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Ethical Relativism: A Self-Interest Approach

Ethical relativism holds that no universal standards or rules can be used to guide or evaluate the morality of an act. This view argues that people set their own moral standards for judging their actions. This is also referred to as nave relativism. The logic of ethical relativism extends to culture.
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Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning

Ethical Relativism: A Self-Interest Approach


Benefits include:
Ability to recognize the distinction between individual and social values, customs, and moral standards Imply an underlying laziness Contradicts everyday experience Relativists can become absolutists

Problems include:

Relativism and stakeholder analysis.


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Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning

Utilitarianism: A Consequentialist (ResultsBased) Approach


The basic view holds that an action is judged as right, good, or wrong on the basis of its consequences. The moral authority that drives utilitarianism is the calculated consequences or results of an action, regardless of other principles that determine the means or motivations for taking the action. Utilitarianism includes other tenets. Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson
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Utilitarianism: A Consequentialist (ResultsBased) Approach


Problems with utilitarianism include:
No agreement exists about the definition of the good to be maximized No agreement exists about who decides How are the costs and benefits of nonmonetary stakes measured? Does not consider the individual Principles of rights and justice are ignored

Utilitarianism and stakeholder analysis.


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Universalism: A Deontological (Duty-Based) Approach


This view is also referred to as deontological ethics or nonconsequentialist ethics and holds that the means justify the ends of an action, not the consequences. Kants principle of the categorical imperative places the moral authority for taking action on an individuals duty toward other individuals and humanity. The categorical imperative consists of Copyrighttwo parts. 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson
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Universalism: A Deontological (Duty-Based) Approach


The major weaknesses of universalism and Kants categorical imperative include:
Principles are imprecise and lack practical utility Hard to resolve conflicts of interest Does not allow for prioritizing ones duties

Universalism and stakeholder analysis.


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Rights: An EntitlementBased Approach

Moral rights are based on legal rights and the principle of duty. Rights can override utilitarian principles. The limitations of rights include:
Can be used to disguise and manipulate selfish, unjust political interests and claims Protection of rights can be at the expense of others Limits of rights come into question

Rights and stakeholder analysis.


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Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning

Justice: Procedures, Compensation, Retribution

The principle of justice deals with fairness and equality. Two recognized principles of fairness that represent the principle of justice include:

Equal rights compatible with similar liberties for others Social and economic inequality arrangement
Compensatory Retributive Distributive Procedural

Four types of justice include:


Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning

Justice: Procedures, Compensation, Retribution


Problems using the principle of justice include:
Who decides who is right and who is wrong? Who has moral authority to punish? Can opportunities and burdens be fairly distributed?

Justice, rights, and power are really intertwined. Two steps in transforming justice:
Be aware of your rights and power Establish legitimate power for obtaining rights
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Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning

Justice and stakeholder analysis.

Immoral, Amoral, Or Moral Management


Immoral management means intentionally going against ethical principles of justice and of fair and equitable treatment of other stakeholders. Amoral management happens when others are treated negligently without concern for the consequences of actions or policies. Moral management places value on equitable, fair, and just concern of others involved.

Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning

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Individual Ethical Decision-Making Styles


Stanley Krolick developed a survey that interprets individual primary and secondary ethical decision-making styles, that include:
Individualism Altruism Pragmatism Idealism

Copyright 2003 by South-Western, a division of Thomson Learning

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