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Those who are working in small business and those who are part of major corporates are supposed to make sure that they follow all the ethical principles that have been put in place in that line. They are supposed to make sure that all the rules and regulations that have been set up by an organization are followed to the latter, and those who go against them should be put in positions where they have to figure out how to go about correcting themselves. Businesses are established in such a way that they have to meet all the economic exceptions that they have put in place, and they are at the same time supposed to accomplish them by being in line with the ethical responsibilities that are attached to their operations (Stocker, 1976). Every person who is part of the organizational chart is supposed to meet the moral duties so that the organization can be able to gain a better reputation from the customers.
Most of the decisions that are made by organizations can be looked from more than one perspective, and all of them are usually either right or wrong depending on the pillars that are guiding the organization at hand. For instance, some of the ethical components that govern the decisions making the process of many organizing are respected, caring, citizenship, trustworthiness, fairness and responsibly (Annas, 2009). This means that all the decisions that they are making are supposed to be revolving around such pillars. These pillars that are applied by organizations that have been rooted to concrete ethical operating principles. Therefore whatever that is in the best interest of a company might not be of the same nature when looked from the perspective of the society.
For instance, a company that takes part in the production of textile products utilizes fuel such as coal to be able to run its machines and come up with an output that will be accepted by the society. In this case, the company has decided using coal as is affordable and has fewer bills compared to electricity. As they are taking part in the production, they produce greenhouses such as carbon dioxide which is known to be a cause of global warming. On the other hand, the society will be buying the textile products from the company, but they are aware of the fact that the environment is being affected. The society is on the decision that the company should stop using coal and go for clean energy such as solar and wind so that they can be able to live in conducive environments that are not polluted by the effluents that come from the company.
From this example, it is evident that whatever is of the best interest of the company is not of the best interest to the society even though both of them are benefiting. The company is benefiting as it is doing business and making profits while the society is benefiting as their demands are satisfied. The shareholder interest, in this case, is outweighing the stakeholder interest because they are not ready to change the mode of production that is at their disposal.
According to deontological theory by Immanuel Kant, it is essential to focus on actions rather than on the outcomes of the same. This theory is on the notion that one is supposed to support the benefits that are attached to action in a given way as compared to what will come out it (De Colle & Werhane, 2008). For example, the main action is that company is using coal to produce its textile products, and that means it is taking part in a business that is liked by many and profitable at the same time. This shows that the shareholder interest is in line with the fact that the society is willing to buy the textile products regardless of the fact that outcome of the whole process is adverse.
According to utilitarianism theory of ethics, the outcome of the action is the most important therefore it should be considered first. The theory holds that the amount of happiness or suffering that one gets from a moral action is the one that matters (Gray, 2009). In this case, the society is focusing on the outcome of using coal to take part in the production process and that leads to environmental pollution, and global warming will be the final result. Global warming is known to be connected to the rise in sea level, and it is also characterized by cases of flooding. In this case, the company is not supposed to take part in the production because it is polluting the environment. This will, in turn, mean that the society can be able to enjoy a conducive environment.
In conclusion, the way in which business decisions are made depends on the ethical principles that are embraced by the organization at hand. The decisions made by a business can be right according to them but wrong when looked from the perspective of the society. At the same time, whatever is right according to the community might not be right according to the businesses or organizations. However, there is a way in which they can all fall under the same decision-making process as long as the theories that they apply are uniform.
Annas, J. (2009). Virtue ethics. In the Oxford handbook of ethical theory. Oxford University Press
De Colle, S., & Werhane, P. H. (2008). Moral motivation across ethical theories: What can we learn for designing corporate ethics programs? Journal of Business Ethics, 81(4), 751-764
Gray, M. (2009). Moral sources and emergent ethical theories in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 40(6), 1794-1811
Stocker, M. (1976). The schizophrenia of modern ethical theories. The Journal of philosophy, 73(14), 453-466
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