There are a number of substantial theories on business ethics, and each theory has its own definite indication on how to ethically conduct business and relate with employees and clients. As a result, of this, it is crucial to place significant focus on two theories, where detailed explanations of rights theory and justice theory are given. Rights Theory The rights theory of business ethics revolves around the notion and need for global and universal human rights, which guarantee that everyone is protected from certain harmful business practices and tendencies. This is such that every individual has rights and should therefore, be treated with dignity and respect in every aspect and that the wellbeing of the individual should be upheld in the activities of transacting business (Vitez, n.d).
This covers both clients and business practitioners, where the interest and needs of both parties are incorporated in the code of interests for mutual benefit and protection resulting in rights approach of business ethics. In the rights approach to business ethics, two aspects or elements receive a great deal of attention in that, they are crucial as human rights and gain to every individual.
These are elements of security and development, which are emphasized as security is important as a human right (Robinson, 2004). Every individual in a business should remain protected from harmful practices, harmful practices being in reference to violation in personal and corporate security. The violation of this security should be part of business ethics according to the theory of rights in that, humans are entitled to security on all levels possible in relation to exploitation, discrimination and mistreatment. This theory proposes that morals play a large role in individual application of ethical conducts so that businesses can achieve their goals without having to violate the rights of others including their own by not misusing and mistreating other people.
In addition, the theory of rights in business ethics largely talks of the role of morality in ensuring that ethics are followed as individuals must apply their own discretion of right and wrong, as well as good and bad (Neely and Boyd, 2010). In this case, the human rights theory can be seen in ethical practice in discrimination cases, where human rights grant everyone the right to equal status in society.
As a result, women, children and men are equal and should be treated as equals in a business in relation to provision of services and employment opportunities. Services are not dedicated expressly for one gender or denied to another, but instead are availed to parties that are interested but based on the discretion of the service provider (Trobec et al, 2009). This is because there are moral issues that could lead to the denial of service to certain interested parties and, of course, there are also the principles of the service provider.
The rights theory of business ethics therefore requires businesses to have a conscious and a sound moral judgment or sense in order to ensure that human rights are upheld. In addition, privacy as a human rights issue is advocated for, especially in sensitive cases of personal data, details or information that could be incriminating (Olsen, 2003). Defending human rights should be part of the core values of a business in order to ensure that the privacy of clients and employees as this violation could lead to complications in terms of security and discrimination against involved parties. In addition, human rights theory of business ethic has its focus on positive and negative rights, where positive rights refers to imposition of obligation on people to provide other people with goods and services.
On the other hand, negative rights refer to the obligation of other people to refrain from interfering with the freedom of action of an organization, which comes hand in hand with the previously mentioned ensuring human rights are upheld.
With this in mind, the human rights theory shows that all natural rights that are entitled to a person by virtual of being human and morality holds precedence over all everything else. However, the rights tends to have a significant weakness or shortcoming in that the theory does not come up with clear guidelines on what rights take precedence over the rest. This might be in contradiction with the personal judgment, but morality and human rights are not in conflict.
Instead, the two work hand in hand by ensuring that rights are met and not denied, but not in the order that the rights should be respected. This is left to the discretion of the business to decide which services are due, and which should not be provided, as well as the order in which they are delivered to those who need them. Justice Justice theory of business ethics focuses on the equal treatment of all individuals in a society, where none of them is superior or inferior to the other on basis of rank, position, class, creed or race.
It bears similarity to the concepts depicted in the rights theory, where it is the right of every person to be treated equally and without discrimination as is common in modern society. It goes on to create room for unequal treatment of individuals, but sets a framework for it to be manifested and run in an ethical manner (Baugher and Weisbord, n.d). As such, justice theory of ethics depicts that in an organization should one individual be treated on an unequal level from the rest of them, there must be a reason for it, and that the reason must be justifiable.
Such a reason for justification could be technical or even exclusive in terms of the characteristics of the individuals involved and the characteristics of the position or situation that causes unfair treatment. As a result, the justice theory calls for certain justice in all aspects of a business ranging from employment to compensation, as these aspects determine the code of ethics in an organization. In the case of compensation, not all employees are compensated in the same way, as is the same case in selection to fill certain positions and this could be due to a variety of factors.
This amounts to injustice, but the justification is the level of expertise that the employee possesses and the amount of achievements by the said employee. This becomes the justification that one must follow a certain code of ethics for the smooth running of the business and for justice to be served. In addition, the justice dwells on social justice in order to establish the legitimacy of the business as with this fundamental social justice, the ethics of a business can be upheld (Dempsey, 2011).
In addition, the justice theory is the most common due to its simple application in business enterprises as makes room for justification for every occurrence. It is for this reason it is viewed as immoral for business to follow this theory despite its application and ethical dynamism as the justification may make even unjust events look real (Fort and Zollers, 1999). The above creates a loophole for the theory as everything in business ethics based on this theory is based on arbitral issues left to the discretion of authority and not morality and in order of suitability.
The ethical theory does not ensure transparency in cases of disparity based on biases and not on actual events as should be in the theory, but rather arbitration takes the day. In conclusion, the rights theory of business ethics follows the model of basic human rights modeled after natural positive and negative rights. The theory depicts the perfect work ethics situation, where personal morality combines with rights of other people for the best code of business ethics.
On the other hand, the justice theory focuses on justification of cases of discrimination cases, both positive and negative, where all persons in a business should be treated equally with no discrimination whatsoever. References Dempsey, J. (2011). Pluralistic business ethics: the significance and justification of moral free space in integrative social contracts theory. Business Ethics: A European Review, 20(3), 253-266. Olsen, D.P. (2003). "Influence and coercion: relational and rights-based ethical approaches to forced psychiatric treatment. " Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing 10, no.
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