Kantian Nonconsequentialism in Business Ethics

Good ethics and good business

In the business environment, there are a series of ethics that define the moral obligations expected of the business actors. Business ethics are applied in the management and corporate social responsibility to ensure that the business is sustainable in the short and long term since each business operates within the confines of moral obligation. Business ethics are moral obligations that the management of a business should follow in doing business activities.

Reflectively, when a business fails to follow these moral ethics, ethical dilemmas such as conspiracy, fraud, false statement, and insiders trading are likely to occur and negatively affect such business. Based on the code of ethics, the management of a business should exercise integrity when preparing financial statements and report accurate information to all stakeholders. Moreover, good business ethics define objectivity and motivation in maintaining trust in transactions (p. 6, ch. 1).

An ethical decision can be defined as a decision with a moral and legal appeal to the wider community. The aspect of commitment is a crucial element in examining the ethicality of a decision. In precision, for these decisions to hold and be positively assimilated into the work environment, a series of tests are carried out by gathering facts and incorporating them in defined issues surrounding ethics to test the consciousness in the application. Thirdly, the aspect of competency is critical in separating premises from assumptions in making ethical decisions.

The ethical decision-making process involves stating the problem after which the underlying facts are verified. This is followed by identification of the relevant factors and developing the possible options to eliminate the dilemma. The identified options are then tested for their harm, publicity, reversibility, defensibility, and professional, organization, and colleague aspects. The testing step is followed by making a choice and then reviewing the entire process for authenticity.

The rational choice theory presents a rationale for interpreting economic and social behaviour. According to this theory, costs are extrinsic rather than intrinsic. Thus, decisions made are geared towards maximizing utility in the decision science since it offers an opportunity for scientific predictions with empirical verification options. On the other hand, the image theory opines that decision making process is based on the subjective utility comprising of the strategic, value, and trajectory elements. The knowledge to make decisions is guided by different cognitive schemata (p. 9, ch. 1).

The dual pillar approach to ethical leadership comprises of a combination of moral being and moral management skills. The combination of the two aspects is critical in building an ethical leadership reputation since executive responsibility functions on moral codes that promote proactive leadership. The practical steps to cultivate ethical leadership reputation include developing moral worthiness through nurturing desirable traits and behaviour that aligns to the organization’s unique culture. On the other hand, leadership development programs through visible action role modelling, offering incentives, and communication of the accepted moral code of conduct.

In order to promote the ideals of positive business ethics, it is vital to develop a good organizational culture by fostering a strong alignment on the set path of achieving goals, missions and vision. This is achievable through adhering to the written rules of engagement, expected behaviour, and accepting repercussions for deviation. There should be laid down structures formulated to keep the staff healthy and stable in their duty of serving the demands of a business.

As a matter of fact, a stable mind performs optimally with little or no supervision. Therefore, healthy communication ethics that recognizes and where necessary supports staff who make a steady commitment in practising accepted desirable healthy organizational culture should be encouraged. Whenever there is a strong professional relationship nurtured on the values of appreciation and respect, hidden talents are easily displayable and are needed for organizational ethical sustainability (p. 11, ch. 1). The codes of ethics are educative and useful in offering moral support.

Business ethical values that have a positive impact on its performance include confidentiality, rationality, good communication, high morals, respect, and promotion of equality. Basically, these elements form the strength of successful business culture. Positive ethical aspirations are achievable through action-oriented respect, mutual coexistence, and deeply entrenched social values, which are vital in peaceful coexistence of all the employees. These values are readiness and inclination to jump into actions which consider the morality of the decisions in consultation.

A sustainable business must have strong ethical principles that guide employees when carrying out their duties. The ethical code consists of laid down structures to keep staff in healthy and stable mind in their duty of serving the interests of the restaurant through regulatory ethical communication models. These models are the motivation to acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend. Therefore, a proactive behaviour control system for a business functions within a structured reward system.

The levels of moral responsibility within the Starbucks have three building blocks of learning consisting of a supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes, and practices leadership that reinforce innovation. A business should be focused on the most elevated moral models in all business exchanges. Each employee must follow all pertinent laws, guidelines and regulations when performing his or her obligations (p. 11, ch. 1). Since the system functions within accepted parameters, employees are should develop a self consciousness to deliver quality services and defend the organization as part of a family unit.

In an ideal ethical business environment, the process of making the decision should not operate independently. Rather, it should be dependent on the framework identified for the result to be easy to verify and align to the expected behaviour and actions. After the decision has been made and implemented, it should be monitored and evaluated to confirm if the choices made are right or not. Thus, if it was not the right choice then it needs to go through the ethical framework again.

For instance, application of the first and the second categorical imperative would weigh the merits and demerits against a standard system of tracking the outcome. In the ideal, all businesses should operate under the ethical business codes. The businesses should be aware of the consequences of unethical behaviours such as fraud, absconding duty, and irresponsible duty execution which may attract stringent penalties as stipulated in the Starbucks’ ethical and moral code of conduct. This culture is meant to create an ideal climate for innovation and communication (p. 17, ch. 2).

Organizations across the globe have moral responsibility of giving back to the society in the form of corporate social responsibility initiatives. Basically, moral responsibility is a condition of getting praise or blame for an accomplishment or blunder within the scope of an individual’s moral obligations. Under moral responsibility, the moral agent has the ability to premeditate over an act or omission before actually deciding on the course of action.

These initiatives are designed to facilitate sustainability of an organization due to acceptance by the community. Addressing social based concerns through creation of shared responsibilities is the main reason for establishment of the different CSR initiatives by organizations towards communities. Thus, organizations must show interest in eliminating social challenges facing communities surrounding them.

The moral code of ethics dictates that the management of an organization should exercise integrity in exercising the relationship between the business and the community. Through the dual pillar approach to ethical leadership, the organizational code of ethics should comprise of a combination of moral being and moral management skills to ensure that the community gets quality product. Thus, organizations should be able to control and align their decision with the moral values to ensure that the interests of the community are addressed in their daily activities (p. 22, ch. 2).

Bounded ethicality tends to justify unethical behaviours as stimulated by psychological tendencies and organizational pressure. In relation to business dilemmas, the bounded ethicality applies to the psychological tendency of the conspirators to fulfil selfish interests of self enrichment at the expense of company goals and objectives. Specifically, due to their top hierarchy in the authority ladder, they may succumbed to incentives of power and deviated from discipline, responsibility, and sincerity in the management of the business when the business environment does not have strong ethical standards.

In order to promote the ideals of positive business ethics, it is vital to develop a good organizational culture by fostering a strong alignment on the set path of achieving goals, missions, and vision (p. 25, ch. 2). This is achievable through adhering to the written rules of engagement, expected behaviour, and accepting the repercussions for deviation.

Bounded ethics identify the theoretical aspects of absolutist and relativist decision making processes in the business environment. Among the key theories discussed in the class include ethical relativism and ethical absolutism. In fusing theoretical framework with application, the propelling factors for the increasing interconnectivity and independence is relative to ethics and businesses performance.

Besides, the aspect of foresight is very crucial element in business ethics theories since it gives a company rough perspective and overview of the future concerning the expected and unexpected changes and challenges. For instance, across the first chapter of the book, trend is introduced as entailing those patterns that revolutionize and changes over time in ethical business environment. In relation to personal foresight, change patterns to visualize future changes are presented as part of personal culture for ethical dilemma solution. Personal culture encompasses shared beliefs, values and ethics in management (p. 28, ch. 3). The authors concentrate on universal ethical decision making process.

They assert that when decisions are made on universal appropriate management culture, the outcome will be pleasing and convenient for operation in short and long term. If these principles are internalised in the management and the workforce, they will appreciate the need to uphold the social interactions standards based on what is universally ‘right’.

In summary, the aspect of fairness in decision making is dependent on heuristic since it provides assumptions, integration of options, and ethical control. Decision environment often experience dynamics and swings which create short and long term effect on chances of survival for two alternatives to solve a problem. When faced with a decision dilemma that requires critical assessments, analysts resort to analytical tools that ensure competitive positioning advantage through exercising fairness. Each option is assigned to a quadrant with predetermined response strategies and ‘follow-ups’ upon implementation.

For instance, in the business environment, fairness is applied in treating each customer as equal in terms of services they receive. In practicing fairness, it is important for the business to avoid practicing arbitrary power through an indecent manner. Thus, the ethical executives, who double up as the business owner, should constantly manifest predicable commitment to just actions through treating the customers equally (p. 31, ch. 3).

Besides, fairness initiates flexibility, open-mindedness, acceptance of diversity, and admitting errors. From the class note, it is in order to assert that wit, intelligence, and judgment are generally of good value to human life but might turn out to be timid when employed without fairness, especially in the business environment. Moral ethics in the business environment is influenced by internal and external factors which when improperly aligned, result in universality accepted results as perceived by the customers. The aspect of competency is critical in separating the premises from assumptions in making ethical decisions.

Analysis within the nonconsequentialism moral approach

In analysing ‘good will’, Kant opines that the only intrinsically and unqualifiedly good is ‘the good will’. He clarifies that this has nothing to do with happiness. Further, Kant is specific in asserting that wit, intelligence, and judgment are generally of good value to human life but might turn out to be timid when employed for bad rationale. Reflectively, he is categorical in pursuing the negative results of bad use of self moderation, which generally are good.

Thus, Kant concludes that good will cannot be perverted since it is ‘intrinsically and unqualifiedly good’. On the other hand, William Frankena is categorical that the aspect of good is but just a disposition since it functions around action oriented teleological system (p. 5, ch. 1). Therefore, Frankena denotes his premise from the fact that all rational things often aim for ‘good’ through action oriented respect, mutual coexistence, and deeply entrenched social values. This is due to the fact that human beings possess more ethical right than other beings on the basis on their rationality in addition to an inherent worth (p. 39, ch. 4). In application to the business environment in the case of the Ford Pinto case, it would not be prudent to continue production after the discovery that the vehicles would explore when involved in an accident.

Frankena and Kant present rudimentary beliefs which fascinates especially on the functioning periphery of ‘human good’. Among the listed examples of nonconsequentialism morality include experiencing pleasure, being honoured, being healthy, and having beneficial friends. Frankena and Kant assert that questioning these ‘good actions’ is the first step towards understanding the significance of these actions on personal happiness.

Due to this, man has remained consistent in directly associating happiness with his daily needs in life. For example, when doing business, a morally upright being would wish to guarantee customer satisfaction as part of what he or she believes is part of happiness and self fulfilment. Despite existence of series of intermediate goodness forms, there exist the ‘highest good’ which is remaining trustworthy and sincere to sustain the level of customer satisfaction. This is achievable upon utilizing life virtues which must be put in action. These virtues are readiness and the inclination to jump into action with situational excellence despite the circumstances of the time (p. 41, ch. 5). Therefore, excellence in this case is the average between duo extremes; deficiency and excess.

Despite existence of several means of achieving the highest good via virtue inclination, there should be a balance between what is considered ethical and what is lawful to sustain the business. These action oriented motives must be aligned to the right individual, extent, time, and reason. Reflectively, this argument concentrates on the business and causal factors to ethics in different activities. Frankena presents a clear understanding on the role of individual action towards promoting happiness and exercising of virtues acquired over a long period of time. In the same way, Kant strongly believes that highest morals rest on ‘good will’ which allows mankind to undertake actions in the backdrop of peak morality or moral worth often based on origin priority.

For instance, when the underlying command plans originate from the opinionated inclination of such an individual, the results would basically be aligned towards self contempt. For instance, in the Ok Tedy story, the option of killing the story on water contamination and proceeding to continue using contaminated water would seriously compromise the trust that the customers had on the company (p. 45, ch. 6).

Kant divided ethical functions into categorical and hypothetical imperatives. Unlike hypothetical imperatives, categorical imperatives motivate mankind to undertake actions motivated by the desire to complete such actions. These actions are ideal and are expected of mankind, irrespective of experience since Kant describes them as universal. On the other hand, hypothetical imperatives are motivational stems from human errors that may exist in actions.

For instance, Kant identifies obligations which may be mistaken for happiness and self preservation. Reflectively, Kant’s argument unites the individual to ‘good will’ which are not a must to be exercised over a long period of time to establish the level of goodness. Rather, what matters in the intention of the action in inter and intra personal relationships. However, the theory lacks on self discipline and virtuous goodness since judgment may be based on only few incidences of goodness (p. 36, ch. 4). These incidences might happen with interior motive. Besides, Kant is sceptical on his own accountability of the good will, which he describes as self determinant.

It is apparent that Kant’s theory on ethics of ‘good will’ creates a standard and uniform ground from which all mankind are in a position to accomplish goodness in more or less the same approach. In fact, Kant is categorical in defining good will as dependent on intention and imperatives that function at every level of the society. However, Frankena opines that an individual can only be declared good after years of consistent practicing goodness and virtual plethora ways. Therefore, actions of a business in the face of an ethical dilemma determine its sustainability and the aspect of what is ethically good (p. 59, ch. 7).

The aspect of foresight is very crucial element in business ethics since it gives a company rough perspective and overview of the future concerning the expected and unexpected changes and challenges. For instance, trend entails those patterns that revolutionize and changes over time in ethical business environment. In relation to personal foresight, change patterns to visualize future changes are presented as part of personal culture for ethical dilemma solution.

Personal culture encompasses shared beliefs, values and ethics in management. This can be applied in universal ethical decision making process. When decisions are made on universal appropriate management culture, the outcome will be pleasing and convenient for operation in short and long term. If these principles are internalised in the management and the workforce, they will appreciate the need to uphold the social interactions standards based on what is universally ‘right’ (p. 45, ch. 5).

Notwithstanding, the other important element in business ethic is the sense of pride. When inculcated in a group who strive to live as per the internalised identity code of conduct, community aspect in ethical decision making will climax with changed behavioural patterns. In precision, for these decisions to hold and be positively assimilated into the work environment, a series of tests are carried out by gathering facts and incorporating them in defined issues surrounding ethics.

Reflectively, a utilitarian analysis of ethical dilemma forms a critical part of business ethics. Among the key issues within utilitarian ethics include the need for being subjective, quantification of underlying problems, and utility distribution. For instance, attitudes are direct personal experiences that are influenced by consumers’ personality, advertisement, family and friends (p. 62, ch. 8). On the other hand, perceptions are unique ways through which businesses internalises and interprets information about business ethics.

In the categorical imperativeness analysis, the aspect of morality has weight in balancing theory and practice. Business ethics theories have been applied to study ethical dilemma. However, gaps still exist between the traditional and contemporary theories that warrant further studies (p. 11, ch. 1). Business ethics are influenced by internal and external factors. The internal influences are personal feelings and thought that includes self-concept, motivation, attitudes, emotions and perceptions. These factors generally influence perception, decision patterns, and attitude employees develop towards a product or a service offered by business. Besides, these factors are directly linked to internal and external interacting social aspects that control the pattern of though and expressed feelings.

The aspect of integrity is critical in separating the premises from assumptions in making ethical decisions. Ethical leadership comprises of a combination of moral being and moral management skills through practicing integrity. The combination of the two aspects is critical in building ethical leadership reputation since executive responsibility functions on moral codes that promote proactive leadership. Exercising integrity in the business environment is characterized by accuracy in reporting information and keeping the records as confidential as possible. Every business should be a role model of the other. Besides, they should develop self-confidence by elucidating own individual values.

Actually, exercising integrity is possible through setting good examples by conforming to shared values of a team. Secondly, the business team needs to enliven a common vision. Indeed, they should visualize the future through perceiving to achieve pleasant and excellent possibilities. This is within reach through interaction with various business matrices to achieve common objectives, which are important in execution of successful business ethics.

After reviewing the class notes on ethical principles, I strongly believe that highest moral value rest on integrity which allows a business to undertake actions in the backdrop of moral worth, which is based on origin priority (p. 16, ch. 1). The aspect of integrity is a crucial element in examining ethicality of a decision, especially in addressing the concerns of the customers. In precision, for these decisions to hold and be positively assimilated into the business environment, a series of tests should be carried out by gathering facts and incorporating them in ethical issues by examining the level of integrity.

In summary, business ethics are influenced by internal and external factors which may result in ethical dilemma when improperly organized. The main contributory factors to ethical dilemma in the business environment include personal feelings and thoughts that are improper on self-concept, motivation, attitudes, emotions and perceptions. Therefore, the report presents the importance of building an ethically right organizational in order to inculcate an environment of ethical decision-making. Incorporating integrity and honesty within the culture of the organization is important for this would allow an unobtrusive practice of ethical decision-making.

Individuals should be made aware of the ethically correct positions and they should be encouraged to be more honest and fair in their daily dealings. Reflectively, ethical conduct within the organization must be practiced to have a better organizational business environment. Thus, an otherwise decision would have betrayed the elements of trust between the company and the market. From the arguments presented above, it is apparent that good ethics is good for business. Specifically, the arguments revolved around ethical principles, case studies, and nonconsequentialism moral approach.