We will write a custom Term Paper on Utilitarianism in Government specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. L'inscription et … In general terms, it’s easy to understand the idea that we should all act to increase the general welfare. In utilitarianism, good is defined as the existence of pleasure and the absence of pain. By making morally correct decisions, your happiness will increase. In the modern world, technology defines the successfulness of any organization, irrespective of the size and the scope of work. The main idea of utilitarian ethics is: secure the greatest good for the greatest numb… Naturally, people seem to acknowledge that certain rules must have rational exceptions. The underlying similarity here indicates that self-interest for personal gain was the main driver relative to their different ethical opinions. They do not necessarily refer to a “utilitarian calculus,” but whenever they take stock of what is to be gained and what might be lost in any significant decision (e.g., in a cost-benefit analysis), they make a utilitarian determination. In the case study, some employees understand the company is behaving unethically i.e. Jeremy Bentham (1748–1842), a progressive British philosopher and jurist of the Enlightenment period, advocated for the rights of women, freedom of expression, the abolition of slavery and of the death penalty, and the decriminalization of homosexuality. As for Mill’s harm principle, the first question in trying to arrive at a business decision might be, does this action harm others? Others objected that utilitarianism placed human beings on the same level as animals and turned people into utility functions. In so doing, Mill reworked Bentham’s utilitarianism in some significant ways. But if these entitlements were obtained unethically, does this worsen the position of anyone else? Bentham’s fundamental axiom, which underlies utilitarianism, was that all social morals and government legislation should aim for producing the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism is used frequently when business leaders make critical decisions about things like expansion, store closings, hiring, and layoffs. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. These are the theory’s central advantages: Clarity and simplicity. Introduction. The only effects important actions are positive and negative Rawls’ argued that regimented societies are uncommon due to the fact that what is just and unjust is usually in dispute (Rawls, 2003). Utilitarianism, business ethics and the Ford Pinto case present a dilemma, as the theory appears to be one of moral strength and a good guideline for ethical business choice. Application of utilitarianism to business ethics. Going along with the crowd can endorse immediate career interests whereas resiting can put status, career and family well-being at risk. Basic utilitarianism is the soft, act version. He created an ethical system based on it, called utilitarianism. We may not arrive at the same conclusion. Advantages and Disadvantages of Utilitarian Ethics in Business. d-dizzle101. Write. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from https://books.google.co.in/ Presidential Decision-Making: Utilitarianism vs Duty Ethics It avoids the utilitarian flaw of allowing the minority to suffer for the benefit of the majority, based on free choice and similar to that of John Rawls’ theory of justice. Spell. After examining DeGeorge (2010) a utilitarian approach to this case study in handling self-interest is too impractical. His argument was that rather than looking at the actor (Plato), or the action (Kant), one should look at the results. As you might expect, utilitarianism was not without its critics. STUDY. In this way, consequentialism differs from Aristotelian and Confucian virtue ethics, which can accommodate a range of outcomes as long as the character of the actor is ennobled by virtue. Everyone sought pleasure and avoided pain regardless of personality or morality. Utilitarianism is reflected in this abiding emphasis on efficiency, often to the neglect of other factors. Utilitarianism key idea is an action is morally right or wrong depending on their positive or negative effects. On the other hand people knew their actions were contributing to immoral behaviour as self-interest (greed and pressure) clouded their decision to do what is right. UTI/BE Strength: pleases community . The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The experience left him dissatisfied with Bentham’s philosophy of utility and social reform. Philosophy Both indicate that since utilitarianism highlights utility or contentment, within society, it cannot justify an explanation of assertions such as assertions of right which people are free to make upon the actions of others. It is said that case should be read two times. (credit: “Mortal Remains of Jeremy Bentham, 1832” by Weld Taylor and H. H. Pickersgill/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0), video on the streetcar thought experiment, video for a summary of utilitarian principles, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, Identify the principle elements of Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarianism, Distinguish John Stuart Mill’s modification of utilitarianism from Bentham’s original formulation of it, Evaluate the role of utilitarianism in contemporary business. You can view samples of our professional work here. Beenen and Pinto (2009) indicated that Jeff McMahon knew that Enron’s accounting practices were unethical while Andy Fastow’s belief indicated his way was ethically correct i.e. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! These are the theory’s central advantages: Clarity and simplicity. This makes the theory political. When referring to issues of business ethics, utilitarianism can allow companies to decide what to do in a given situation based on a simple calculation. In a sense many employees would have tried to do the right thing i.e. Watch this video for a summary of utilitarian principles along with a literary example of a central problem of utility and an explanation of John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism. Copyright © 2003 - 2020 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. In a similar vein, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) accused Bentham of mixing up morality with law. Chercher les emplois correspondant à Utilitarianism in business ethics ou embaucher sur le plus grand marché de freelance au monde avec plus de 18 millions d'emplois. Instead, the fundamental unit of human action for him was utility—solid, certain, and factual. In business contexts, utilitarianism implies an obligation for businesses to do what they can to act in a way that maximizes happiness and minimizes suffering. True or false? It is the only moral framework that can be used to justify military force or war. The utility function, or the potential for benefit or loss, can be translated into decision-making, risk assessment, and strategic planning. Flashcards. Utilitarianism was developed by Jeremy Bentham and is a teleological theory where the moral value of an action can be judged by the likely consequences. His preserved head is also kept at the college, separate from the rest of the body.) Employees need the ability to disengage ethical issues from these complications of self-interest and provide clear definition; employees need to distinguish between negligible issues typical of work life and critical issues that threaten a company’s ethical environment. Utilitarianism, in normative ethics, a tradition stemming from the late 18th- and 19th-century English philosophers and economists Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill according to which an action is right if it tends to promote happiness and wrong if it tends to produce the reverse of happiness—not just the happiness of the performer of the action but also that of everyone affected by it. What values and criteria would you use to make your decision about whom to save? Utilitarianism is already widely used as a business ethic approach, although it is not well developed in the literature. This period also included advances in chemistry, astronomy, navigation, human anatomy, and immunology, among other sciences. We may also define intervention and coercion differently depending on where we fall on the political spectrum. Utilitarianism in the workplace focuses on ethics, democracy, rights and responsibilities within the business environment. Instead, we might hold that the driver’s survivors and friends, along with society as a whole, have suffered a loss. Kantian Business Ethics Unlike utilitarianism, which forms the philosophical foundation for most cost-benefit analysis in business, Kantian ethics is not so easily applied. Business ethics ... Utilitarianism tells us that it is the happiness or well being of sentient beings that is the valuable thing. However, there is never any guarantee that circumstances will turn out exactly the same (DeGeorge, 2010). Ethical issues come with temptations and threats. Sherron may have been trying to do the right (and difficult) thing but it may not have been the best way to get ahead. Do you have a 2:1 degree or higher? Risk Assessment Ford Pinto: Fuel tank fault leading to fires if rear-ended. dodgy account standards for personal gain. Critics insist he was merely eccentric. Bentham also stipulated that his body be preserved for medical instruction ((Figure)) and later placed on display in what he called an “auto-icon,” or self-image. The relevant rights in a business context to freedom of speech were noted by management, as they gave them a chance to express themselves however, this was quickly extinguished. Sherron had found the morality through rationale of her mind as she was not influenced by feelings (preference), but instead she was concerned with fixed statements of duty (I must…). It teaches us that individuals may not always agree on what the principals are or should be. Therefore, there is no correct way to treat employees. When a man offends two volatile brothers with an insult, Jon wants to kill him; he shoots but misses. Bentham’s protégé, John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), refined Bentham’s system by expanding it to include human rights. But what role, if any, should society play in defining what is harmful or in determining who is harmed by someone’s actions? Clearly, this right was not evident in this organisation. Instead self-interest influenced unethical behaviour by means of greed and pressure from Wall Street to benefit, not the organisation as a whole but, Jeff Skilling and management, personally, for financial gain. Why or why not? During Bentham’s lifetime, revolutions occurred in the American colonies and in France, producing the Bill of Rights and the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme (Declaration of the Rights of Man), both of which were based on liberty, equality, and self-determination. Enron executives paid above market bonuses and salaries, they awarded unethical behaviour and punished good behaviour. Self-interest presents an underlying problem here. 1. Why rights? All stakeholders? Advantages and Disadvantages of Utilitarian Ethics in Business. Are the Values Central to Business Ethics Universal? Utilitarianism stressed equality and fights against self-interest on the part of the ethical actor. In consequentialism, actions are judged solely by their consequences, without regard to character, motivation, or any understanding of good and evil and separate from their capacity to create happiness and pleasure. Ethics had to be empirical, quantifiable, verifiable, and reproducible across time and space. Utilitarianism and Business Ethics. His studies also included algebra, Euclidean geometry, economics, logic, and calculus. Relativism is a stronger claim as refutation that there are usually suitable moral standards. The traditional exposition of Kantian ethical theory in the business ethics literature is abstract, esoteric, and impractical compared to the more usable presentations of utilitarianism. While both ethical views are different they are also both correct. In one hand people are morally trying to do the right thing but, in the case of Cassandra, they eventually get punished; she moved to another position being seen as a threat. Utilitarianism is a moral theory, which works as a form of consequentialism helps individuals to assess whether an action is good or bad. BUSINESS ETHICS :: Utilitarianism • Introduction • Jeremy Bentham • Theory of Utility • Types of Utilitarianism • Some Criticisms • Moral Dilemma Introduction Over the course of the next two lectures we will be looking at two of the most politically and philosophically significant theories … Utilitarianism provided a way of determining the total amount of utility or value a proposal would produce relative to the harm or pain that might result for society. There are two dominant approaches in ethical theory today. Rather than making moral judgments, utilitarianism weighed acts based on their potential to produce the most good (pleasure) for the most people. Introduction to Ethics. Only shareholders? Utilitarianism can be described as a theory of ethics because it tells good or bad and also right or wrong. For instance, is society culpable for not intervening in cases of suicide, euthanasia, and other self-destructive activities such as drug addiction? Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number. Work in the 21st-century workplace is no longer merely a means to an end; it is meaningful and calls upon people’s ambitions, beliefs and passions. Utilitarianism and Business Ethics Essay Utilitarianism is a normative, consequentialist, empirical philosophy which links the idea of a good action to one which promotes maximum pleasure or happiness, found by adding up costs and benefits (or pains and pleasures). At the same time, one might argue that a simple cost-benefits analysis is not a utilitarian calculus unless it includes consideration of all stakeholders and a full accounting of externalities, worker preferences, potentially coercive actions related to customers, or community and environmental effects. Pickersgill in 1832. Then we must ask, who are the others we must consider? If happiness consists of leading the good life, what is good? A Defense of a utilitarian approach to business ethics, written for Business Ethics: A Philosophical Approach Edited by Werhane and Donaldson. STEP 2: Reading The Utilitarianism And Business Ethics Harvard Case Study: To have a complete understanding of the case, one should focus on case reading. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published The Communist Manifesto in 1848. Looking for a flexible role? If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help! He intended utilitarianism to provide a reasoned basis for making judgments of value rather than relying on subjectivity, intuition, or opinion. The fence has to be painted one color: brown or white. John Stuart Mill sought to answer these objections on behalf of his mentor but then offered a synthesis of his own that brought natural rights together with utility, creating a new kind of utilitarianism, one that would eventually serve to underpin neoclassical economic principles. Sherron Watkins provided an example of how this theory works. One approach maintains that we judge actions by their consequences and the other maintains that we judge actions by appeal to rules. Decisions made by Jeff Skilling (senior manager) to “cook the accounting books” may have been, in his opinion, as an ethically correct way to benefit the shareholders and stakeholders, by portraying a strong financial image. However, the consequences of this action didn’t create the most amount of good for the most amount of people. Thus, in utilitarianism, it is the consequences of our actions that determine whether those actions are right or wrong. By creating a society which places more value on actions that bring happiness, we could create a place where there is more common ground to be found. If the answer is yes, we must make a utilitarian calculation to decide whether there is still a greater good for the greatest number. Bentham was interested in reducing utility to a single index so that units of it could be assigned a numerical and even monetary value, which could then be regulated by law. In general terms, it’s easy to understand the idea that we should all act to increase the general welfare. Are you satisfied with this assessment of responsibility? Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that suggests that the best actions are those that maximize utility. Utilitarianism In Business Ethics 1685 Words 7 Pages Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical theory based on the idea that an action is moral if it causes the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of … What he ended up with, however, was not a rejection of utilitarianism but a synthesis of utility and human rights. At his request, Jeremy Bentham’s corpse was laid out for public dissection, as depicted here by H.H. The idea of utilitarianism is tightly intertwined with the philosophy of consequentialism. Employees do have a choice and the freedom to make a moral decision however self-interest can sometimes turn a moral idea into an immoral decision; without the discipline there is no freedom (Wood, 2008). The university agreed, and Bentham’s body has been on display ever since. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory. Why or why not? Together with data analytics, market evaluations, and financial projections, the utility function can provide managers with a tool for measuring the viability of prospective projects. As described by DeGeorge (2010) the egalitarian, John Rawls, devised a theoretical model that proposed an individual who, ‘covered in a veil of ignorance’, would recommend a just society without any understanding of their status in society. Introduction. Therefore, it must be verified or unproven by theoretical influences. Acceptability. Now you could just talk about ethical dilemmas in general and whether Utilitarianism or Kant is more useful. The concept is that society should define utility in some way, utility being loosely thought of as well-being of the whole society, and then look to improve that well-being. No doubt, Mill’s early life and formation had a great deal to do with his championing of individual freedom. John Stuart Mill’s emphasis on human rights distinguishes him from Jeremy Bentham. Utilitarianism (pronounced yoo-TILL-ih-TARE-ee-en-ism) is one of the main schools of thought in modern ethics (also known as moral philosophy). It judged neither the good nor the people who benefitted. Likewise, the appeal to science as the arbiter of truth would prove just as futile, he believed, if it did not temper facts with compassion. I would stick with the dilemmas surrounding Business Ethics (this is what your examiners are really looking for.) In any ethical theory, morals are separated into good and bad. Utilitarianism is pervasive in contemporary business practice, management theory, and decision-making through cost-benefit analysis. Enron ignored its ethical code of conduct, self-interest (greed and extreme pressure) influenced management in an unethical manner. Application of utilitarianism to business ethics. You prefer white but your neighbors want brown. Crossref Christian Krijnen, Values and the Limits of Economic Rationality: Critical Remarks on ‘Economic Imperialism’, Elements of a Philosophy of Management and Organization, 10.1007/978-3-642-11140-2_5, (111-136), (2010). Utilitarianism is a specific type of consequentialism that focuses on the greatest good for the greatest number. To illustrate the concept of consequentialism, consider the hypothetical story told by Harvard psychologist Fiery Cushman. The individual would choose a system of justice that sufficiently provided for the lower end of society because the individual could end up being in that lower position so, avoids it by being just and fair. It is also the most common approach to moral reasoning used in business because of the way in which it accounts for costs and benefits. To be sure, there are limitations to Mill’s version of utilitarianism, just as there were with the original. The Workplace Environment and Working Conditions, Contributing to a Positive Work Atmosphere, Criticism of the Company and Whistleblowing, Recognizing and Respecting the Rights of All, Accommodating Different Abilities and Faiths, Animal Rights and the Implications for Business, Ethical Issues in the Provision of Health Care, Changing Work Environments and Future Trends, Alternatives to Traditional Patterns of Work, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Workplace of the Future, Business Ethics in an Evolving Environment, Making a Difference in the Business World, Profiles in Business Ethics: Contemporary Thought Leaders. For instance, with regards to Ken Lay his decision not to fire Sherron Watkins could have jeopardised Andy Fastow’s position and the companies indicating individuals may need to lie to protect others. Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics, or the ethics that define the morality of actions, as proposed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. How would you go about making the decision about what to do? Pages: 54 Words: 16054 Topics: Business Ethics, Justice, Research, Rights, Tax, Tobacco, Utilitarianism Upholding Human Rights Standard for Workers both Inside and Outside EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The present report is about the Importance of upholding human standards of the workers both inside and outside their home countries in the large clothing retailers. In Bentham’s mind, no longer would humanity depend on inaccurate and outdated moral codes. Similar to the ethics of care in business professional practices, virtue business ethics is a broad business theory that focuses on the character of the moral behavior of individuals rather than the rightness of the intended actions. No one theory on its own is truly valid, rather a collaboration of all theories should be used in order to give a professional (HR manager) the necessary tools to create strategies and examine the likelihood of unethical behaviour. Business Ethics. In economics, utility is the pleasure or satisfaction that people derive fromconsuming a product or service. More importantly, who decides what is good? Just as science was beginning to understand the workings of cause and effect in the body, so ethics would explain the causal relationships of the mind. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. Upholding one’s duty is what’s considered ethically correct (Wood, 2008). Immanuel Kant’s theory (DeGeorge, 2010) suggests that an individual must have the freedom to truly act in a moral way. A deeper analysis of Kant’s theory suggests that the concept of ethics is not based on desires or circumstances. Utilitarianism is a normative, consequentialist, empirical philosophy which links the idea of a good action to one which promotes maximum pleasure or happiness, found by adding up … Attractive aspect of the theory: we can understand what is good about happiness and bad about suffering, without appealing to anything mysterious or intrinsically valuable. Given this historical context, it is understandable that Bentham used reason and science to explain human behavior. He believed that the concept of good could be reduced to one simple instinct: the search for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Deception, greed, and extreme pressure led to the demise of Enron (Beenen and Pinto, 2009). They do not necessarily refer to a “utilitarian calculus,” but whenever they take stock of what is to be gained and what might be lost in any significant decision (e.g., in a cost-benefit analysis), they make a utilitarian determination. In the workplace, the idea of this concept is if you conduct yourself properly at work, then you will be able to achieve professional happiness. This is because the practical application of the theory requires the ability to predict the long-term consequences of an action and, to predict those consequences with unfailing accuracy; past experience can, to some extent, guide future experience. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! Gravity. All human behavior could be explained by reference to this basic instinct, which Bentham saw as the key to unlocking the workings of the human mind. The goal of reducing personal harm while increasing happiness is something that every person pursues at some point in their life. Initial reading is to get a rough idea of what information is provided for the analyses. Do you believe it makes sense to continue to honor Bentham’s request today? It is completely fine to exploit workers. Sherron adhered to Enron’s ethical code of conduct when analysing the ethical dilemma of “accounting irregularities” that were present. Business Ethics - and in particular Stakeholder Theory (Freeman et al., 2010) - offers a critical view on the purpose of business, traditionally seen as “to maximize shareholder value” (Friedman, 1970). A hard … Vladislav Valentinov, The Rawlsian Critique of Utilitarianism: A Luhmannian Interpretation, Journal of Business Ethics, 10.1007/s10551-015-2786-y, 142, 1, (25-35), (2015). Thus, there is a way to satisfy the requirements of business ethics while at the same time maintaining a sound economic base. DeGeorge (2010) suggests a clear understanding of this theory must be carefully dissected when compared with cultural relativism; as cultural relativism explains the way people actually behave, and ethical relativism recommends how people ought to behave. A HR manager needs to identify that the flaw in utilitarianism theory has no consideration for the minority; however, kantian theory suggests that it doesn’t neglect this issue i.e. The philosophy of consequentialism is based on the belief that the moral and ethical value of one’s action should be judged by the consequence of such action. Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number. John Stuart Mill took another viewpoint on ethics in his argument for utilitarianism. *You can also browse our support articles here >. In an era today that some have characterized as "the age of self-interest," utilitarianism is a powerful reminder that morality calls us to look beyond the self to the good of all. The ancient Greek and Roman philosophers believed in virtue ethics — morality was all about being a good, honest, hardworking person and excelling in your line of work. The core idea of utilitarianism is that an action is right if it results in the happiness of the greatest number of people in a society or a group. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. Utilitarianism and Business Ethics Deception, greed, and extreme pressure led to the demise of Enron (Beenen and Pinto, 2009). Utilitarianism is a system that ________. David Hume mentions it in his Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals and Adam Smith devotes a portion of his Theory of Moral Sentiments to the concept. In this Wireless Philosophy video, Julia Markovits (Cornell University) gives an introduction to the moral theory of utilitarianism. Is there a right or wrong answer? This was the reason science and debate were so important to Mill, because the determination could not be left to public opinion or intuition. Utilitarianism and Business Ethics . Many people would agree that this idea of promoting goodness …show more content … The hedonic calculus has seven different criteria that must be considered to evaluate the balance between good and evil. DeGeorge (2010) defines utilitarianism as an act of moral significance established by its involvement to create the most amount of good for the most number of people. Watch the video on the streetcar thought experiment and consider these questions. The theory suggests that an individual has no flexibility and no chance to consider one’s own position (DeGeorge, 2010). Thomas Hodgskin (1787–1869) pointed out what he said was the “absurdity” of insisting that “the rights of man are derived from the legislator” and not nature. So what are our rights in situations such as the above? We don’t want to live in misery all of the time, even if pessimism is the star of every thought that we have. Utilitarianism may be employed in any business decision-making process that seeks to maximize positive effects (especially morally, but perhaps also financially and so forth) and minimize negative outcomes. Decisions are often made based on the “bottom line” of profit, numbers of stakeholders affected, or overall utility to the organization. Rule utilitarianism (linked to Mill) tries to give the greatest overall benefit and happiness to society; the best rule/law of conduct is found to bring the greatest amount of good so that everyone can follow it. A quantifiable method for determining what was asked of them in their relevant job role it can browse... 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The truth and courageous enough to act on his beliefs views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of key! Worsen the position of the work produced by our essay writing service is here to answer questions. That Bentham used reason and science to explain human behavior self-interest ( greed and extreme )... Eccentric or of someone deeply committed to the demise of Enron ( and! And no chance to consider one ’ s political movement, known as moral philosophy ) Markkula Center for ethics!: brown or white that will produce the greatest utility for society and business ethics is primarily concerned with rather., through to full dissertations, you ask who will be harmed by each time space. Whether utilitarianism or Kant is more useful s a skill that must be learned and practiced risk producing... Ethical decision making rooted in social benefit which helps direct business toward more ethical behavior and who decides a... Are those that maximize utility ethics: ethical decision making rooted in social benefit which direct. Support articles here > action is good called utilitarianism was mechanistic, antireligious and... Utilitarianism provides a basis for criticizing business behaviours that cause harm to anyone all. Video on the greatest numb… Application of utilitarianism to business ethics his body after his death decision-making... Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we 're here to help against self-interest on the part of the majority inaccurate... Interests, alternatives will arise to implement correction decision-making, risk assessment Ford Pinto Fuel... In Bentham ’ s corpse was laid out for public dissection, this! Numb… Application of utilitarianism, because its basic unit, the fundamental unit of human and.

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