Ethical Decision Making in Business : an Framework

Ethical Decision Making in Business

Ethics related to the rules and beliefs of doing the right thing. Business ethics is code of conduct in business. It talks about standard of behaviors of business in the term good and evil. Sometimes it sounds contradictio in terminis. Business is about profit or loss, then ethics is about good and evil. But evil profit business is not sustainable. We can get bad relationship with communities by that. It also harm to our planet. If we need sustainable business we need to do good profit business. Sometimes, loss in business is okay, if we do good and right decision. The decision can rebound the crisis.

Business Ethics or Moral Ethics?

Why business ethics? Why not business moral? Ethics is different than moral. Ethics is philosophy of morals. That can help to guide to make ethical decision making in business.

Create Common Ground in Business Relationship

Ethics is rational foundation of morals. Morals is code of conduct that exist in society. Ethics is personal thinking about good and evil conduct, and common opinion about good and evil in specific communities or society. Different societies has different moral.

Ethics can help found common ground of ethical value between different morals. In business, people have opportunity to meet another people from different morals. Moral based conflict can occur, not because the both bad, but because they have different concrete moral.

Create Tolerance and Respect

Ethics can help identify the similarities of different concrete morals. Maybe they have same moral foundation. Ethics can help to search the foundation. It will create an attitude of tolerance and respect. Thus ethics helps sustainable business cooperation between stakeholders.

Framework of Ethical Decision Making in Business

Philosopher Ethic’s Toolbox

What is the basis of good standards of conduct in business? Philosophers assist in formulating what is good in a rational manner. In business, deontological, utilitarian and ethical egoism are often used to be ethical decision making. Deontological ethical theory emphasizes the principle of obligation in living together in decisions. Utilitarian ethical theory emphasizes the impact of decisions on communities. The theory of ethical egoism emphasizes the benefits for decision makers and business organizations.

Open Mind in Business Ethics

This ethical framework helps formulate decisions that conform to that ethic. The guideline demands concern for common interests and openness. This means that the decision considers the interests of various parties, including those who are vulnerable to becoming victims. The decision is open means that it is open to change if there is new information that significantly changes the viewpoint of what is best. Because human knowledge about the impact of decisions comes gradually. Never complete when decisions are made. Being open to change does not mean indefinitely waiting for complete, complete information. Decisions can be justified ethically by relying on information available at that time.

Ethical Decision Making for Common Interest

This ethical framework helps formulate decisions that conform to that ethics. This is not a detailed and fixed guideline. This framework realizes that the information used is limited, and there is still information that is not yet known. The guideline demands concern for common interests and openness. This means that the decision considers the interests of various parties, including those who are vulnerable to becoming victims.

The decision is open means that it is open to change if there is new information that significantly changes the viewpoint of what is the best. It is tentative, because human knowledge about the impact of decisions comes gradually. No complete information when decisions are made. Being open to change does not mean indefinitely waiting for complete information. Decisions can be justified ethically by relying on information available at that time.

Ethical Decision Making Challenge

Although humans can formulate what is good rationally from the mind, doing good things is not always easy. There are forces of habits, situations, organizations and institutions that can deflect ethical consideration, both consciously and unconsciously.

In order to escape from that power and take ethical action, it is necessary to change from the level that is most controllable, namely the self. It is necessary to examine mental frames and attitudes that ignore the ethical dimension, both consciously and unconsciously. Furthermore, it is necessary to maintain a distance and loosen the influence of the strength of the situation, organization and institution, and enrich the frame and point of view with ethical dimensions. The dimension of concern for those who are vulnerable to be victims of our decisions.