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Ethics and Social Responsibility

Ethics and Social Responsibility

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Ethics and Social Responsibility

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  1. Ethics and Social Responsibility Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph’s College

  2. Ideas for dealing with difficult issues • Definitions • Framework for moral decision making • Graduate Management Projects (SMAC) Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  3. Ethics • Ethics are those standards or morals a person sets for him/herself regarding what is good or bad, or right or wrong (Van Fleet & Peterson, Contemporary Management) Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  4. Social Responsibility • Social Responsibility refers to the obligation of an organization to protect and/or enhance society (Van Fleet & Peterson, Contemporary Management) • Social Responsibility is the expectation that businesses and individuals will strive to improve the overall welfare of society (Ketchen &Eisner, Strategy) Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  5. Framework for moral decision-making (“Thinking Ethically,” Velasquez, Andre, Shanks and Meyer, Issues in Ethics 1996) • Get the facts • Apply 5 approaches • Utilitarian • Rights • Fairness • Common-good • Virtue • Decide after asking yourself 5 questions Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  6. Utilitarian Approach • Jeremy Bentham & John Stuart Mills, 19th century, establishing moral laws • Ethical actions are those that have the greatest balance of good over evil • Identify possible courses of action • Ask: • Who will be affected by each action? • What benefits/harm is derived from each? • Choose action that produces the greatest benefits and least harm • Ethical action is the one that provides the greatest good for the greatest number Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  7. The Rights Approach • Emmanuel Kant, 18th century philosopher • People have dignity based on ability & right to choose freely • Other rights: to truth, privacy, not to be injured, to what is agreed • Actions are wrong to the extent that they violate the rights of individuals • The more serious the violation, the more wrongful the action Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  8. The Fairness or Justice Approach • Greek philosopher Aristotle: “equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally” • Issue- is an action fair; or does it show favoritism (benefits to some without reason for singling them out) and discrimination (burdens people who are no different from those who are not burdened)? • Favoritism and discrimination are unjust and wrong Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  9. The Common-Good Approach • Vision of society as community whose members are joined by shared values and goals • Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and contemporary ethicist John Rawls urge us to view ourselves as members of same community • Challenge: recognize and further goals we share in common Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  10. Virtue Approach • Assumes certain ideas towards which we should strive – i.e. honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, prudence • Once acquired, virtues become characteristic of a person- and a person who has developed virtues will tend to act in a way consistent with moral principles • To decide ethical problems, one asks “what kind of person should I be?” Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  11. SummaryEthical Problem-solving • Once we have the facts, ask 5 questions: • What benefits and harms will each course of action (COA) produce, and which alternative will lead to the best overall consequences? • What moral rights do the affected parties have, and what COA best respects those rights? Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  12. Summary of Ethical Problem-solving (continued) 3. Which COA treats everyone the same, except when there is a morally justifiable reason not to, and does not show favoritism or discrimination? 4. Which COA advances the common good? 5. Which COA develops moral virtues? Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  13. Framework for Moral Decisions • This method does not provide automatic solutions • Helps identify most of important ethical considerations • Must deliberate moral issues ourselves, paying close attention to • The facts • Ethical considerations Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College

  14. Graduate Management Projects (SMACs) • Principle: development of ethical behavior and social responsibility as a foundation of managerial practice • Each SMAC report has a section that explains how theproject can affect your individual ethics and your organization’s social responsibility Dr. Coty Keller St. Joseph's College