Essays on Business Ethics and Cultural Relativism Case Study

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The paper "Business Ethics and Cultural Relativism" is a wonderful example of a Business Case Study. The main aim of any business corporation is to maximize returns on investment. Most companies today are so keen on designing and implementing sustainable corporate social responsibility programs in addition to upholding high standards of ethical practice. However, in some cases, the due ethics are not upheld leading to detrimental effects on the lives of clients and the environment. This paper will discuss ethical theories and their application to the auto companies in China as a case study. Utilitarianism The main focus that guides decisions under this theory are the outcome or consequence of an act as opposed to the act itself hence a consequentialist theory.

Utilitarianism is concerned with the best available actions that can produce the best consequence. Utilitarianism stands for the greatest good for the greatest number. There are two main features of utilitarianism: the utility principle which states that the only thing good in itself lies in the specificity of state such as happiness, welfare, pleasure among others (Pojman, 1995). Therefore it holds pleasure and pain as the only good and evil respectively (Pojman, 1995).

The second principle, the consequentialist principle believes that the rightness or wrongness of any act is determined by the resultant consequence. Utilitarians can be categorized into two: rule utilitarians and act utilitarians (Pojman, 1995). Rule utilitarians hold that any act is right if it conforms to a valid set of principles that when upheld will result in the best outcomes. On the other hand, act utilitarianism holds that we must always apply the principle to all the available options we have at any given moment before making a moral decision (Pojman, 1995). Ethical issues and discussion From the case study of auto companies in China, (Velasquez 2012), and based on the utility principle, the company ensures that it provides comfort, convenience, and affordable automobiles to the middle class that comes with pride of ownership.

This holds an ethical decision based on pain or pleasure as the outcomes that determine the best option. The government and other partners are also funding the sector with the main aim to ensure that the economy gets a boost which in turn uplifts the living standards of the people which according to the utility principle is ethical since the masses are bound to benefit.

On the other side, the effects of pollution from the vehicles is posing a real threat to the environment by depleting the ozone layer. The smog has escalated the cases of tuberculosis and lung cancer, while fuel consumption is depleting the scarce natural oil resources. Consequently, there is a rise in fuel prices which makes living standards more expensive and has even resulted in civil unrest in the Middle East.

The decision to expand and sustain this industry is for the good of the people and the economy on one side. On the other hand, the same decision has many different resultant negative effects on the global community on a larger scale. Based on the utilitarianism theory the decision is not ethical since by making the lives of a few individuals who can afford the luxury of a car better, it is threatening the lives of billions of others all over the globe.

The decision to counter the effects by introducing electric cars still depletes the coal resource which means that the depletion is being transferred from oil to coal which is still unethical. This is therefore not a decision made with the “ best of the greatest numbers and also as concluded by (Leonard & Zeckhauser, 2001: Kelman, 2001) who hold that when the benefits of a decision are outweighed by the cost of making it then it is not worth.

References

Boatright, J.R. (1997). Ethics And The Conduct Of Business (2nd ed.) (pp. 83-104). Prentice Hall.

Bowie, N.E. (1993). Business Ethics and Cultural Relativism. In T.I. White (Ed). Business ethics: a philosophical reader (pp. 790-799). Macmillan.

Kelman, S. (2001). Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Ethical Critique. In W.M. Hoffman, R.E. Frederick & M.S. Schwartz (Eds). Business ethics: readings and cases in corporate morality (4th ed) (pp. 104-110). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Leonard, H.B. & Zeckhauser, R.J. (2001). Cost-benefit analysis defended. In Business ethics: readings and cases in corporate morality (4th ed.) (pp. 110-114). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Pojman, L. (1995). A Critique Of Ethical Relativism. In Ethical Theory (2nd ed.) (pp. 29-37). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Pojman, L. (1995). Ethical Theory (2nd ed.) (pp. 167-170). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

Van Hooft, S., Gillam, L. & Byrnes, M. (1995). Rights & Duties (Ch.14). In Facts And Values : An Introduction To Critical Thinking For Nurses (pp.216-228). Sydney: Maclennan & Petty.

Velasquez, M.G. (2012). Business Ethics: Concepts & Cases (7th ed.). Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, N.J. (pp264-265).

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