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A Philosophical Approach - Assignment Example

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A Philosophical Approach to Ethics Name of Course Your Name Your University Abstract This paper examines the philosophical elements of ethics and its inherent debates. It is applied to modern day business through the use of Trevino & Nelson’s Eight-Step model of ethical decision making…
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A Philosophical Approach

Download file to see previous pages... The development of ethics has come with some controversies and debates. There are philosophers like Immanuel Kant who believe that there is a universal set of laws that apply to all human beings and all situations (O'neill, 1993). This therefore means that what is right and what is wrong is universal and on no account should it be compromised (Shiples & Maier, 2011). However, there are the utilitarians who argue that if something does the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people, then that can be seen as good (Tavani, 2011). Although utilitarians claim their approach is the most practical, there is an issue of whether it is the best, because if 99% of people have enslaved 1% of people and subjected them to the worst and most severe conditions, can we say that it is good? This is the fundamental debate about ethics and its foundations Review of the Pinto Fires Dennis Gioia narrates the incidents of the Ford-Pinto brand in the 1970s which was an ethical dilemma and how it caused the death of several innocent people. A summary of the facts are narrated from Trevino & Nelson (2007): In the late 1960s, there was a huge demand for sub-compact cars around the globe and German and Japanese manufacturers were set to take over the international market. Ford, the American car manufacturer had to internationalize quickly and catch up with its competitors on the global market. The Ford-Pinto was designed and there were signs that it would do well internationally, so there was the need to speed up the research and development process to begin mass production to meet the huge demand. Ford’s Vice President, Lee Iacocca asked for the acceleration of the development process from 43 months to 38 months and this was accepted by the President who was a man of repute. The engineers identified that there was a major flaw in the car’s combustion and fuel system that made it vulnerable to explosions during accidents. However, due to the need to accelerate the development process, the engineers were not given ample time to correct the error. This led to the development of a car that led to the death of many users. In 1978, a Pinto car crash that killed the passengers led to a legal action the criminalization of the Ford company for the lack of proper care to develop a safer car. Ethics & The Pinto-Fires The Pinto case comes with several questions related to ethics. First of all, did the Vice President and the management team of Ford really act ethically? What were their major responsibilities and did they fail totally? Is it fair to attribute the death of passengers in one of many automobile accidents in America to the top-level management? What was the responsibility of the other people in Ford? The Eight-Step Model Trevino & Nelson (2007) identify eight steps which must be followed in taking ethical decisions in businesses. If this model was applied, it is likely that the management of Ford would have worked out a different approach to the Pinto brand and avoided a few issues. Step 1: Gather the Facts: First of all, the management of Ford should have gathered all the facts relevant to the global automobile industry. This way, they would have gotten enough information to identify the need to consider safety as a primary issue. However, it is clear that the focused more on internationalization and the capturing of market share ahead of the safety of their customers. Step 2: Define the Ethical Issues: ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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