Economic instability and the unfortunate, and unavoidable, consequences of acting ethically

Journal of Business Ethics 66 (2-3):147 - 155 (2006)
In this paper I describe and analyze an economic situation involving two competitive organizations. I put forth the argument that because of the systemic nature of decision making relative to managing the requirements of utilizing a descriptive equation that determines how many people an economic system can support, that even if all the players in the situation act ethically, the results will still be harmful, and necessarily so, to the system and to many innocent people. I will demonstrate that harming innocent people is required and morally defensible given the choices available. The best one can do is slow down the increase in disutilities and possibly operate the system within a range of acceptable behavior that minimizes the resulting harm to innocent people, even if we cannot entirely remove this harm. In this context ethics becomes the study of the acceptable as opposed to the preferable
Keywords management decision-making  utilitarian  harm  stakeholders  micro/macro economic systems  strategic  Kantian  promise keeping  responsibility  systemic
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DOI 10.2307/25123821
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Peter Singer (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.

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