An applied ethical analysis system in business

Journal of Business Ethics 11 (3):173 - 178 (1992)
Much of the discussion on business ethics is philosophical in nature. There is no lack of theories and ideals on moral reasoning. What is missing is translating these moral theories and principles into specific, operational procedures that can indicate a proper course of action. Although most business actions are routine and do not raise serious ethical questions, many people experience difficulty in applying their personal moral principles to specific business decisions in ethically-dilemmatic situations.This study seeks to develop a framework that can be utilized to implement personal moral reasoning based on the teleological theory of Utilitarianism and the deontological theory of Ross''s Prima Facie Duties in the business decision-making process. The central feature in the framework is a point-system that quantities the ethical worth of a proposed business action and determines whether the action would be ethically desirable if taken. It provides an objective element in an otherwise qualitative ethical inquiry process. This study also illustrates practical applications of the system by analyzing the ethical implications of a proposed action where foreign bribery is involved.
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