Applying an ethical theory

Bentham's book An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation was printed in but not published until It is possible that Bentham was spurred on to publish after he saw the success of Paley's The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy. Bentham's work opens with a statement of the principle of utility: It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do… By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever according to the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question:

Applying an ethical theory

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As it turns out, business leaders will make decisions that are ethically significant on a daily basis. Whenever they act, they will be acting according to some ethical theory, whether they know it or not. But what, exactly, are the theories that affect our everyday business practices?

Where Is our Sense of Duty Directed? In the regular markets within which businesses operate, we are subject to many regulations. As a result, business leaders can sometimes be faced with conflicting loyalties.

After all, they are the reason why the business flourishes at all. And yet, on the other hand, it can also be argued that the loyalty of the business leader should lie with the shareholders.

Applying an ethical theory

They are his employers, and he reports to them at the end of the day. Their interests should, therefore, come first. There are many other stakeholders who can lay claim to the loyalty of the business leader: Who should be given the greatest priority?

Additionally, some leaders might prefer to place their loyalty at the feet of their principles, rather than any particular group of people. They may have personal ethical principles they would rather uphold at all times, sometimes to the chagrin of their various stakeholders.

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Should Business Act in Self-Interest? Capitalism, at its root, advocates for a free market. The purest form of free markets, however, is one where there are no rules, and everyone acts in his or her self-interest, within the bounds of the law. But acting in your self-interest can be seen as unethical in plenty of circumstances.

It can be argued that self-interest can contribute to an ethical market. To start with, capitalism creates wealth and employment for the participants, which is itself a form of utilitarianism.

Additionally, no single business owner can know what kind of ethical actions will bring the most utility to the society. It is for the market to decide that. This is the principle of egoism, which has been promoted by many prominent philosophers, including F. There is a form of self-interest, known as enlightened self-interest, which serves to bridge the gap between self-interest and altruism.

In this case, self-interest can lead to altruism when the business, as well as the greater community benefits from the actions of the business. Take sustainability programs, for example, they contribute to the preservation of the environment, while also leading to reduced expenses for the business.

Should Business Leaders be Guided by Compassion? It will soon collapse for lack of profitability. However, that is not to mean that the business should not practice compassion in its daily activities.

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The business owner who employs an ex-convict to give them a second chance in life and the restaurant that occasionally feeds a street family can be said to have compassion. One of the philosophers who promoted compassion over consequences was Immanuel Kant, who began the Deontological movement in ethics.

Applying an ethical theory

On the other hand, a business can act in accordance with the expected consequences. Every action in business, like in physics, solicits a reaction.

Sometimes, this reaction can be positive and sometimes it can be negative. An action that brings quick and massive profits in the short-term can bring consequences that are even more destructive than the benefits are constructive.Free Online Leadership Styles Training. This course outlines leadership styles, providing you with all the knowledge required to identify the style which is most suitable for yourself as a leader.

Free online leadership courses provided by Ethical decision-making is the process by which one makes choices about ethical issues, based on a set of standards that separate right from wrong.

It reflects an understanding of the principles inherent in ethics, and the various philosophical approaches to ethical decision-making.  Applying an Ethical Theory Amanda Thorn PHI Prof. Emilia Sorensen November 17, The long debated question of the importance of men and women and their roles has raged on for years.

Should men and women be treated equally, that truly is the question . Sandel’s Classification of Normative Ethical Theories concept: maximizing happiness – Utilitarianism (morality, Ethical Dilemmas Ethics = the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group Dilemma = state of uncertainty or perplexity.

Running Head: ETHICAL THEORY 2 Applying an Ethical Theory The legal and moral justification of acts like active euthanasia and palliative care are amongst some of the heaviest debatable topics when speaking on the issues that pertain to end of life care%(82).

Ethics can be understood as the method for justifying these beliefs and the set of rules which guide us in applying them. 2. Ethical Theory: We can think of ethical theory as a decision model.

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