Business Ethics Flashcards Preview

Business Ethics > Business Ethics > Flashcards

Flashcards in Business Ethics Deck (47)
Loading flashcards...

What does Philosophy mean?

Love of Wisdom


What are the three main branches of philosophy?

Metaphysic: the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between possibility and actuality.

Epistemology: understanding; knowledge

Ethics: behavior


What are the "three C's"?

Compliance: with the rules, including the law, the principles of morality, the customs and expectations of the community, the policies of the company, and general concerns such as fairness

Contributions: that are made to society and through the usefulness of the activity to the surrounding community.

Consequences: of the activity both inside and outside the company, both intended and unintended, including the reputation of the company and the reputation of the industry or profession.


What are Normative ethics?

How people ought to act (evaluating normality)


What are Descriptive (scientific) ethics?

Study of why people act the way they do


What are the four types of morality?

Norm: normal which means the usual; acceptable.

Nonmoral: have no moral hinges; manners. (out of the realm society)
Ex: car able to go 160mph

Immoral: not acceptable to society

Amoral: lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something. (people typically have no regret or remorse)


How do we define normal? Where do we obtain our morality?

Make a judgement and compare it to something abnormal.

Parents, school/teachers. Peers, environment, law/gov, social media, religion, culture. Your morals come from your surrounding environment.


Define Business

Group of people working together for a purpose for a profit.


Is all business self-seeking?

Self promoting, see professional codes


Professional code of ethics

Rules that are supposed to govern the conduct of a members of a given profession; another place where we develop a sense of morality.

Ex: malpractices in the medical field, lawyers hiding evidence, accountants lying. (librarians: not require to report about a book taken out on how to build a bomb)


Define Organization

Group of people working together for a purpose.

Ex: Salvation Army, Red cross, Churches, Homeless Shelters


What are the 4 types of laws?

Common law
Constitutional law


What are statutes?

Laws enacted by legislative bodies- congress and state legislatures enact statutes.

Ex: the law that defines and prohibits reckless driving on the highway is a statute.


What are regulations?

(rules) made by authority and maintained by authority.


What is common law?

Refers to the body of judge-made law that first developed in the english-speaking world centuries ago when there were few statutes.


What is constitutional law?

Refers to court rulings on the requirements of the constitution and the constitutionality of legislation.


Describe Religion in Morality

You don’t have to be religious to be moral. Morality can be shaped through whatever religion you are in.


What are conduct ethics?

When an action takes place I evaluate that action as moral. Moral reasoning, thinking through something before acting.

Ex: look at conduct and evaluate conduct


What are virtue ethics?

Operate off of virtues.

Ex: patience, truthfulness, good heartedness, trustworthiness


Describe cost-benefit analysis

Weighing good and bad

widely utilized in both corporate and public policy decision making

A public policy context generally presupposes utilitarian ethical principles


What is a teleological theory? (consequentialists theories)

Action X is moral/good/right/acceptable if Action X creates a good result.


What are the 3 teleological theories?



What is egoism?

Action X is good/moral if it produces the best results for me or my group.

Ex: saving a person for their own benefit.
*drowning person- save them for the headlines or to actually save someone*

Pro: benefits you and your group and gets things done quick and efficiently.

Con: Allows for Immoral actions; creates chaos and jealousy; doesn’t acknowledge other people‘s rights.

Psychological egoism: born to be egotistical and benefit ourselves naturally.


What is utilitarianism?

(most loving thing to do- Fletcher)
greatest units of happiness for greatest number of people. (Fork in road, kill four people instead of one)

Pro: brings happiness and good for testing policies in business

Con: Hard to define what happiness is and some actions are wrong even if they do produce happiness.

Any action is moral- lying, cheating, murder.. If it benefits the greatest number of happiness


Who are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill?

Hedonistic Utilitarians

Creates most amount of joy as opposed to pain

Quantitative hedonist (Jeremy Bentham) quality of things that make it better than quantity.


What is Ruled Utilitarianism?

(past tells us what to do) in the past, some kind of action/experience that I've been involved in that I have found out that this action worked and created the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.

It worked in the past, why would it not work now?

What would Jesus do?


What is Act Utilitarianism?

Liver analogy; who would get it- mother of children or 80 year old?

Famous person gets new liver even if alcoholic.


What is Hedonism?

(hedonistic utilitarianisms)
Most amount of happiness

Instead of units of happiness, they believe in what creates the greatest number of content, joy, satisfaction, pleasure over pain, suffering


What are the 5 Deontological Theories?

Cultural/Ethical Relativism (Carr)
Social Contract Theory (Ross, Plato, Hobbes)
Divine Command Theory(God)


What is Cultural/Ethical Relativism?

Theory that what is right is determined by what a culture or society says is right. What is right in one place may be wrong in another, because the only criterion for distinguishing right from wrong—and so the only ethical standard for judging an action—is the moral system of the society in which the act occurs.

Creates conflict and issues trying to do business

Pro: keeps culture strong, each society knows what’s right and wrong

Con: Minority has no voices; eliminates possibility from change.. Just because majority rules doesn’t mean majority is right.