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Business Ethics - Essay Example

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(Assignment) Business Ethics I According to Kant’s principles, it is the intention behind an action, not its consequences, that makes the action good. In other words, persons of good will do their duty because it is their duty to do so…
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Download file to see previous pages In this case, there are no ifs and buts. However, a close look reveals the fact that applying Kant’s principles into the modern business world is a tough task due to many reasons. The first such issue that requires attention is the fact that Kant proposes that the same maxim can be applied to two moral dilemmas. However, it seems that at times, there are issues of conflicting duties. For example, the United States in the 1990s witnessed the shutting down and massive layoffs of many enterprises. A closer look reveals the fact it becomes impossible to assess this situation using Kant’s ideology. To illustrate, the Kant’s philosophy would argue that the employees, in such cases, are being used as mere means to enhance the shareholder wealth, and hence, it is immoral from the part of the company to shut down. If someone agrees that it is immoral from the part of the company to shut down, and that the company should run irrespective of the consequences of that action, the issue gets more complicated. For example, the company is showing injustice towards its shareholders. In other words, when the company resorts to showing morality towards the employees by avoiding layoffs, it fails to show the same morality towards its shareholders. Thus, it becomes evident that Kant’s theory of categorical imperative is not absolute in nature. Yet another example is the forced retirement of employees in a company so that the company can pass through a financial crisis by reducing expenses. It is very evident that according to the widely accepted notion in the business field, it is justifiable to crucify a few innocent if it does good to the majority. However, the Kant ideology is in stark contradiction with this ideology. In both the cases, it seems difficult to find a solution that can do justice to all the stakeholders. However, a solution to this kind of issues comes from the notion of open book management. This method was developed and implemented by Jack Stack at the Springfield Manufacturing Company. According to Schuster, Carpenter and Kane (227), under the open book management system, the company informs its employees about the financial situation of the company on a regular basis. Thus, when the employees possess sufficient knowledge about the performance and financial situation of the company, they too have an equal responsibility in the running of the company. It is very evident that in open book management, employees get a chance to take wise decisions about their performance and career. So, if the company faces a situation like layoff, the level of suspicion and confusion will be far less, and sometimes, the committed employees may propose to work for a limited wage to face the crisis. Anyhow, it is highly unlikely from the part of employees to allege that they are deceived by the company. Thus, it becomes evident that a proper understanding of the Kant ideology and its application in the workplace will make more meaningful workplace by enhancing self-respect and freedom. In addition, it means the removal of a layer of supervisors as the company no longer requires supervisors to monitor its employees. To sum up, when the employees are allowed autonomy, when they are provided reasonable salary and conducive workplace, and when the company does not interfere with their moral development, one can say that Kant’s theory of categorical imperative is accepted in spirit. II Principles of affirmative action are the principles which are intended ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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