102 exam question 1 - Article Example

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In this particular group people make decisions based on what is best suit for personal gain or benefit; this decisions are made without considering their effect for others needs or feelings. Individuals obey rules that are established by more superior personnel; they tend to…
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Moral Development al Affiliation Moral Development Lawrence Kohlberg proposed that the development of moral reasoning and work ethics is characterized by a sequence of six stages clustered into three major levels of morality.
1. Preconvention,
2. Conventional,
3. Post conventional
These stages include:
Stage 1: Punishment-avoidance and obedience
In this particular group people make decisions based on what is best suit for personal gain or benefit; this decisions are made without considering their effect for others needs or feelings. Individuals obey rules that are established by more superior personnel; they tend to disobey if there is likelihood of not getting caught.
Stage 2: Exchange of favors
The rule of "you scratch my back, Ill scratch yours" tends to apply in this case. Individuals realize that other people also have needs. They may try to satisfy others needs if their own needs are also met in return (Kohlberg, 1984).
Stage 3: Good boy/Nice girl
People make decisions based on what actions will please others, especially authority figures and other individuals with high statuses such as managers. They are concerned about maintaining relationships through trust and loyalty. Individuals take other peoples perspectives and intentions into account when making personal decisions.
Stage 4: Law and order
Society is perceived as a guideline about right or wrong, however, they perceive rules to be inflexible; they do not necessarily recognize that as societies need change, rules should change as well.
Stage 5: Social contract
People recognize that rules represent agreements among many individuals about appropriate behavior. Rules are seen as potentially useful mechanisms that can maintain the general social order. People also recognize the flexibility of rules; rules that no longer serve a societys best interests can and should be changed.
Stage 6: Universal ethical principle
Only a few people ever reach this ideal stage. People in this stage adhere to a few abstract, universal principles. Individual answer to a strong inner conscience and willingly disobey laws that violate their own ethical principles.
In order to translate what is on paper, the theory to apply practically, the management will have to excises some functions such as work delegation; this enables individuals to fully exercise moral ethics which they presume as best suit.
Through consultations of individuals in decision making, moral and ethical behavior of individuals is revealed. Thus the management should involve its staff in decision making procedures. This will help a big deal in putting into practice the theory of moral ethics.
Problems with Kohlbergs Theory
1. Are there distinct stages to moral development?
The stages as stipulated by Kohlberg are distinct and tend to conflict. For example a person who justified a decision on the basis of principled reasoning in stages 5 or 6 would frequently fall conflict while reasoning with stages 3 or 4 in another events. In practice it seems that reasoning about right and wrong depends more upon the situation than upon general rules.
2. Is justice the most fundamental moral principle?
Gilligan claims that there is a sex bias in Kohlberg’s theory. He neglects the feminine voice of compassion, love and non-violence, which is associated with the socialization of girls (1977).
Gilligan reached the conclusion that Kohlberg’s theory did not account for the fact that women approach moral problems from an ‘ethics of care’, rather than an ‘ethics of justice’ perspective, which challenges some of the fundamental assumptions of Kohlberg’s theory.
Gilligan, C. (1977). In a Different Voice: Womens Conceptions of Self and of Morality, Harvard educational review.
Kohlberg, L. (1984). Essays on moral development: The psychology of moral development. Moral stages, Their Nature and Validity, Vol. 2. Read More
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