Home Add to Favorite Contact Submit  
             21 October, 2019
 

    
Category:  Articles » Business » Ethics

 

Ethical Theories in Practice - Do Self Interest and Good Ethics Conflict?

Popularity:
         Views: 1514
2008-10-07 06:48:49     
Article by James Stephenson

Egoists would view our actions in any situation as being solely based on our own self interests. If exhibiting good ethics were the means to that end, then they are supported and encouraged. Egoists do not allow for motivations other than the self promotion of the individual or organization.

In the corporate world the general belief seems to be that the interests of the corporation take precedence over the application of ethical standards. Some believe that ethics are hostile to corporate self interests and those organizations that follow courses of action based on their own self interests will treat ethics as optional: Following those ethics that will benefit the organization the most, disregarding those that will not further their interests. There is even a commonly stated belief that business leaders encourage their subordinates to do "whatever it takes" regardless of ethical considerations.

Utilitarian theorists believe that our actions should be based on the minimization of harm and maximization. This would imply that we should only promote our self interest if the net effect of our actions will do more good than harm. If the ultimate goal is to provide the most benefit to the individual or organization, and following a standard of good ethical conduct will accomplish that goal, then that is the course of action that should be taken. If on the other hand the situation called for setting aside conducts of good ethics then that would be the choice to make.

Kantian theorists would argue that respect for the individual is of the highest priority and that any conduct should be in a manner that will maintain the dignity and respect that all individuals deserve. This would seem to preclude the area of self interest and turn our attention outwards, to those around us.

Many believe though, that it is still possible to have self interest in a given situation, if their actions follow in accordance with accepted ethical standards and allow those around them to freely make the choices they are presented with.

Overall it appears that the ethical theories as presented, both support, and refute, the principle that "self interest and good ethics generally coincide". Support coincides with their stated theories: Egoist - if it serves the self interest of the individual/organization. Utilitarian - if it creates the most good and the least harm. Kantian - if the dignity and respect of the individual is maintained and/or the individual willfully accepts it. But, the theories are also refuted, in that they may be adapted, or, in many cases, ignored depending on the particular needs, wants, and situations that organizations face.

As opposed to following a strict set of guidelines that must be applied in all cases, it appears that conflict, and its resolution, will ultimately be determined by the goals and basis of philosophy of the organization, and applied on a case by case, situational, basis.

James Stephenson is an IT and Business Consultant with over 25 year of experience.

His firm specializes in helping small to medium sized businesses use their information technology and business resources effectively.

He can be reached through his websites and blogs at: http://www.scc-i.com - http://www.ctrinformationmarketing.com

Specialized in: Stephenson Consulting - Consulting - Information Technology - Small Business - Family Business - Information Marketing - Internet Marketing - Virtual Business - Online Education - Distance Learning - Online Degree
URL: http://www.scc-i.com
Print article      Bookmark this page
Related Articles 
An Ideal Worth Ten Thousand Pesos - Fighting For The Right To Party (Popularity: ): One man cannot speak for everyone. Each individual point of view can only be as educated as his experiences, which essentially is the fabric of his beliefs. I myself am a 23 year-old, Philippine-born Canadian woman. I came to Colombia nine months ago to teach English and learn a thing or two about her culture. There are many prejudices surrounding her beauty, among which are kidnappings involving FARC, drug trafficking ...
Fraud Schemes - 6 Main Types Of Occupational Fraud (Popularity: ): Occupational Fraud: The use of one's occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization's resources or assets. -The key to occupational fraud is that the activity: a. Is clandestine b. Violates the employee's fiduciary duties to the organization c. Is committed for the purpose of direct or indirect financial benefit to the employee 1. Employee Embezzlement -Most common type of occupational fraud (more than 80% of frauds) -Employees deceive ...
Is Royal Mail Another Business That Is Making It Difficult For Customers To Buy From Them (Popularity: ): From Monday the 21st of August 2006, Royal Mail changed the rates for the postage of letters.Previously, the cost of postage depended purely on the weight of the letter. But now it has been decided that the price should depend on the size of the letter as well as the weight of the letter.This means that a single sheet of paper sent in a small envelope would cost just 30p ...
Can a Guy Separate Business from Pleasure When a Female is in the House (Popularity: ): Hi, my name is Dan Nichols. I am a small business coach/consultant and recently had an editor with a major online women's business newsletter "ok me" to develop some columns for her readership from a male’s point of view. My goal is to help her readers take a shovel or two off the anemic soil of a man’s brain and invite them into the unexplored depths (or shallows) of the ...
Sales Incentives Are Unethical (Popularity: ): Free trips to Cancun. Week-long company 'retreats' in Hawai'i. Company-sponsored conventions in Vegas that just happen to take place over a four-day weekend. We've all heard of business perks like these, and likely know the type that regularly attends such lavish functions. They're typically the ones who are getting the top sales numbers at their companies, who sold more of Product A during Quarter 3 than any one has ever ...


Related Business 
West Virginia Ethics CPE (Popularity: ): This course is designed to provide the CPA with an ethical framework that the CPA can use as a guide to sort through ethical dilemmas. In addition to conceptual theories, this course provides detailed guidance on the specific laws, rules, and regulations you will need in the future. Uses the materials entitled Ethics and Professional Conduct for West Virginia CPAs. All course material provided. No prerequisites. Course level: Basic.
The Institute for Business, Technology and Ethics (Popularity: ): Seeks to promote good business through appropriate technology and sound ethics. Details of bi-monthly newsletter, membership, corporate sponsors and ethical checklists.
The Evolution of Ethics: Cybernetic Ethics (Popularity: ): "The evolution of ethical systems is described in scientific terms using cybernetics as its logical foundation. A plausible theory of the integration of science and ethics." Online book
Legal Ethical and Professional Issues in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Popularity: ): Questions relationship between practice of psychology and its increasing regulation through law, ethics codes, and education
Josephson Institute of Ethics (Popularity: ): Nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving the ethical quality of society by advocating principled reasoning and ethical decisionmaking.
Global Ethics Issues (Popularity: ): What if a powerful ethics inspector from the Galactic Federation visited Earth to discuss global ethics issues and reported that no planet may become a member of the Federation that has an ethical belief that their god gives them permission to use weapons of mass destruction to kill and destroy their theological enemies?
National Institute of Ethics (Popularity: ): This is a training provider, that deals with ethics issues on a continuing basis, and offers programs at various locations. Never a bad idea to keep current on ethical issues in either law enforcement or corrections.
Ethics CLE Courses (Popularity: ): The free ethics CLE course bundle from Lexvid is a valuable resource for practitioners to fulfill their CLE credits requirement. Browse through topics on legal ethics and law practice management here.
The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (Popularity: ): Non profit organization dedicated to regulating the practice of physiotherapy in the public interest. It sets the standard for the delivery of safe, effective and ethical physiotherapy services.
The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics (Popularity: ): An interdisciplinary research institute, doing work in bioethics, business ethics, professional ethics, environmental ethics, and animal welfare and the ethics of animal use.