: a set of personal principles by which we aim to live our life
Value system: formalization of value principles into a code of behavior

>>Understanding Right and Wrong


The Value of a Value
1. An intrinsic value by which a value is a good thing in itself and is pursued

for its own sake, whether anything good comes from that pursuit or not.

For example, happiness, health and self-respect can all be said to have intrinsic value

2. An instrumental value by which the pursuit of one value is a good way to


reach another value.
For example, money is valued for what it can buy rather than for itself.

>>Understanding Right and Wrong


Value Conflicts
When we face the situation where personal value system in direct conflict with
an action
1. Lying is wrong but what if you were lying to protect the life of a loved one?
2. Stealing is wrong but what if you were stealing food for a starving child?
3. Killing is wrong but what if you had to kill someone in self-defense to protect your
own life?

Its exceptions or grey area that more likely based on specific circumstances/
situations
How we choose to respond to specific situations and make specific choices
define our personal value system.

>>Understanding Right and Wrong


Doing the Right Thing
4 basic categories of what Ethics means:
1. Simple truth right and wrong or good and bad | might have different interpretation or
commitment to each individual.

2. Personal integrity | someones personal character demonstrated by their behavior.


3. Rules of appropriate individual behavior | moral standards that impact daily lives and types of
decisions made.

4. Rules of appropriate behavior for a community or society | ethical standard of the community
or society that come from group of people who share a common standard.

Firstly, the study of ethics seeks to understand how people make the choices |
how people develop their own set of moral standards, how people live their lives on the basis of those
standards, and how people judge the behavior of others in relation to those standards

Secondly, to use that understanding to develop a set of ideals or principles as a


community to have the common understanding of how people ought to
behave.

>>Understanding Right and Wrong


The Golden Rule
The goal of living an ethical life expressed by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as
you would have them do unto you, or treat others as you would like to be treated.

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would nd hurtful.Udana-Varga
5:18
Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye
even so to them.Matthew 7:12
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if
done to you.Mahabharata 5:1517
Islam: Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids
immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will
be remindedAn-Nahl 16:90

However, not everyone thinks, acts, or believes in the same principles | we can
not expect other people pursue the same ethical ideals like us.

Living in ethical vs unethical circumstances

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>>Ethical Theories
1. VIRTUE ETHICS
Aristoteles belief in individual character and integrity established a
concept of living your life according to a commitment to the
achievement of clear ideal moral behavior as what the moral or
virtuous person does
Problem:

Different emphasis on different virtues.

>>Ethical Theories
2. ETHICS FOR THE GREATER GOOD

Originally proposed by a Scottish philosopher named David Hume


Focus on the outcome of actions rather than the apparent of virtues
Focus on the greater good for the greater number of people
Also referred to as utilitarianism

Problem:
- The ends justify the means
- No one is accountable for the actions that are taken to achieve that outcome

>>Ethical Theories
3. UNIVERSAL ETHICS
Originally proposed by Immanuel Kant
That there are certain and universal principles that should apply to all
ethical judgments
Problem:
No one is accountable for the actions that are taken to abide by universal principles.

Case: Overcrowded Lifeboat


(Ghillyer, Andrew. Busines Ethics Now. Fourth edition: Page 11)

In 1842, a ship struck an iceberg

30 survivors were crowded in a


lifeboat intended to hold 7
Storm threatened, Boat have to be
lightened !!
Question:
Which ethical theory/theories could
be applied?

Case: Overcrowded Lifeboat


Question: Which ethical theory could be applied?
THE CAPTAIN
o To force some individuals to go over
the side and drown

o If he did nothing, he would be


responsible for for the deaths of
those whom he could save
o Focus on the outcome

Applied Theory:
ETHICS FOR THE GREATER GOOD

THE OPPOSITE
o Do nothing
o IF nothing were done, no one would
be responsible for the deaths
o Focus on the actions
Applied Theory:
UNIVERSAL ETHICS

>> Ethical Relativism


Flexibility vs Black-and-White Rules
There is no truly comprehensive theory of ethics, only a choice that is made
based on personal value system
Traditions of society, personal opinion and the circumstances of the present
moment define ethical principle
Ethical Relativism offer the comfort of being a part of the ethical majority in
community
There are peer pressure among groups, the expectations of majority can
sometimes have negative consequences

Case: Peer Pressure


Sexting
In the days before the dominance of technology, peer pressure focus on
bullying, criminal behavior and sexual activity
Smart Phones brought new element to concern over peer pressure at school,
survey fund that 20% of teens age 13 to 19 said they have electronically posted
nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves, 50% said pressure from guys was
the reason
Sexting increased so quickly, local communities and law enforcement agencies
caught unprepared

Cincinnati teens killed herself after nude picture she had sent to her boyfriend
were sent to hundreds of students

In This Case, How Peer Pressure


Constitute Ethical Relativism?
Local Community and Law Enforcement Agencies
Unprepared

Bad Things Happened (i.e: suicide)

People Create Judgment and Many States in US


Now Considering Laws to Deter Teens From
Sexting

>>Ethical Dilemmas

A situation in which there is no obvious right or wrong decision, but


rather a right or right answer.

The decision you must make requires you to make a right choice
knowing full well that you are :

Leaving an equally right choice undone.

Likely to suffer something bad as a result of that choice.

Contradicting a personal ethical principle in making that choice.

Abandoning an ethical value of your community or society in making that


choice.

Case: Doing The Right Thing


Kate
New Regional Director
Oxford Lake Apartment Complex

Dont rush their


Megan
Rental Agent

Stable work
history
More than
enough income
to cover the rent
Good references
from previous
landlord

Wilson Family
First Applicant

application through
too quickly! We
have time to find
some more
applicants and in
my experience
those people usually
end up breaking
their lease or
skipping town with
unpaid rent.

>> Resolving Ethical Dilemmas


The answer is often the lesser of two evils.

3 step process :
Analyze the consequences
Analyze the actions
Make a decision

So, What is Megans Decision?


Step 1: Analyze the
consequences
Consequences if giving the
apartment to Wilsons:
Wilson Family get the right to
be able to rent an apartment
as a place to stay
Megan is no longer
appreciated by Kate, at risk of
losing jobs, losing the
opportunity to get a free
apartment rental
Consequences if not giving
the apartment to Wilsons:
Wilson Family lose their
eligibility for residence
Megan gets Kates trust

Step 2: Analyze the


actions
giving the appartment to
Wilsons:
Not honest in doing the job
not giving the appartment to
Wilsons:
Not fair for Wilsons

Step 3: Make a
decision
Based on the analysis of
the consequences and
actions Megan should
not immediately accept
the application of the
Wilson Family and trying
to find a more suitable
applicant standards and
also approved by Kate.

Doing The Right Thing

>> Resolving Ethical Dilemmas


Arthur Dobrins 8 questions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

What are the facts?


What can you guess about the facts you dont know?
What do the facts mean?
What does the problem look like through the eyes of people involved?
What will happen if you choose one thing rather than another?
What do your feelings tell you?
What will you think of yourself if you decide one thing or another?
Can you explain and justify your decision to others?

How Megan resolving dilemma?


The facts

Megan is rental agent on less


popular Oxford Lake
apartment complex.
Kate Jones is new regional
director.
Wilson Family, AfricanAmerican couple with one son.
Wilson Family have stable
work history, sufficient income,
good references from previous
landlord.
Kate ask Megan to reject
Wilson Family application and
waiting another applicants.
Other applicants arrive but
nobody have better records
than Wilson Family.
Megan want to impress Kate
to get free apartment rent for
her grandmother.

Guess facts you


dont know

Kate have
broad
experiences in
this industry.
Kate have bad
experience
with AfricanAmerican
family.

Meaning of facts

Kate doesnt
approve
Wilson
Familys
application
although
Megan feels
they are
perfect to fill
the complex.

Contd
The problem
through peoples
involved

Megan :
Have difficult situation
where she need to raise
the rent of the complex
while the her new boss
dislike her preferred
applicant.
Kate :
New director responsible
to inject new energy in
order to lower vacancy in
complex.
Dislike Wilson Family due
to previous experience

Consequences
each action

If Megan accept Wilson


Family :
Disobey Kate order and
perhaps loss her trust.
Gain satisfaction because
Wilson Family have better
record than other applicant.
Avoid discrimination and
legal action if Wilson Family
acknowledge it.
If Megan reject Wilson
Family :
Gain trust from Kate
Potential legal action.
Guilt feeling

What do your
feeling tells

Accept Wilson
Family to fill in
the complex.

Contd
What will you think of yourself
if you decide one thing or
another?

If Megan accept :
Have integrity
Think logically
If Megan Reject :
Want to please her boss to
gain trust and other
advantages.

Can you explain your decision to


other?

Yes. Explain that Wilson Family


have the best record than any
other applicants.
Explain that discriminatory
could bring negative effect on
business in the future.

>> Ethical Reasoning


Lawrence Kohlbergs framework
Six Stages of Reasoning classified in three levels of development
Pre conventional
Obedience and punishment
Individualism, instrumentalism and exchange

Conventional
Good boy/nice girl

Law and order

Post conventional
Social Contract
Principled conscience

S UMMARY
Virtue Ethics

Individual Value
Value
Ethics Theories

Value System
Intrinsic Value

Universal Ethics

Instrumental Value

Flexibility vs Blackand-white rules

Simple truth
Personal integrity
Basic Categories
Individual Rules
Community Rules

Ethics

Ethics

Value of Value

Golden Rule

Ethics foro the


Greater Good

Ethical Relativism

Peer Pressure

Resolving Ethical
Dilemmas

Ethical Reasoning

3 steps decision
process

Arthur Dobrins 8
questions
Lawrence Kohlbergs
framework

Thank You