Business and Professional Ethics Essay 2013

Business and Professional Ethics Essay 2013: Any form of business established is subjective to the laws of a country. All business units must be compliant with the existing rules and regulations as per the specific country (Dunn & Brooks, 2011).
The laws are meant to aid the business unit to act ethically and adhere to the requirements of social responsibility (Business and Professional Ethics Essay 2013). In addition, it ought b clear out all that laws on ethics require same code of behavior by all persons. However, note that declaring an act as ethical does not necessarily mean it is legal.

Determination of Ethics in Business

Ethics are determined from a variety of sources. First, ethics can originate from family influences. Here, we get adopt ethical beliefs form parents and relatives from the punishments we get anytime we go wrong. This way, we get to know what is right and wrong in line with the moral values of a society. The second source of ethical values is peer influences. Our peers in this instance being friends at school or even people in our social networks. Some behaviors in us are shaped by peer pressure, when we succumb to a certain way in which our friends behave (Dunn & Brooks, 2011).
We also derive ethics from experiences we may have gone through. This is a better way of conforming our behaviors as if it was something we did, wrong, we always never want the same experience to occur to us again (Dunn & Brooks, 2011). Religious affiliation also helps conform people to good, ethical behaviors. Lastly, the other major determinant of ethical behavior is usually situational factors. With this, people get to adjust themselves to fit in varying situations in the society. For instance, secretaries tend to behave more cautious to wealthy and well dressed people as compared to casual staff members (Dunn & Brooks, 2011).
We, however ought to realize that judgments on ethics are personal and what is ethical tone person may not be viewed so by another. What makes us uniform in our judgment of ethics, however, is the fact that there is a set of universal rules, which are based on five critical theories of ethics .

Theories regulating determination of ethics

The first theory is that ethical fundamentals. Under this theory, people view at external sources for ethical rules such as the holy books, or even people who are deemed to have exceptional capabilities in the society (Business and Professional Ethics Essay 2013). However, the wise men argued otherwise and said that the theory of ethical fundamentals fails to empower people to choose between right and wrong. They also further say that this theory could lead to misjudgment of moral theories . The second theory of ethics is utilitarianism
Utilitarianism was another theory that was mainly based on the arguments of writers like Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart . This theory  argued that everyone was obliged to decide what action are best and be in a position  to choose to adhere to the rule which benefits the society most. The principle governing implementation of utilitarianism was one of the best laid out philosophies in the Anglo-Saxon world. Some of the greatest philosophers of all time and economists advocated for the theory
The theory passes an act as right or wrong based on the measurement of the overall good or benefit it accrues to a society. The theory critically scrutinizes the consequences of an action to measure the benefit accrued to the society (Business and Professional Ethics Essay 2013). In fact, the theory is very effective in analyzing the impact of an action as it measures even the possibility of having fulfilled a person’s interest and desires.
One scholar Bentham views the main goal in life as maximizing utility (Business and Professional Ethics Essay 2013). Man is also seen as the hedonist and aspires to maximize pleasure in life while at the same time doing anything in his power to minimize on pain. This is because utility in life is measured as either having pleasure or pain. Other terms used to define pain as given as the art of either being happy or sad (Ellin, Pritchard, & Robison, 1983).
The theory of utilitarianism is also changed with the responsibility of estimating moral concepts with economic parameters. We can therefore, see that in being able to analyze the possible actions of a business decision, assigning utility to every arising result or person involved. The theory of utilitarianism has been proven very essential and helpful in animal testing in medical research . The theory has also been used in justifying Hitler’s assassination, which argued that inflicting pain on one-person was going to save a whole generation
A case study illustrating the application of the utilitarianism was that which involved use of the cost benefit mode of analysis. In this case, Ford decided to disregard the requirements of the utilitarian theory to favor their own individual needs . The utility he seeks to achieve in this case was money, which was only done in at the expense of human life. Ford made enormous sales with faulty designs of fuel tanks. The tanks leaked a lot causing many accidents. Ford thought he had escape scot-free but had he had to a lot in terms of compensation .
Utilitarianism had some limitations. For instance, when thinking of subjectivity, the theory could better understood by thinking rather than creativity. In addition, assigning costs and benefits to varying situations was difficult as feelings of pain or pleasure could not be measurable. The theory also required that values regarding life and death be quantifiable and estimated, something that was as not possible. Other disadvantage of utilitarianism was that interests of minority groups were undermined and suppressed (Ellin, Pritchard, & Robison, 1983).
The third theory governing regulation of ethics was Kantian ethics. Immanuel Kant developed the theory. Kant had a stunt believe that the moral beliefs people had were based on universal rules. Kant further had assumptions while coming up with the belief that people were required to reason in order to reach good moral decisions. He further argued that people received what they offered to the society
One example given to explain Kant’s theory was that if two people had a contract, honoring the terms of the contract was a moral duty to concerned parties. Kant further argued the ability to determine what was wrong or right, was mainly dependent on particular circumstances. He seemed very convinced that human beings did not require God or any form of superior authority to be in a position to behave rightful in the society. Kant categorized human beings as rational and moral actors who decide what was morally right and wrong.
Kant was determined to advocate for his theory on whatever possible way and therefore developed a categorical imperative to be use in judging moral issues. The categorical imperatives were divided into three parts, maxim 1, which implied that consistency and reversibility were crucial in judging the moral conduct of a person. The second maxim demanded that humanity be treated with respect. Lastly, maxim three advocated for universal law giving. As per Kant’s argument, the three maxims were to be used as a test to judge whether any action was morally right or wrong.
The first maxim was used to test for consistency with all underlying principles to test morality (Ellin, Pritchard, & Robison, 1983). For instance, with this, we get to know that acts such as murder and lying are bad. The second maxim seeks to emphasize that every human deserves to be treated with respect and human dignity upheld (Ellin, Pritchard, & Robison, 1983). Lastly, the third maxim dug deep into the universal aspect of human dignity. All Kant wanted us to do by passing out the three maxims was merely to check the principles of morality with our actions (Ellin, Pritchard, & Robison, 1983). 
After viewing Kant’s argument on the three maxims, other scholars found that his arguments came very close to those of religions or better called the golden rule (Ellin, Pritchard, & Robison, 1983). The only difference between the religious and Kantian approach is that religion acknowledges the fact that God is the only source of values while Kant’s beliefs on the other hand, stated that God was the sole creator of humans (Ellin, Pritchard, & Robison, 1983). Nevertheless, humans were completely responsible for coming up with a decision to judge what is right or wrong.
Another theory on ethics was Rawl’s social justice theory, which was advanced by John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This theory was meant to contradict other theories on morality. The principles passed and brought forward by founders of this theory clarified that members of a society were to decide on what best each person.
 In addition, it was a major requirement that fairness be a key factor of administering justice . Ignorance was going to be no excuse for any ill behavior in the society. Equality in all sections of the society was required. In fact, Rawls advocated that the less able in the society be assisted to realize their full potential. Rawls argues that justice could only be said to be administered when every person in the society was accorded equal rights and opportunities
There was also a fifth theory, which was referred to as the ethical relativism . This theory advanced a rather contradicting argument from all other laws since it stated that there was no better way of determining a wrong or right act rather than by seeking the society’s opinion. The theory also argued that a person’s behavior is affected by the surroundings and environment. 
People are expected to adhere to the teachings of culture, as there is no correct justification for right and wrong with variant cultures. Another scholar by the name James Rachels built on the arguments for ethical relativism arguing that societies vary in moral codes and no accurate to prove existent to ethical truths exists

Analysis of a case study on the theory of Rawl’s social justice theory

Suppose we took the American government on one hand, and the Kenyan government on the other. The US had been conducting business with Iraq for long time. A potential business deal exists between the US and Kenya. However, since some Kenyan soldiers had been killed mysteriously in Iraq and the Iraq government denied any probe into the case.  Kenya is willing to go ahead with implementing the business contract on condition that the US prompts the Iraq government to investigate the case and establish why Kenyan soldiers were killed.
However, the US is reluctant, argues that the Iraq issue was never raised when signing the contract, and expects Kenya to carry out its responsibilities as expected. Kenya on the other hand, claims wants justice carried out by blackmailing the US.

Strengths of the theory of Rawl’s social justice theory

According to the theory of Rawl’s social justice, fairness of all individual was paramount and not compromised for any reason whatsoever. The theory was also very specific that moral rules were to be observed for people to live in peace and harmony. Moral laws were to be use in resolving conflicts in the society. 
 According to the case above, the theory of Rawl’s social justice greatly applies and Kenya has no obligation to prompt the US to interfere with its affairs. Instead, Kenya ought to have consulted the UN for intermediation. The US tries its best to adhere to its moral beliefs of keeping everything formal at all times.  The relationship between Kenya and the US ought not to be jeopardized simply because Iraq has a disagreement with Kenya .

Weaknesses of the law of theory of Rawl’s social justice theory

However, one of the weaknesses of this case is that Kenya fails to realize it ought to implement the agreement as per the terms of the contract without giving the US any troubles the US government is obliged to have the agreement honored irrespective of any matters arising and without being blackmailed (Brooks & Dunn, 2010). Blackmailing other countries is unethical and is not morally upright. The US is obliged to have the contract implemented to full term. Kenya ought to resolve ant misunderstandings with Iraq and seek mediation from the rightful bodies such as the UN.


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