ASU Ethical Decision-Making Model and Utility Theory Questions


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Using the ethical decision-making model and Utility Theory, evaluate the decision by dairy marketing groups to fund coffee machines in high schools.

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Chapter Two: Ethical Decision Making: Personal and Professional Contexts ©McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom. No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education. Chapter Objectives • After reading this chapter, you will be able to: – Describe a process for ethically responsible decision making. – Apply this model to ethical decision points. – Explain the reasons why “good” people might engage in unethical behavior. – Explore the impact of managerial roles on the nature of our decision making. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Ethical Decision Making It is very important to know who you are. To make decisions. To show who you are. Malala Yousafzai ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Decision-Making Process for Ethics • An initial sketch of an ethical decision-making process. – The first step is to determine the facts of the situation. • Perceptual differences can explain many ethical disagreements. – A second step requires the ability to recognize an ethical decision or issue – then identify the ethical issues involved. • The first and second steps may be reversed in some circumstances. • Some call the inability to recognize ethical issues as normative myopia, or shortsightedness about values. • Others warn of inattentional blindness, suggesting a failure to focus. • Change blindness occurs when gradual change goes unnoticed. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Figure 2.1 – Stakeholder Map The third step involved in ethical decision making requires decision makes to identify and to consider all of the people affected by a decision, the people often called stakeholders. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Insert Photo Credit Here A Decision-Making Process for Ethics • Once the facts are examined, and the ethical issues and stakeholders identified, the decision maker should consider the available alternatives. – When facing an ethical decision, moral imagination is the ability to envision various alternative choices, consequences, resolutions, benefits, and harms. • The next step in the decision-making process is to compare and weigh the alternatives. – The point of this exercise is to recognize when a decision is explainable, defensible, and justifiable to all stakeholders involved. – Some alternatives might concern principles, rights, or duties that override consequences. – Decision makes must also compare and weigh the effects of a decision on their own integrity, virtue, and character. ©McGraw-Hill Education. A Decision-Making Process for Ethics • Once the variables are explored, the next step is to make a decision. – Business decisions usually mean formulating a plan and carrying it out. • The final step is to evaluate the implications of the decisions, to monitor and learn from the outcomes, and to modify actions accordingly when faced with future similar challenges. – With a normative discipline, ethics seeks an account of how and why people should act a certain way, rather than how they do act. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Figure 2.2 – An Ethical Decision-Making Process The ethical traditions and theories described in the following chapter will flesh out and elaborate on this decision process. Jump to long image description ©McGraw-Hill Education. Insert Photo Credit Here Ethical Decision-Making The time is always right to do what’s right. Martin Luther King Jr. ©McGraw-Hill Education. When Ethical Decision Making Goes Wrong • Some stumbling blocks to responsible decision making are intellectual or cognitive. – Ignorance. – Considering only limited alternatives. – Finding comfort in simplified decision rules. – Selecting the alternative that satisfies the minimum decision criteria, • also known as satisficing. ©McGraw-Hill Education. • Other stumbling blocks are more a question of motivation and willpower. – Sometimes it is easier to do the wrong thing. – Sometimes they lack the courage to do otherwise. – Courage is also needed when responding to peer pressure. Ethical Decision Making Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln ©McGraw-Hill Education. Ethical Decision Making in Managerial Roles • Within a business setting, individuals must consider the ethical implications of both personal and professional decision making. • Some of our roles are social and some roles are institutional. • In a business context, individuals fill roles of employees, managers, senior executives, and board members. • Managers, executives, and board members create and shape the organizational context where employees make decisions. – They have a responsibility to encourage ethical behavior and discourage unethical behavior. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Ethical Decision Making There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there. Indira Gandhi ©McGraw-Hill Education. Appendix – Figure 2.2 – Ethical Decision-Making Determining the facts is the first step in the ethical decision-making process and identifying the ethical issues involved is the second step in the process. Sometimes the first and second step can be reversed. The third step is to identify stakeholders and consider the situation from their point of view. The fourth step is to consider the available alternatives, also called using mental imagination. The fifth step is to compare and weigh the alternatives, based on consequences for all stakeholders, duties, rights, principles, and implications for personal integrity and character. The sixth step is making the decision. The seventh step is monitoring and learning from the outcomes. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Jump back to slide containing original image Chapter Three: Philosophical Ethics and Business ©McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. Authorized only for instructor use in the classroom. No reproduction or further distribution permitted without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education. Chapter Objectives • After reading this chapter, you will be able to: – Explain the ethical framework of utilitarianism. – Describe how utilitarian thinking underlies economic and business decision making. – Explain how the free market is thought to serve the utilitarian goal of maximizing the overall good. – Explain some challenges to utilitarian decision making. – Explain the principle-based, or rights-based, framework of ethics. – Explain the concept of human rights and how they are relevant to business. – Distinguish moral rights from legal rights. – Explain several challenges to principle-based ethics. – Describe and explain virtue-based framework for thinking about ethical character. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Philosophical Ethics and Business Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784 ©McGraw-Hill Education. Ethical Frameworks • An ethical framework is nothing more than an attempt to provide a systematic answer to the ethical question: – How should human beings live their lives? • Ethics attempts to answer the question but also gives reasons to support the answers. – Philosophical ethics must answer the “why?” question as well. – “why” matters because without offering reasons, it is only an opinion. – “why” matters because superficial agreement can mask underlying disagreement. – Many people attempt to answer “why” in religious terms but religions differ from culture to culture. – Philosophical ethics provides justifications applicable to all people. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Ethical Frameworks • Ethics is not comprised of a single principle or framework. • Here, the focus is on three ethical frameworks proven influential with practical relevance in modern business. – Utilitarianism is an ethical tradition that directs us to decide based on overall consequences of our acts. – The principle-based framework directs us to act on the basis of moral principles such as respecting human rights. – Virtue ethics tells us to consider the moral character of individuals and how various character traits can contribute to, or obstruct, a happy and meaningful human life. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Philosophical Ethics and Business A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality. John F. Kennedy ©McGraw-Hill Education. Utilitarianism: Ethical Consequences • Utilitarianism’s insight is that outcomes matter, – and we should consider the consequences of our actions. • Utilitarianism has been called a consequentialist approach to ethics. – We should act in ways that produce better consequences than the alternatives. • What is meant by “better consequences”? ©McGraw-Hill Education. • “Better consequences” are those that promote human well-being. – “the greatest good for the greatest number.” • Utilitarians are pragmatic thinkers and no act is ever absolutely right or wrong. • The utilitarian position is that happiness is the ultimate good. Utilitarianism and Business • The free market is decidedly utilitarian. – So, utilitarianism has a strong impact on business and business ethics. • How to achieve the goal of maximizing the overall good? • Some utilitarians agree with Adam Smith, claiming that free and competitive markets are the best means for attaining the goal. • Other utilitarians turn to policy experts who are in a position to determine which policy will maximize the overall good. – The dispute between the “market” and the “administrative” versions of utilitarianism characterize many disputes in business ethics. – Egoism is also a consequentialist theory but it focuses exclusively on the happiness of the individual making the decision. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Challenges to Utilitarian Ethics • Problems with the need to count, measure, compare, and quantify consequences. • Utilitarians determine both ethical and unethical acts by their consequences – so the end justifies the means. – This seems to deny one of the earliest ethical principles that the end doe not always justify the means. – We have certain duties or responsibilities that we ought to obey even when doing so does not produce a net increase in overall happiness. • Utilitarian reasons contributes to ethical decision by requiring we consider the consequences of our actions. – Utilitarian reasoning does not exhaust the range of ethical concerns. • Ethical decisions also involve duties, principles, and personal integrity. ©McGraw-Hill Education. An Ethics of Principles and Rights • Some decisions should be a matter of principle, not consequences – the ends do not always justify the means. – Which principles should be followed? – When does a principle outweigh producing good consequences? • Principles are ethical rules that put values into action. – Principles create ethical duties requiring certain actions or decisions. • What principles or rules should guide our decisions? – Legal rules. – Organizational rules. – Role-based rules. – Professional rules. ©McGraw-Hill Education. An Ethics of Principles and Rights Categorical imperatives Hypothetical duties • Ethical duties should be categorical imperatives rather than hypothetical • Could include a professional code of conduct that binds you only if you in that profession ©McGraw-Hill Education. Categorical duties • Do not contain this “if” clause • I should or must obey a fundament ethical rule no matter what Human Rights and Duties • Are there any fundamental or “categorical” duties? – Immanuel Kant believed we all have a duty to treat each person as an end in themselves. – And never only as means to our own ends. – Persons must never be treated as mere tools. • Human, or moral rights is central to principle-based ethics. ©McGraw-Hill Education. • Human rights protect individual dignity. • Rights imply that some acts are “off-limits.” • Our moral duty is to respect the human rights of others. • Humans are said to have a fundamental human right of autonomy, or “self-rule.” Human Rights and Social Justice • Two rights emerged as fundamental components of social justice: Liberty Equality – liberty and equality. – More fundamental and persistent than legal rights. – They are particularly fundamental to theories of social justice upon which democratic and capitalist economies have been built. – Crucial to an understanding of business ethics. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Human Rights and Social Justice Libertarian Egalitarian • Here, individual liberty is the most central element. • Here, equality is the most central element. • A just society is one in which individuals are free from government intrusion. • Socialist egalitarian theories argue for equal distribution of basic goods and services. • As long as they are not harming others. • Other theories argue the equal opportunity is crucial. • Ethical business pursues profit within the law. • Supports greater governmental responsibility in the economy to guarantee equality. • Unethical businesses do not. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Human Rights and Legal Rights • What is the difference between human rights and legal rights? – Using employee rights as an example, there are three kinds of employee rights common in business. – First, there are those legal rights granted to employees on the basis of legislation or judicial rulings. • Minimum wage, and equal opportunity are examples. – Second, employees have rights to entitled goods based contractual agreements with the employer. • Health care, pension, and paid holidays are examples. – Finally, employees have rights grounded in moral entitlements. • Examples include the right not to be bullied, or lied to. • Legal rights and human rights lie outside the bargaining that occurs between employers and employees. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Challenges to an Ethics of Rights and Duties • There are two big challenges to this ethical tradition. – There is disagreement about what rights truly are basic human rights. – It is unclear how to apply this approach to practical situations, especially in cases where rights appear to conflict. • Critics point out that the ethical tradition of rights and duties has been unable to provide a persuasive and systematic account for how such conflicts are to be resolved. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Philosophical Ethics and Business It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction. Warren Buffett ©McGraw-Hill Education. Virtue Ethics: Integrity and Character • Virtue ethics seeks a full and detailed description of those character traits that constitute a good and full human life. – Ethics of virtue is the goal of every parent who hopes to raise happy and decent children. • To understand how virtue ethics differs from utilitarian and principle-based frameworks, consider egoism. – There is a gap between self-interest and altruism. – Ethics requires us to act for the well-being of others at times, something egoism claims is not possible. • An ethics of virtue shifts the focus from questions of what a person should do, to a focus on who that person is. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Virtue Ethics: Integrity and Character • A person’s character is not independent of that person’s identity. • This shift changes the nature of justification in ethics. • Ethical controversies often involve a conflict between selfinterest and ethical values. • How much we act for the wellbeing of others depends on our character. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Character • Those dispositions, relationships, attitudes, values, and beliefs that popularly might be called a “personality” Virtue Ethics: Integrity and Character • Virtue ethics recognizes that human beings act according to who they are, according to their character. – Given that character plays a key role in out behavior, and – given that our character can be shaped by controllable factors, – virtue ethics seeks to understand how traits conducive to, and traits that undermine, a meaningful, worthwhile, and satisfying life. • Virtue ethics reminds us to examine how character traits are formed and conditioned. • Many moral dilemmas arise when tension between who we seek to be and the type of person business expects us to be. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Virtue Ethics: Integrity and Character • Virtue ethics should lead us to ask questions about the choices we make and how those choices affect our character. • This can happen in two ways. – First, note that each decision you make has a subtle but meaningful impact on subsequent decisions. • This suggests a reciprocal relationship between character and action. • Our character affects how we act, but how we act ends up affecting our character. – The second way choices affect character is through the people we choose to associate with and the organizations we become part of. • This has important implications for the companies we choose to work for. • The organizational culture will inevitably change who we are, so choose carefully. ©McGraw-Hill Education. Decision-Making Model Revisited • This chapter introduced three ethical frameworks. • Understanding the philosophical basis of ethics enables you to: – become more aware of ethical issues, – better able to recognize the significance of your decisions, – more likely to make better informed and more reasonable decisions, and – articulately explain yourself when asked about a decision. ©McGraw-Hill Education. • These theories also provide ways to develop the decision-making model introduced in chapter 2. • These theories provide systematic and sophisticated ways to think and reason about ethical questions. • The decision-making model now has ethical theories integrated into the procedure. Decision-Making Model Revisited 1. Determine the facts. 2. Identify the ethical issues involved. 3. Identify stakeholders. 4. Consider the available alternatives. 5. Compare and weigh the alternatives. a. Consequences. b. Duties, rights, principles. c. Implications for personal integrity and character. 6. Make a decision. 7. Monitor and learn. ©McGraw-Hill Education. ...
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Surname 1
Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
Coffee Machine Funding to Schools
Facts of the Case
The Dairy group funded the acquisition of an espresso machine for a school in North
Dakota through a $5000 grant to the institution. This would help increase the consumption of
lattes in the school, increasing the milk consumption to about 350 gallons for the year in which
the school acquired the machine. With the United States having experienced about 40% drop in
milk consumption, the decision by the dairy company is one of the efforts by dairy producers to
revive the industry, and compete against more favored products such as soy, almond, and oat
(Choi, 2019). The decision by the dairy marketing groups is an effort to ensure lo...

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