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Posted on May 31st, 2012, by

It is hard to choose what moral theory will work better in making business decisions. Nevertheless two main principles of ethic argumentation are considered to be:

οƒ˜ Utilitarianism ”“ “the greatest happiness for the greatest number” (Ethics & ethic theories, 2004).

οƒ˜ Moral imperative ”“ moral decisions depend on definite results (any graft is an evil; fraud of one client is as amoral, as fraud of many of them).

If there is a conflict between ethic norms of different levels, it is recommended to solve it using a principle of priority. Many decisions have moral aspects, which affect interests of other organizations, but a right choice not necessarily belongs to the sphere of ethics. Though economic grounding of decisions plays a leading role, it doesn’t mean that ethics is less important than economic profit (Beauchamp, 2004). Ethics is meant to make a decision, justified from different viewpoints. For example, a decision to sell alcohol to underage children will increase profit, but is unacceptable from ethic and social viewpoints.

The most adequate moral theory of making decisions is when managers act according to the following scheme:

οƒ˜ Gather information for many-sided justification of a decision and predict positive and negative affects.

οƒ˜ Choose ethic macro norms and micro norms. For example, if some companies follow confidentiality of correspondence by e-mail with reference to inviolability of messages, other companies may control correspondence with reference to ownership rights on computers and information. In such a way, ethic decision is a distinct declaration of corporation’s politics.

οƒ˜ If an ethic justification is not enough to make a decision, businessmen should consider economic, technological and social arguments.

Flexible appliance of business ethics allows corporations to use potential of ethic factor to full extent and avoid conflict between other factors.

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