Every action in business, like in physics, solicits a reaction. They may have personal ethical principles they would rather uphold at all times, sometimes to the chagrin of their various stakeholders. One of the philosophers who promoted compassion over consequences was Immanuel Kant, who began the Deontological movement in ethics.
Should Business Leaders be Guided by Compassion? In this case, self-interest can lead to altruism when the business, as well as the greater community benefits from the actions of the business.
The purest form of free markets, however, is one where there are no rules, and everyone acts in his or her self-interest, within the bounds of the law. Capitalism, at its root, advocates for a free market. They are his employers, and he reports to them at the end of the day.
There are many other stakeholders who can lay claim to the loyalty of the business leader: Where Is our Sense of Duty Directed? Who should be given the greatest priority?
As a result, business leaders can sometimes be faced with conflicting loyalties. This is the principle of egoism, which has been promoted by many prominent philosophers, including F. As it turns out, business leaders will make decisions that are ethically significant on a daily basis.
The point is that, at the end of the day, business leaders are faced with serious ethical questions in the decisions they make.
Additionally, no single business owner can know what kind of ethical actions will bring the most utility to the society. A good business leader will take all of them into account and go for the most viable answer, depending on which school of thought they subscribe to.
Their interests should, therefore, come first. This is the principle of utilitarianism, and it dictates that businesses should only take actions that, in the long run, bring about the greatest amount of net happiness to the vast number of people.
These are just some of the many questions that exist for ethical theories in business to answer. But what, exactly, are the theories that affect our everyday business practices? In the regular markets within which businesses operate, we are subject to many regulations.
Sometimes, this reaction can be positive and sometimes it can be negative. Take sustainability programs, for example, they contribute to the preservation of the environment, while also leading to reduced expenses for the business.
It will soon collapse for lack of profitability. On the other hand, a business can act in accordance with the expected consequences. However, that is not to mean that the business should not practice compassion in its daily activities.
To start with, capitalism creates wealth and employment for the participants, which is itself a form of utilitarianism. It can be argued that self-interest can contribute to an ethical market. It is for the market to decide that. An action that brings quick and massive profits in the short-term can bring consequences that are even more destructive than the benefits are constructive.
And yet, on the other hand, it can also be argued that the loyalty of the business leader should lie with the shareholders. Should Business Act in Self-Interest?
Whenever they act, they will be acting according to some ethical theory, whether they know it or not. There is a form of self-interest, known as enlightened self-interest, which serves to bridge the gap between self-interest and altruism.
After all, they are the reason why the business flourishes at all. Additionally, some leaders might prefer to place their loyalty at the feet of their principles, rather than any particular group of people.
But acting in your self-interest can be seen as unethical in plenty of circumstances. The business owner who employs an ex-convict to give them a second chance in life and the restaurant that occasionally feeds a street family can be said to have compassion.Jun 26, · Ethical theories in business are important for everyone, business owners and customers and everyone else in between.
Some ethical theories include sense of duty, business self-interest, and. Immanuel Kant’s Non- consequentialist Ethical Theory - 1. Introduction According to Immanuel Kant the driving force behind our actions should be dictated by what is inherently good as sole consideration and not be based upon the effects of what such actions may produce such as the case in the consequentialist theory of cause.Download