Ethics in Organization and Management: The Application of Contemporary Theories of Ethical Decision-Making in Global Conditions

Ethics in Organization and Management: The Application of Contemporary Theories of Ethical Decision-Making in Global Conditions

Thomas Joseph (Western Governors University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/IJBSA.20200701.oa1
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A fundamental challenge for scholars and practitioners of organization and management is the integration of theoretical ethics with practical decision-making. This article discusses the historical evolution of ethics in organization and management through today. Additionally, the article utilizes a compare and contrast approach of three contemporary theories of ethical decision-making, namely ethics of virtue, ethics of care, and ethics of justice, to implicate their applicability to practice under conditions of globalization. Ethics of virtue, care, and justice share common concepts imperative for organizations in a global environment. They address the idea of equality and self-sufficiency and are concerned with the establishment and sustenance of lasting relationships. Organizations can, therefore, succeed in any environment providing that decision makers make the effort to adhere to standards that are moral, fair, caring, and just. Every unethical behavior should be condemned.
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Historical Evolution Of Ethics In Organization And Management

Velasquez (2006) posited that the concept of ethics is generally coined to the thoughts of Greek philosophers as Socrates and Aristotle and the ideas of hedonism and stoicism. These legendary ideas in context, addressed issues and questions about morality - good and evil, right and wrong, and justice and virtue.

Socrates was one of the primary Greek philosophers to persuade intellectuals and ordinary citizens to direct their attention away from worldly conditions to human conditions. This shift in knowledge would allow human life to be eschewed higher than any other available knowledge. An awareness of self was considered a necessity for success. In the book “Idea of great philosophers” William Sahakian and Mabel Sahakian (1993) explored the values and beliefs of Socrates acknowledging that the conduct of a self-aware individual is totally construed in his/her highest capabilities or competencies. In their writing, they concurred to Socrates’ beliefs that if an individual desire to obtain self-knowledge, he/she must be conscious of every detail of his/her existence. Socrates proposed that people have a natural alertness to do good only if they are aware of what is right. Sahakian and Sahakian accepted Socrates’ concept that bad or evil actions derive from ignorance (not-knowing) and that people who genuinely know what is right will automatically do the right thing. Socrates essentially associated knowledge with morality and morality with happiness. Sahakian and Sahakian posited, according to the values of Socrates, that an honest prudent (intelligent and sensible) individual with complete knowledge of what is right, will only do what is good, and experience happiness. These early concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, adopted by Socrates, influenced the fundamental concept of ethics or moral philosophy.

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