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This module is made up of 10 topics. It is designed to enable students to develop an understanding of the nature of ethics and selected ethical theories; demonstrate knowledge of personal, organisational, and social levels of ethical analysis; demonstrate use of ethical decision-making models; and apply ethical theory and models to practical decisions. This module is assessed by way of an internal assignment.
To achieve this module a candidate must:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of ethics and selected ethical theories.
2. Debate the merits of selected ethical theories, in terms of description of the theory, its principal and premises, identification of arguments that apply to the theory, and criticism of the theory using practical examples.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of personal, organisational, and social levels of ethical analysis.
4. Provide detailed explanation and justification of statements that demonstrate the moral
reasoning process adopted when an ethical dilemma arises in regard, to the organisation, and/or the individual within the organisation.
5. Demonstrate use of ethical decision-making models.
6. Apply ethical theory and models to practical decisions.
7. Develop the ability to make ethical decisions in relation to identified dilemmas provide detailed explanation and justification of statements, sufficient to demonstrate the moral reasoning process adopted.
Business Ethics acts as a strong pillar for any company in order to make key decisions and come out of ethical dilemmas. The final decision in the case as well is to do what is right and beneficial to all and to find an alternative solution to address the losses of the company. Business Ethics lays a foundation of morals and principles for everyone in the company and thus helps to shape a benevolent culture in the organization. It gives prime importance to virtues and helps to find the true meaning of company values across the width and breadth of the organization.
While a general definition of capitalism supports that a nation's industry and trade are run by the private players for profit instead of the state, the nature of capitalism also states how division of labor influences the functioning of private ownership and the overall benefits it has on an average person (Boltanski & Chiapello, 2005). Private companies possess the legal stature of individuals and are entitled to all benefits that an individual has. Also, it is assumed that these entities are motivated by personal benefit and profit realization. The prices stay in control because of the existing competition in the market and capitalism demands private ownership of most of the production and distribution means. This nature of capitalism demands that the consumer is well aware of the market and keep consuming to keep the business running.
The normative theories of ethics can be divided into consequential and non-consequential theories (Shaw & Barry, 2015). Egoism and utilitarianism can be categorized as consequential while Duty of care, Kantian theory, and Virtue theory fall into the non-consequential bracket. Jones, Felps, and Bigley (Jones et al., 2007) define egoism as any act to be morally correct as long as an agent's long-term interests are fulfilled. The case in question is a clear example of employing an unethical practice of making the employees work extra hours without pay for the company's profit motives. However, utilitarianism indicates an effort to maintain the highest possible balance of good over bad to all stakeholders of the actions (Hasnas, 1998). It is more of an objective method to arrive at results and resolve conflicts. Non-consequential theories emphasize the moral factors to be considered while making any decision. It also acknowledges that an organization can have its own self-interests to achieve its objectives.