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According to Kant, it is morally wrong to lie. He argued, in general, business lies and it makes it difficult to obtain a balance credit if everyone lies. Kant also argued that ethics is irrelevant in the business because most business lies and behave immorally (ibid).
In order to be ethical business, one must believe that shareholders and customer have dignity. They are valuable human beings and worth more than the stock or the price of the goods (ibid). Kant’s recipe for business management is (1) to treat people respectfully and consider they have dignity. Commercial transaction is not prohibited but one has to treat the others as an end not merely as a means. Acting deceptive in commercial transaction indicates dishonesty and lack of ethics, even without rational and moral capacities. This requires businesses not to coerce or deceive their shareholders or customers.
Asymmetric information is common in business. Too often, managers or individuals with more information tend to consider themselves powerful and yet, are abusive to others. Kant suggested that (2) to reduce power abuse in business management, it is necessary there is open book management or transparency relationship between employers and employees. Said Bowie, when employees have full information, they have the incentive to behave responsibly.
Case (1995) agreed with Kant concerning open book management. He said, open book management gives the opportunity to employees to take “a chance and act to take responsibility, rather than just doing their job… gets people on the job doing things right… teaches them to make smart decisions… because they can see the impact of their decisions on the relevant numbers” (p. 45-46).
The practice of open management would correct asymmetrical information the managers have (Bowie, 1999). Since managers have more information, they tend to abuse
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According to the author, on Kant's view, what matters in evaluating an action is not the consequence, but the principle that is employed in intending. Two individuals can do the same thing, but one of them do wrong and the other right, depending on what they will. Our evaluation of action, on Kant's view, will depend on the maxim of the action.
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