Moral philosophy Essay

Question #1

 Pick two moral philosophies from chapter six of the Ferrell text and apply to a “real world” opportunity/challenge/decision that you or your company has faced during the past year - Moral philosophy Essay introduction. Ensure that you justify the selection and application of the theories.
Moral philosophy can be defined as the specific principles or rules that people use to decide what is right or wrong. This will serve as guidelines in optimizing mutual benefit of people living together in groups and to determine how conflicts in human interests are to be settled. As business people formulate business strategies and resolve specific ethical issues they are somewhat directed by moral philosophies.

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Fair treatment and due reward in accordance with ethical or legal standards is called justice. Based on the perceived rights of individuals and on the intentions of the people involved in a given business interaction will determine the justice of a situation in business.

I chose this among the moral philosophies because this shows the real situation in a company. Like for example, if the boss happen to take advantage of his position. He forced his employees to do more work so he could take more time off. Justice must be applied in this situation. Even though he is the boss, he must learn not to abuse his position. This explains the distributive justice. Another situation is the performance evaluation in the company. If the employee deserves to be promoted, he must be promoted and all the compensations must be given to him to avoid the perception that the processes of fairness or justice in the company were inconsistent. This is based on the processes and activities that produce the outcome or results or the procedural justice. Based from interactional justice, the employees must avoid this kind of example, being untruthful about the true reasons for missing work or workplace absenteeism costs businesses millions of dollars each year, as an employee we must keep out of the way this kind of attitude.

The next moral philosophy that I chose is deontology because it focuses on the rights of individuals and on the intentions associated with a particular behavior rather than on its consequences. I like this because the idea that equal respect must be given to all persons is being mentioned in this philosophy. For example, it is wrong to kill an innocent person or commit a serious injustice against a person, because the action would violate the person’s right as an individual no matter how much greater social utility might result from doing so.

In business, even though the boss is the highest rank in the company, he must respect his employees and learn how to deal with them no matter what position he’s handling or even the person with lowest job description. Another example is the management can’t fire an employee without any valuable reason and legal explanation because this may result in violation of the individual’s right and it shows serious injustice to the part of the person involved.

Deontologists consider the nature of moral principles as lasting, firm and compliance to these principles explains ethicalness. Freedom of conscience, consent, privacy, speech and due process are the individual’s certain absolute rights. In this philosophy, the conformity to moral principles decides whether a behavior is ethical. For example, if a worker becomes ill or dies as a result of conditions in the workplace, the company must change its production processes to correct the condition, no matter what the cost even to the extent of company’s bankrupting and thus causing all workers to lose their jobs. The means is considered in deontological philosophy.

Question # 2

Pick one of the readings from the Harvard Business Review text and discussed what was learned from the reading. Learned can also mean a “relighting” of something known but forgotten. Then discuss how you could/would use this knowledge in a professional or personal setting.

According to the Harvard Business Review Text entitled “Bend the Rules, Don’t Break Them”, people live within the boundaries set by the rules. We try our best to be morally good. But when complicated situation comes, we have no choice but to bend the rules although it was not easy, certainly needs good tactics or strategies and gain deeper responsibilities to avoid breaking it.   I learned that being honest and loyal to an institution is really hard to perform especially if we are placed to circumstances that we need to decide righteously, like Balint. He was in the midst of two crucial decisions: Was he going to tell the approaching major lay off to his brother – in- law or maintain the confidentiality of his clients? It was really difficult for him to decide because this will endanger his career, networks and career prospects because he knew that breaking the rules was wrong and in some cases illegal. He imaginatively bent the rules by giving signals or hints without revealing everything he knew. I admired him because of his creativity on bending the rules without breaking it. I could imagine how he looked for the solution to his problem. Sometimes, if we encounter the same situation we usually compromise especially if our loved ones are involved. But the right way is we should always maintain the secrecy and the loyalty to the agreement made by two parties. If ever I have to face the same situation as a student, I must see to it that I stand on the right ground and I don’t break any rule. But if situation arises giving me no choice, bending the rules would be my last resort in solving it. Though it’s not an easy thing to do, I must stick to the rule of confidentiality.

Question #3

 Identify and discuss an ethical issue that has emerged during the past month. The issue can be from the news. Then apply one or more moral philosophies from Ferrell chapter six to the issued.

The news title is “The Reproductive Technology Council’s latest annual report has presented several ethical issues for South Australian politicians to tackle”. SA IVF report raises ethical issues. Posted Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:49am AEST. Updated Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:27am AEST. According to the news, the council is urging the SA Government to legislate to require sperm or egg donors to be willing to reveal their identity to any resulting children and needs to determine whether donors should have the right to direct where their sperm or eggs ends up based on race, sex, marital status and religion, without breaching anti-discrimination laws.

            The moral philosophy that I can apply in this news is egoism under teleology because it states that they make decisions that maximize their own interest. They’re planning to require sperms or egg donors for the country’s own benefit and that is to produce children through donations. Self – interest may be interpreted as physical well – being, pleasure, power, fame, wealth, a satisfying career, a good family life, or something else depending on the egoist.

Another philosophy is utilitarianism. According to this philosophy, they should make decisions or plan that result in the greatest total utility that achieves the greatest benefit for all those affected by a decision. In relation to the news, this implies that whatever the decision of the South Australian government must benefit the greatest number of their people. And if the response of the people is not that supportive, they must think of another strategy but the same goal or vision.

Question #4

 Discuss two topics from the Johanssen text that most impacted/enlightened you with new or updated information. In other words, what was the “best” part of the text for you? Justify your selection and how you could use this knowledge at work.

The best part of the text for me is the detailed and extensive “code of ethics for all intercultural communicators” presented by K.S. Sitaram and Roy Cogdell in Foundations of Intercultural Communication.

In this topic, they give the first 24 of their 35 ethical standards. They mentioned how we should respect the audience culture as our own. For example, if we will be a speaker in a seminar, we must be aware of the listener’s opinion or belief. We don’t have to force them to believe and accept our ideas and not to the extent of judging them because of the indifference of their values, beliefs, and customs.

In religion, we must never assume that our religion is superior over that of the other person’s religion, we must remember that there is no scientific evidence to prove that one ethnic group is superior or inferior to others; in dealing with members of a different religion we must try to understand and respect that religion; we should respect the way they dressed up; don’t contempt the unfamiliar odors which may be considered pleasant to other people of other cultures; we should not use the color of the skin as a basis for the nature of his relationship with other people and don’t look down at another person because he speaks with an accent different from one’s own. For example, in my work I have to admit that we aren’t all the same. I must learn to respect his religion. I have no write to laugh at him because of his clothing style and the way he speaks is different from mine. I must not discriminate my colleagues because we’re not the same in skin color.

I learned that even though we have individual differences, we can mingle and communicate to all people if we know how to respect each other. We can gain respect if we know how to respect also in return.

It also discusses the honest attempts to learn the language of his audience in preparation for interaction. For example, if a company’s management decided to build his business in country side, he must study first the language being used in that area to avoid difficulty in communication. Of course, they will cater the people on that vicinity for the success of the business. A good businessman knows how to deal with the people, learn the culture, respect beliefs and adapt the customs of the target place he is planning to accommodate.

I chose also Plagiarism as Culturally Variable and I want to focus also on the ethics of plagiarism. An unethical communication practice is plagiarism in North America (indeed Euro – American) culture. Plagiarism is being prohibited even to all the students of composition and communication classes because it shows dishonesty and unethically. A theft of an idea, the stealing of property that belongs to other person is categorized as plagiarism. Thus, I learned that in a company we should not practice plagiarism. For example, the project of one company must be unique and not an imitation because if they will plagiarize the work of other company, they will just looking of a problem. And it will not be of great help for the progress and success of the business. Fraud or deception is also considered as plagiarism. The exact example of this is the act of pirating the work or product of other without acknowledging the source and presenting the ideas or words as his own. We should not encourage and patronize piracy because it may cause destruction and downfall of the business.

Question # 5

Discuss how Business Ethics and/or Social Responsibility (communication) impact/relates to your personal and professional life, experience, and goals for the future.

The rules or principles that define right and wrong conduct commonly refer to us as Ethics and Human Resources Ethics. Nowadays, in many people’s eyes the behaviors which were once thought unacceptable like lying, cheating, misrepresenting, and covering up mistakes — have become acceptable or necessary practices. In school, cheating on tests is still rampant even to college students. So college students are not excuse to cheating.

Not only the company itself, but also its shareholders, employees and customers are affected when the employees act unethically. They can damage company’s reputation, productivity and profits as well.

But a strong ethical reputation can give a competitive edge to an organization, improve recruitment, and help retain current employees.

Why is ethics important to my life? Being a college student, I must maintain my ethics not to tell a lie, cheat, misrepresent and cover up my own mistakes. For example, I will take the examination, I must be trusted to “do the right thing”, especially when no one is looking or watching. Because it depends on me on how to control, to show and to act what is considered to be right and wrong in the school or workplace. After all, ethics is one topic that begins and ends with people. My ethics will show what kind of person I am. This will maintain my good reputation and integrity which will be of great help in my present life as well as in the future. If I will act unethically, not only myself, but also my family’s, relatives’, friend’s and school’s reputation will be affected.  Whatever my ethics now will determine the situation ahead of me. Thus, I must act ethically.

Question #6

If you had the power to change any part of this class what would it be and why. (Please do not worry; I am looking for honest feedback for future classes). What you say will not influence the grade for the exam, the question, or the class.

If ever I have the power to change any part of this class, I will make the class more interesting, enjoyable, and more personal so that the class can learn more without feeling bored and will not notice that it is already dismissal time.  Because as a student, I appreciate a lot if my professor is approachable, has a strong sense of humor, closer to his students and his goal is not only to educate but also to build a good relationship for his students to be cherished in the future.

I believe being a teacher is not that easy, plenty of pressures and work to do. Despite of these factors, a teacher should not forget that he is the second parent in school. Thus, he must be an ideal and a role model for them.

I know you want your class to be more commendable. Attitude of the teacher is a major factor to influence and handle his students. Terror teachers are being avoided by the students because they scare their students but there are also terror teachers who are loved by their students because they possess the characteristics that I mentioned above.

Question #7

            As a strategic leader, what actions would you take to establish and emphasize ethical practices/communication at your firm?

As a strategic leader, I will establish and emphasize ethical practices/communication at my firm by a good ethics program – educating, training, and communicating with employees on what is considered to be right and wrong in the workplace. This will be a successful guide for the employees to make the right decision especially during my absence. Most employees like to work for corporations they think are ethically intended that’s why I must have an effective ethics program that builds their morale.

To help set the standards for my employees, I must have well-communicated guidelines. This will increase the awareness levels among the employees. The employees become more confident in the self – regulating atmosphere of their new workplace as they learn to use an effective ethics program. To clear up any questions, a well explained code of ethics plays a pivotal role in employee’s empowerment. A formal document that states an organization’s primary ethics and values that its employees are expected to follow is called the code of ethics.  I will teach them how to follow the code of ethics.

To organize a powerful Human Resource department is my second action. Its roles are to create codes of ethics, introduce ethics training programs and hire ethics officers. Because having an effective, honest and responsible HR, they will be the inspiration for my employees. I must see to it that the HR carefully establishing the code of ethics. Personal character matters, product safety, product quality, environmental affairs, or civic and community affairs should not be omitted in effective ordinance of the code. Success can be found if I find a way to change the system so people can be influenced to act ethically and responsibly.

Question #8

 How can corporate governance foster ethical strategic decisions and behaviors on the part of managers and agents?

Managing of a company: company management techniques and processes in general, or the way a particular company is managed define corporate governance.
In managing a company, it should have a give and take relationship between managers and agents. An effective application of ethics program will result to successful corporate governance.

It sends a powerful message when a manager turns his head and looks the other way when it comes to a top employee who cheats on an expense account or accepts inappropriate gifts. From the top, the desired behavior must start and work its way through the entire organization. To expect honesty from their employees, the managers must be honest in return by establishing clear-cut policies, guidelines, and rewards.

The responsible managers must be role models to influence the agents and success in the business will follow.

Question # 9

Respond to the following: “Can everything people desire to express eventually be expressed in language, signs, or symbols? Be sure to justify your position.

Yes, everything that people desire must be expressed eventually in language, signs, or symbols. Desire means to want something very strongly. If we want something, we may apply the three factors.

If a manager wants to communicate with his agents, he will talk to them accordingly with the use of language. For example, the implementation of good ethics program, he must explain everything to guide the employees and to be able to set standards for them well-communicated guidelines is needed.

But in some cases, signs and symbols are effective tools in expressing something. For example, if we don’t want to hurt the feeling of the agent who acts unethically, we can give illustrations that fully understand the repercussions of ethical misconduct and shows that such behavior will not be tolerated if we don’t want to direct the person.

Always remember that everything people desire to express must depend accordingly to the formal document that states an organization’s primary ethics and values that are expected to follow and that is the code of ethics even though it is expressed in language, signs, or symbols.

 If we will base the way of expressing something in the code of ethics, we won’t experience problems and mocking among the agents or co – employees.

 The foundations for any solid business relationship are honesty and trust. Remember, if we don’t have a track record of integrity or ethics, we can’t form a close and sincere relationship with suppliers, customers, and the public.

Question #10

 Are people basically selfish (egoistic) or basically generous (altruistic)? Justify your position.

People are basically selfish (egoistic).

The right or acceptable behavior in terms of its consequences for the individual is defined as egoism. This is defined differently by each individual according to the decisions that maximize their own self – interest. Self – interest may be interpreted as physical well – being, pleasure, power, fame, wealth, a satisfying career, a good family life, or something else depending on the egoist.

“Do the act that promotes the greatest good for oneself”, this is the egoist’s creed in general. They may help the people that need our service but they are expecting something in return or for their own benefit. For example, there is a coworker who is making false financial reports and the egoist calls the attention of the management regarding this matter to safeguard the company’s reputation and thus his own job security.

When it comes to business, the company donates money, resources, or time to specific causes and institutions, their motives may not be purely altruistic either. For example, one computer company has a plan of action of sponsoring or decreasing the cost of computers to educational institutions; in exchange, the company receives tax breaks for donations of equipment, which reduces the cost of its philanthropy. And it hopes to build future profit by placing its products on schools thus the students may request the products with which they have become familiar. Although the actions help society in general, in the long run they also benefit the company.


Ferrell, O.C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2008). Business ethics. Ethical decision-making and cases. (7th ed). ISBN: 978-0-618-74934-8.

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