Looking at Different Ethical Issues

Reflection Prompt #1

Ethical Theories:

Duty Theory

It asserts that ethical/moral standards are based on various duties or obligations that people have. There are principles set forward on how people should carry themselves and how not to. The rules set forward are expected to be followed at all times regardless of the outcome. People are also expected to treat others how they would want to be treated in return.

People running businesses using this theory should at all times produce products that have been approved by the law. This means that there is no production of illegal products or inclusion of ingredients that would result to harming consumers. The employees should be treated based on various laws that govern them. Relevant safety procedures should be enhanced during the production process. With the profits derived, it would be ethical to pay all the relevant taxes that are due to the relevant authority.

Virtue Theory

This theory postulates that an individual’s character determines a lot about that person’s ethical aspects. These encompass the natural urges that people have. Human beings are known to work towards fulfilling their self gratifications. The aspect pushes people to act in ways that are not ethical. A moral person ought to know the limits that they should maintain while aiming to attain self gratification in order to remain within the acceptable ethical actions.

People running businesses using this theory would construct their businesses by providing consumers with products that would make them feel fulfilled. If the owner of the product cannot consume it and feel contented, then it is not worth being sold to other people. This would help business owners into acting ethically and avoid production of inferior and harmful products. Business owners should always treat their employees the way they would want to be treated if they were in a similar position. The question to ask is would I feel happy if someone had employed me and treating me the way I am treating my employees?


It is an ethics theory that is based on the consequences that emanate from an action. People tend to consider whether the consequences are bad or good. On most occasions, consequences may entail both good and bad elements. Here, it will take a matter of analysis in order to determine whether the good aspects outweigh the bad ones. When the good aspects are more, the action is considered to be favorable hence ethical.

People running businesses using utilitarianism theory should always consider the costs and benefits of every product before it is developed. Only products with benefits that outweigh the costs should be developed. Benefits to consumers should be included in this analysis too. Treatment of employees will be based on the outcomes emanating from every possible action. Actions that bring positive outcomes will be more preferred. This way both the well-being of the organization and that of employees will be enhanced. Utilization of profits and resources should always go to activities that generate most favorable outcomes.



Reflection Prompt #2

Corporations are usually subjected to various penalties as a result of acting unethically. They include:

Fines- Under this approach, an organization is requested to pay a certain amount of money for acting in a certain unethical way. The amount of fine involved is usually dependent with the nature of ethical violation. The problem associated with this punishment is that most corporations just view it as a cost of conducting business.

Corporate Incapacitation- This form of punishment restrains a corporation from conducting certain activities that it was involved in previously. It might be temporary or permanent. This is usually achieved by way of revoking licenses or disqualification from obtaining certain contracts.

Corporate Shaming- Here, the relevant authority requires a company that is acting unethically to make a public announcement regarding the violations that they have perpetrated. This is expected to ruin the corporation’s reputation hence affect its business negatively.


There also exist several threats to running an ethical business. They include:

Profit motive: On most occasions, the motive to make profits usually conflicts with the organization’s social responsibility aspects. The expectations bestowed on the managers by shareholders prompt them to act in ways that are not ethical.

Group think- This is usually a threat to running an ethical business since there is no individual responsibility. People tend to think that they can do something unethical and escape the consequences.

Organizational Schizophrenia- This arises when there is tension between various objectives within the organization. At this point it is not clear what is important to the organization. Employees might end up acting unethically since they tend to make their own judgment.


Corporations should also have similar codes of morality just like people. This is because they act in similar capacities like people. They usually have the right to own property, sue and be sued among other things. This way it will be easy to tame people that hide behind the curtains of corporations in order to act unethically.


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