It is known that today ethics plays an important role in business. As companies work in close cooperation with each other and are part of society, they should abide by certain standards of behavior. That is why good business ethics should be a part of every company that successfully operates in the competitive market. As a rule, ethical issues depend on the nature of market, the company’s involvement in the community, fair marketing, the company’s treatment of customers, etc. (Devettere, 2009, p.21).
Today it is very important take into consideration not only teleological and deontological ethical theories, which are also known as action-based theories of morality, but also virtue ethics. It is known that virtue-based ethical theories are focused not on the rules which should be followed by people, but they are focused on helping employees to develop good traits of character, such as kindness, honesty, generosity, etc. These traits of character will give an opportunity to make the correct business decisions. The major goal of this paper is to critically analyze the case study of Mattel Inc., the world’s largest toy company within the context of virtue ethics. It is very important to discuss how the selected virtues may have more appropriately guided the actions and behaviors of the organization at issue.
THREE VIRTUES AND THEIR DEFINITIONS
It is known that virtue ethics is closely connected with the ideas of the famous ancient philosophers, such as Aristotle, Socrates and others. According to Raymond J. Devettere (2002), virtue ethics is rooted in human desires. The term desire stands for something stringer than a mere wish (p.13). Ethics originates in human desires to live well and behave well. Virtues are focused on humanity. Raymond J. Devettere (2002) states that virtues are rooted in what the Greeks referred to as the soul(p.64). In addition, he argues that what makes people good citizens is a set of virtues that are relevant for every individual regardless of their social position. The major virtues are justice, honesty and kindness.
The term justice can be defined in different ways. According to Aristotle, justice is the moral state which makes people capable of doing what is just, and which makes them just in action and in intention (Gardner, 2009, p.24). There are three main interrelated components of justice: just acts, just agent and just rules. They are considered as moral relationship.
The term honesty refers to a virtue that defines moral character. Honesty denotes only positive, and virtuous attributes which include integrity, truthfulness, as well as straightforwardness without lying, theft and cheating. Honesty is considered to be the best policy (Morse, 1999, p.50).
The term kindness stands for the state of being kind that is marked by positive and charitable behavior and that is focused on concern for other people. Kindness is one of the best virtues that are highly valued in all societies (Morse, 1999, p.49).