Summary: Evaluating Business Ethics, Normative Ethical Theory - Week 1 Efb Mcm

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  • 1 Crane & Matten, 2019

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  • What is the opposite (counterpoint) of normative ethical theories? And what do these focus on?

    Descriptive ethical theory, code of conduct adopted by a particular group or society.
  • When looking at normative ethical theories and religion, religious teaching about ethics and normative ethical theory from philosophy both tend to have the same aim when applied to business, focused on ensuring that business is responsible, avoids doing harm. However, there are 2 main differences, which are these?

    1. Source of rules and principles: religions invoke faith as a source of right and wrong; philosophical theories are based on the belief that human reason, rationality,  drives ethics.
    2. Consequences of morality and immorality: in religious teaching, spiritual consequence of decision-maker is an important element (e.g., salvation, enlightenment, reincarnation or damnation).
  • 1.1 The role of ethical theory

  • What does ethical absolutism claim?

    That there are eternal, universally applicable moral principles. Right and wrong are objective qualities, rationally determined.
  • What does ethical relativism mean?

    Claims that morality is context-dependent and subjective.
  • 1.1.1 Western modernist ethical theories

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  • What are western modernist ethical theories in nature? Absolutist or relativist? And shortly explain why and what two components it consists of (this does not have to be explained yet)

    Absolutist in nature, they try to set out universal rules or principles. The two divisions are consequentialist, principle-based theories.
  • The Western modernist ethical theories are, besides being absolutist, also something else based on the fact that they start with an assumption about the nature of the world, and more specific assumptions about the nature of human beings. What is the other thing Western modernist ethical theories are?

  • Shortly elaborate on the definition of consequentialist?

    Theories that base moral judgement on the outcomes, aims or goals of a certain action - goal oriented.
  • Shortly elaborate on the definition of principle-based theories?

    Base moral judgments on the derivation of principles and the procedure by which they are arrived at.
  • Consequentialist theory

  • How does consequentialist theory determine whether an action is right or wrong?

    If the outcomes of the action are desirable, then the action is morally right; if the outcomes are not desirable, the action is morally wrong.
  • Two main consequentialist theories

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  • Ethical egoism and utilitarianism address right and wrong by emphasizing the achievement of good goals. However, they address these outcomes differently, how?

    Ethical egoism: focuses on outcomes and self-interest for individual decision-maker; utilitarianism focuses on the wider social outcomes within a community.

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