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Book Review 3

Page history last edited by caloy 15 years, 10 months ago



Moral Problems in Business Management


    Moral problems often occur in business management. These problems commonly are bribery, plagiarism, theft and other issues. But it is also said that moral problems are complex because they result in benefits for some and harms for others, and because they exercise the rights of some and deny the rights of others.


    “Right” and “just” and “fair” are moral terms. They express a decision about our behavior toward other people that is felt to be morally correct. We believe that there are “right” and “wrong” ways to behave towards others. These beliefs help to form our moral standards of behavior. They reflect our sense of obligation to other people, our feeling that it is better to help rather than to harm other persons. The problem, however, is that frequently it is difficult to avoid harming other people, and this is true in business management. This is because benefits for one group frequently result in harms for others.

Moral Analysis and Economic Outcomes


    We are concerned with ethical dilemmas such as decisions and actions faced by managers in which economic performance and social performance of the organization are in conflict. These are the moral problems in which some individuals and groups to whom the organization has some for of obligation. Employees, customers, suppliers and other people are going to be hurt or harmed in some way outside their own control while others are going to be benefited and helped. These are also the moral problems in which some of those individuals or groups are going to see their rights ignored or even be taken away while others will see their rights acknowledged and even expanded. The question is how to decide and how to find the balance between economic performance and social performance when faced by an ethical dilemma, and how to decide what is “right” and “just” and “fair” as the solution for the problem to obtain economic outcomes.


    “Economic outcomes” do not refer just to the net balance of revenue over costs for the company that has proposed a given decision or action, but they refer to the net balance of benefits over harms for the society as a result of that decision or action.

Moral Analysis and Legal Requirements


    The analytical method of legal requirements can be summarized very simply in the statement that everyone should always obey the law. The law in a democratic society is said to represent the minimal moral standards of the society, and those minimal standards should recognize the nature and understand the worth of individual human beings.


Reference: The Ethics of Management. Author: LaRue Tone Hosmer




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