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Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative (CI) theory proffers that actions or decisions must be made according to a prescribed general rule where everyone is expected to abide as “a rule that is true in all circumstances” (BBC, 1). Likewise, in another discourse, the…
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Download file to see previous pages In this regard, the essay aims to provide two concrete business examples of Kant’s CI theory by elaborating on the dilemma and by providing appropriate solutions, as deemed ethically appropriate.
The term lay-offs are defined as “suspension or termination of employment (with or without notice) by the employer or management” (Business Dictionary, par. 1). The option for management’s decision to layoff employees are evaluated when organizations are faced with any of the following: business slow-down, financial difficulties, work interruption, positions are no longer required, among others. More significantly, justifications could be categorized as any of the following moves, to wit: to make strategical organizational changes, to make necessary improvements, or ultimately, to save the company from further dilemmas.
Despite the mentioned justifications, layoffs have been known to cause emotional pain, stress, suffering and anxiety for potential employees to be laid off and to the supervisors who are appointed, by responsibility, to inform the employees of the decision. Ethical dilemmas of layoffs ensue when employees need to be terminated despite appropriate and expected performance delivered according to their job descriptions.
Using Kant’s CI, Gilbert emphasized that “applying a rights and duties approach to the ethical analysis of layoffs, it appears that the central question is whether an employee has a moral right to his or her job, and whether supervisors then have a corresponding moral duty not to terminate that employee until he or she forfeits that right” (Gilbert, 16). Using Kant’s basic premise of the CI, the supervisor is given the duty by senior management to layoff identified employees to ensure that the organization would survive, an impending financial threat that could be due to recession, depending on their performance in the company, length of service, and other ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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