① Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 8:14:06 PM

Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace



For some time, Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace was governed by the church during the peak of the Christian Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace. It focuses on properties that we want to be realized in our actions. Similarly, some social policies forbid residents in certain neighborhoods from having yard sales. Ethics may differ from place-to-place and time-to-time. An organization Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace resources to developing policies and procedures that encourage ethical actions builds a positive corporate How The Incas Built Roads Influence The Inca Civilization. Some moral issues may call for taking actions, Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace at first sight may go against some moral Holocaust Museum Analysis held by the Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace as sacrosanct.

Ethics in the Workplace between employer and employee

Following Locke, the United States Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson recognizes three foundational rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Jefferson and others rights theorists maintained that we deduce other more specific rights from these, including the rights of property, movement, speech, and religious expression. There are four features traditionally associated with moral rights.

First, rights are natural insofar as they are not invented or created by governments. Second, they are universal insofar as they do not change from country to country. Third, they are equal in the sense that rights are the same for all people, irrespective of gender, race, or handicap. Fourth, they are inalienable which means that I cannot hand over my rights to another person, such as by selling myself into slavery. A third duty-based theory is that by Kant, which emphasizes a single principle of duty.

However, Kant argued that there is a more foundational principle of duty that encompasses our particular duties. That is, we should always treat people with dignity, and never use them as mere instruments. For Kant, we treat people as an end whenever our actions toward someone reflect the inherent value of that person. Donating to charity, for example, is morally correct since this acknowledges the inherent value of the recipient. By contrast, we treat someone as a means to an end whenever we treat that person as a tool to achieve something else. The categorical imperative also regulates the morality of actions that affect us individually. Suicide, for example, would be wrong since I would be treating my life as a means to the alleviation of my misery.

Kant believes that the morality of all actions can be determined by appealing to this single principle of duty. A fourth and more recent duty-based theory is that by British philosopher W. Ross, which emphasizes prima facie duties. Ross recognizes that situations will arise when we must choose between two conflicting duties. One day, in a fit of rage, my neighbor pounds on my door and asks for the gun so that he can take vengeance on someone. On the one hand, the duty of fidelity obligates me to return the gun; on the other hand, the duty of nonmaleficence obligates me to avoid injuring others and thus not return the gun.

According to Ross, I will intuitively know which of these duties is my actual duty, and which is my apparent or prima facie duty. In this case, my duty of nonmaleficence emerges as my actual duty and I should not return the gun. It is common for us to determine our moral responsibility by weighing the consequences of our actions. Consequentialism: An action is morally right if the consequences of that action are more favorable than unfavorable.

Consequentialist normative principles require that we first tally both the good and bad consequences of an action. Second, we then determine whether the total good consequences outweigh the total bad consequences. If the good consequences are greater, then the action is morally proper. If the bad consequences are greater, then the action is morally improper. Consequentialist theories are sometimes called teleological theories, from the Greek word telos , or end, since the end result of the action is the sole determining factor of its morality. Consequentialist theories became popular in the 18 th century by philosophers who wanted a quick way to morally assess an action by appealing to experience, rather than by appealing to gut intuitions or long lists of questionable duties.

In fact, the most attractive feature of consequentialism is that it appeals to publicly observable consequences of actions. Most versions of consequentialism are more precisely formulated than the general principle above. In particular, competing consequentialist theories specify which consequences for affected groups of people are relevant. Three subdivisions of consequentialism emerge:. All three of these theories focus on the consequences of actions for different groups of people. But, like all normative theories, the above three theories are rivals of each other. They also yield different conclusions. Consider the following example. A woman was traveling through a developing country when she witnessed a car in front of her run off the road and roll over several times.

She asked the hired driver to pull over to assist, but, to her surprise, the driver accelerated nervously past the scene. A few miles down the road the driver explained that in his country if someone assists an accident victim, then the police often hold the assisting person responsible for the accident itself. If the victim dies, then the assisting person could be held responsible for the death. On the principle of ethical egoism , the woman in this illustration would only be concerned with the consequences of her attempted assistance as she would be affected. Clearly, the decision to drive on would be the morally proper choice. On the principle of ethical altruism, she would be concerned only with the consequences of her action as others are affected, particularly the accident victim.

Tallying only those consequences reveals that assisting the victim would be the morally correct choice, irrespective of the negative consequences that result for her. On the principle of utilitarianism, she must consider the consequences for both herself and the victim. The outcome here is less clear, and the woman would need to precisely calculate the overall benefit versus disbenefit of her action. Jeremy Bentham presented one of the earliest fully developed systems of utilitarianism. Two features of his theory are noteworty. First, Bentham proposed that we tally the consequences of each action we perform and thereby determine on a case by case basis whether an action is morally right or wrong. Second, Bentham also proposed that we tally the pleasure and pain which results from our actions.

For Bentham, pleasure and pain are the only consequences that matter in determining whether our conduct is moral. Critics point out limitations in both of these aspects. First, according to act-utilitarianism, it would be morally wrong to waste time on leisure activities such as watching television, since our time could be spent in ways that produced a greater social benefit, such as charity work. More significantly, according to act-utilitarianism, specific acts of torture or slavery would be morally permissible if the social benefit of these actions outweighed the disbenefit. A revised version of utilitarianism called rule-utilitarianism addresses these problems. According to rule-utilitarianism, a behavioral code or rule is morally right if the consequences of adopting that rule are more favorable than unfavorable to everyone.

The same is true for moral rules against lying or murdering. Rule-utilitarianism, then, offers a three-tiered method for judging conduct. In turn, the rule against theft is morally binding because adopting this rule produces favorable consequences for everyone. Second, according to hedonistic utilitarianism, pleasurable consequences are the only factors that matter, morally speaking. This, though, seems too restrictive since it ignores other morally significant consequences that are not necessarily pleasing or painful. For example, acts which foster loyalty and friendship are valued, yet they are not always pleasing. In response to this problem, G. Moore proposed ideal utilitarianism , which involves tallying any consequence that we intuitively recognize as good or bad and not simply as pleasurable or painful.

Also, R. Hare proposed preference utilitarianism , which involves tallying any consequence that fulfills our preferences. We have seen in Section 1. Upon that foundation, Hobbes developed a normative theory known as social contract theory , which is a type of rule-ethical-egoism. According to Hobbes, for purely selfish reasons, the agent is better off living in a world with moral rules than one without moral rules. Our property, our families, and even our lives are at continual risk. Selfishness alone will therefore motivate each agent to adopt a basic set of rules which will allow for a civilized community.

Not surprisingly, these rules would include prohibitions against lying, stealing and killing. However, these rules will ensure safety for each agent only if the rules are enforced. Each agent would then be at risk from his neighbor. Therefore, for selfish reasons alone, we devise a means of enforcing these rules: we create a policing agency which punishes us if we violate these rules. Applied ethics is the branch of ethics which consists of the analysis of specific, controversial moral issues such as abortion, animal rights, or euthanasia.

In recent years applied ethical issues have been subdivided into convenient groups such as medical ethics, business ethics, environmental ethics , and sexual ethics. The issue of drive-by shooting, for example, is not an applied ethical issue, since everyone agrees that this practice is grossly immoral. By contrast, the issue of gun control would be an applied ethical issue since there are significant groups of people both for and against gun control. The second requirement for an issue to be an applied ethical issue is that it must be a distinctly moral issue.

On any given day, the media presents us with an array of sensitive issues such as affirmative action policies, gays in the military, involuntary commitment of the mentally impaired, capitalistic versus socialistic business practices, public versus private health care systems, or energy conservation. Although all of these issues are controversial and have an important impact on society, they are not all moral issues. Some are only issues of social policy. The aim of social policy is to help make a given society run efficiently by devising conventions, such as traffic laws, tax laws, and zoning codes.

Moral issues, by contrast, concern more universally obligatory practices, such as our duty to avoid lying, and are not confined to individual societies. Frequently, issues of social policy and morality overlap, as with murder which is both socially prohibited and immoral. However, the two groups of issues are often distinct. For example, many people would argue that sexual promiscuity is immoral, but may not feel that there should be social policies regulating sexual conduct, or laws punishing us for promiscuity.

Similarly, some social policies forbid residents in certain neighborhoods from having yard sales. But, so long as the neighbors are not offended, there is nothing immoral in itself about a resident having a yard sale in one of these neighborhoods. Thus, to qualify as an applied ethical issue, the issue must be more than one of mere social policy: it must be morally relevant as well. In theory, resolving particular applied ethical issues should be easy. With the issue of abortion, for example, we would simply determine its morality by consulting our normative principle of choice, such as act-utilitarianism.

If a given abortion produces greater benefit than disbenefit, then, according to act-utilitarianism, it would be morally acceptable to have the abortion. Unfortunately, there are perhaps hundreds of rival normative principles from which to choose, many of which yield opposite conclusions. Thus, the stalemate in normative ethics between conflicting theories prevents us from using a single decisive procedure for determining the morality of a specific issue. The usual solution today to this stalemate is to consult several representative normative principles on a given issue and see where the weight of the evidence lies.

Arriving at a short list of representative normative principles is itself a challenging task. The principles must also be seen as having merit by people on both sides of an applied ethical issue. For this reason, principles that appeal to duty to God are not usually cited since this would have no impact on a nonbeliever engaged in the debate. The following principles are the ones most commonly appealed to in applied ethical discussions:. The above principles represent a spectrum of traditional normative principles and are derived from both consequentialist and duty-based approaches. The first two principles, personal benefit and social benefit, are consequentialist since they appeal to the consequences of an action as it affects the individual or society.

The remaining principles are duty-based. The principles of benevolence, paternalism, harm, honesty, and lawfulness are based on duties we have toward others. The principles of autonomy, justice, and the various rights are based on moral rights. An example will help illustrate the function of these principles in an applied ethical discussion. In , a couple from Bloomington, Indiana gave birth to a baby with severe mental and physical disabilities. Among other complications, the infant, known as Baby Doe, had its stomach disconnected from its throat and was thus unable to receive nourishment. Although this stomach deformity was correctable through surgery, the couple did not want to raise a severely disabled child and therefore chose to deny surgery, food, and water for the infant.

Should corrective surgery have been performed for Baby Doe? Arguments against corrective surgery derive from the personal and social disbenefit which would result from such surgery. If Baby Doe survived, its quality of life would have been poor and in any case it probably would have died at an early age. When examining both sides of the issue, the parents and the courts concluded that the arguments against surgery were stronger than the arguments for surgery. First, foregoing surgery appeared to be in the best interests of the infant, given the poor quality of life it would endure. For, to possess moral rights, it takes more than merely having a human body: certain cognitive functions must also be present. The issue here involves what is often referred to as moral personhood, and is central to many applied ethical discussions.

As noted, there are many controversial issues discussed by ethicists today, some of which will be briefly mentioned here. Biomedical ethics focuses on a range of issues which arise in clinical settings. Health care workers are in an unusual position of continually dealing with life and death situations. It is not surprising, then, that medical ethics issues are more extreme and diverse than other areas of applied ethics. Prenatal issues arise about the morality of surrogate mothering, genetic manipulation of fetuses, the status of unused frozen embryos, and abortion.

Additional issues concern medical experimentation on humans, the morality of involuntary commitment, and the rights of the mentally disabled. Finally, end of life issues arise about the morality of suicide, the justifiability of suicide intervention, physician assisted suicide, and euthanasia. The field of business ethics examines moral controversies relating to the social responsibilities of capitalist business practices, the moral status of corporate entities, deceptive advertising, insider trading, basic employee rights, job discrimination, affirmative action, drug testing, and whistle blowing.

Issues in environmental ethics often overlaps with business and medical issues. These include the rights of animals, the morality of animal experimentation, preserving endangered species, pollution control, management of environmental resources, whether eco-systems are entitled to direct moral consideration, and our obligation to future generations. Controversial issues of sexual morality include monogamy versus polygamy, sexual relations without love, homosexual relations, and extramarital affairs. Finally, there are issues of social morality which examine capital punishment, nuclear war, gun control, the recreational use of drugs, welfare rights, and racism.

James Fieser Email: jfieser utm. Ethics The field of ethics or moral philosophy involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Metaphysical Issues: Objectivism and Relativism Metaphysics is the study of the kinds of things that exist in the universe. Psychological Issues in Metaethics A second area of metaethics involves the psychological basis of our moral judgments and conduct, particularly understanding what motivates us to be moral. Egoism and Altruism One important area of moral psychology concerns the inherent selfishness of humans. Emotion and Reason A second area of moral psychology involves a dispute concerning the role of reason in motivating moral actions.

Male and Female Morality A third area of moral psychology focuses on whether there is a distinctly female approach to ethics that is grounded in the psychological differences between men and women. Normative Ethics Normative ethics involves arriving at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. Duty Theories Many of us feel that there are clear obligations we have as human beings, such as to care for our children, and to not commit murder.

Concerning our duties towards God, he argued that there are two kinds: a theoretical duty to know the existence and nature of God, and a practical duty to both inwardly and outwardly worship God. Absolute duties are of three sorts: avoid wronging others, treat people as equals, and promote the good of others. Periodic reviews are essential. It is mandatory for superiors to know what their subordinates are up to. You need to know who all are going on the right track and who all need that extra push.

Workplace ethics ensures management guides and mentors their employees well. Appraisal and salary hikes should not happen just for the name sake. Workplace ethics is important as it enables management to treat all employees as equal and think from their perspective as well. Employees must have a say in their appraisal system. Transparency is essential. Employees change primarily because of two reasons - Career growth and monetary benefits. Management needs to make employees feel secure about their job and career.

Unnecessary favouritism is against workplace ethics. If you favour anyone just because he is your relative, the other team members are bound to feel demotivated and thus start looking for new opportunities. Organizations need to stand by their employees even at the times of crisis. Such a practice is unethical. Workplace ethics says that organizations need to retain and nurture talents. Employees need to be inducted well into the system. Workplace ethics also go a long way in strengthening the bond among employees and most importantly their superiors. Employees tend to lie if you do not allow them to take leaves.

Professionals need to develop moral autonomy over a Barbara Epstein Analysis of time by acquiring the Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace and skills needed to develop such rational thinking. The underlying and most important Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace of religious beliefs is, or should be, that all religions fundamentally and inherently speak or Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace ethical conduct The Importance Of Evaluation Research the Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace way. Health care workers are in an unusual position of continually dealing with life and death situations. Other normative theories focus Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace a set of foundational principles, or Allegory In Lord Of The Flies Analysis Ethics: The Importance Of Ethics In The Workplace of good character traits.

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