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In order to be successful, a business must be moral. This paper addresses Alfred North Whitehead’s statement “What is morality in any given time and place? It is what the majority then and there happen to like, and immorality is what they dislike” (Solomon & Higgins, 2009, p.273). As for business, it can have ethical standards, even though businesses are not moral agents. This statement is true because to work well, any business has to incorporate an element of morality. Morality in business is evident when a company provides equal opportunities for all employees. As a result, morals in a business setting act as a guide for employees and managers to work conscientiously.
The value of ethical standards in business is that it provides employment opportunities for potential personnel without putting into consideration such aspects as sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, nationality, and color. If business adopts the above ethical standards, it concurs with Whitehead’s statement of morality. The reason is that people will like this business and associate it with terms of work and consumer relations. In my opinion, the profit alone cannot be the bottom line of business, even though it is essential for any commerce to make a profit to prove that it is operating in the right direction.
To be successful, business has to balance its goals and client service as vital aspects that contribute to a good return. The most significant goal of business is to make money, but there are other less tangible goals that are intrinsic. For instance, when business initiates a good relationship with its employees through giving rewards, it is a sign of appreciation that motivates employees to present quality work. The other intrinsic goal of business is signing of the purchase contracts, which bring a company to the next level. This is a moral step because it satisfies clients. At the same time, it expands business, increase returns and gives a status quo to company (Jeurissen, 2007).
It is vital for individuals to be moral because it makes them act with the judgment of values as they come into effect. For instance, when people upgrade moral standards in society, their characters become worthwhile, and this must go hand in hand with the values. In a business scenario, morality is when employees begin to work on time, and the value that determines this is punctuality. Teenagers need to be moral by learning the ethical standards of behavior with their peers, parents, and other adults. Generally, the moral qualities of individuals enable them to initiate successful relationships with other people. This enhances respect and gives the opportunity to contribute positively to society by taking responsibility of their actions and assisting other people. There is a need for organizations to be moral in order to assist managers in decision-making and handling ethical conflicts. Moral behavior in organizations, especially managers’ conduct, enables employees to follow their good example, hence upgrading the ethics of business.
In the business environment, it would be appropriate to apply Kant’s categorical imperative because it involves the moral law, which can help organization to upgrade its ethics through ensuring that it fulfills the motives of workers and business in a rational manner. The opposite point of view is about deontological ethics in business because it can lead to morally forbidden business choices. On the other hand, teleological ethics is also not suitable for business because it claims that the rightness of an act is evident at the end, which implies that one has to be ready to face the risks or profits.
For running a business successfully, the manager must be sure how it operates in order to avoid loses, hence realizing what act was wrong. Application of moral objectivism in business enables it to meet its realism, which plays a positive role because it helps in attaining the company’s goals. Ethical relativism works well in regard to society, which determines whether an action is right or wrong. However, in my opinion, this perspective is not relevant to some business setting because its rules may contradict public perception.
Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics. It determines a proper course of action as the one that maximizes happiness as a result of utility and reduces suffering. Categorical imperatives based on the ethical system of Immanuel Kant are certainly the moral law, which applies to all beings who are rational and independent of any personal desire or motive. Moral relativism is the perception that moral judgments are true or false, and it is applicable to a certain standpoint. This happens in a historical period or culture when no position is privileged over others. It is associated with a claim about morality that diverse cultures exhibit different moral values.
Moral absolutism refers to an ethical perspective that various actions are absolutely wrong or right, regardless of circumstances such as intentions or their consequences. Ethical relativism is a critical theory, which argues that morality applies to the norms of other people’s culture meaning that moral norms of society determines whether the action is correct or not. Moral objectivism is a strong moral realism and also meta-ethical view, in which ethical sentences reveal the factual proposition concerning independent world features, where some suggestions are true (Lavoie & Chamlee-Wright, 2002).
Deontological ethics or deontology is a form of normative theory that reveals choices, which are morally forbidden, permitted or required. Teleological ethics states that the rightness of an act depends on how it will end. The difference between descriptive and normative morality is that descriptive shows the individual’s beliefs on morality. Normative or prescriptive morality concerns ethical theories, which prescribe the actions of individuals.