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Published by odllab, 2019-12-20 04:05:22

BBM208/03 Business Ethics

Ethical Dilemmas
Course Code: BBM208/03
Ethical Solutions
Ethical Issues
Ethical Problems
Ethical Theories
Course adapted by : Ms. Lilian Yap School of Business and Administration (SBA)

Professor Dr Zoraini Wati Abas
Content Adapter: Lilian Yap
Lead Instructional and Visual Designer: Fauziyah Md Aris Instructional and Visual Designers: Norliza Mhd Rodzi and Nurain Mohd Hassan Language Editor: Ong Cheng Teik
Proof Reading: Khoo Chiew Keen
Margin Setting: Nurain Mohd Hassan
Cover Page and Content Design: Nurain Mohd Hassan
Lilian Yap
Online Digital Learning Lab (ODL Lab)
Instructional Design for Engaging Experiences (IDeX) Wawasan Open University
Acknowledgement: This course module has been adapted by the
School of Business and Administration (SBA) from the Online Course Materials for the Business Ethics (BBM208/05) developed by Wawasan Open University.
First edition, December 2019
This course material was published to support the learning of students registered with Wawasan Open University. Wawasan Open University does not grant any degree, certification or credits based solely on your completion of this course material.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,
without prior written permission from Wawasan Open University.
© 2019 Wawasan Open University
Wawasan Open University is Malaysia’s first private not-for-profit tertiary institution dedicated to adult learners.

04 05
Part 1 | About the Course
Part 2 | Course Overview
Course Synopsis
Course Contents
Course Learning Outcomes Study Schedule Assessment Methods
Part 3 | Course Study Guide
Unit 1 Foundation of Business Ethics Unit 2 Employee Ethics
Unit 3 Managerial Ethics
Unit 4 The Responsible Organisation Unit 5 Organisational Ethics
Part 4 | References
Part 5 | Feedback Form

Course Type
Credit Hours
Learning Hours : 120 hours
: School of Business Administration (SBA) : Core Course
: 3 hours
Course Title : Business Ethics Course Code : BBM208/03
Course Coordinator : Ms. Lilian Yap Email : [email protected]
Core Reading Materials : BBM208/05 Business Ethics
No. of Hours
10 32
24 10 2
Study Learning Materials, Learning Activities and Self- Tests
2 Attending 5 Tutorial Classes (2 hours per class)
3 Participation in Online Forum Discussions
4 Completing the Course Assignments (CA1 & CA2)
5 Exam Revision
6 Examination BUY NOW
BBM208/03 Business Ethics

For this course, you will learn about business ethics. Business ethics provides the framework of principles for understanding the ethical issues in business and hopes to prepare the learners to identify criteria for resolving ethical dilemmas faced in business organisations. Case studies will also be incorporated in this course to ensure students appreciate the true Issues of business ethics in the corporate world.
( Keywords: business ethics, ethical issues, ethical dilemmas, issues of business ethics )
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Demonstrate skills to identify and analyse ethical dilemmas in the business organisation.
2. Present ethical recommendation solutions to the business organisation.
3. Propose solutions to ethical problems encountered in the business organisation.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 2

Course topics and sub-topics include: 1. Ethical theories
a. Duty – Kantianism
b. Rights
c. Consequential Theory – Utilitarianism
d. Altruism
e. Egoism
f. Cultural Relativism
g. Nietzche Ethics
h. Cultural Ethics
i. Virtue Theory
j. Discourse Ethics
k. Ethics of Care
2. Finding the Job You Want
3. Stretching of Resume
4. Getting a Promotion and Leaving
5. Gifts, Bribery and Kickbacks
6. Whistleblowing
7. Loyalty
8. Stress, Sex, Status and Slacking
9. Ethics in the Human Resource 10.Corporate Culture
11.Discrimination and Affirmative Action 12.Corporate Social Responsibility 13.Corporate Governance
14.Code of Ethics
15.Deceptive Advertising
16.The Green Environment
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 3

(Weekly topic and study activity for each unit)
What is business ethics?
Morality, ethics, and metaethics: What is the difference?
1.1 - 1.4
Theories of duties and rights: Traditional tools for decision making in business
- Duties
- Kantianism - Rawls.
- Rights
1.5 - 1.6
Theories of consequence ethics: Traditional tools for decision making in business
- Consequentialism & Utilitarianism
- Altruism
- Egoism
1.7 - 1.9
Theories responding to the challenge of cultural relativism
- Cultural Relativism - Nietsche’s Eternal
Return of the Same - Cultural Ethics
- Virtue Theory
- Discourse Ethics - Ethics of Care
1.10 - 1.14
Theories responding to the challenge of cultural relativism
- Cultural Relativism - Nietsche’s Eternal
Return of the Same - Cultural Ethics
- Virtue Theory
- Discourse Ethics - Ethics of Care
1.10 - 1.14
Finding the job that you want
- Seven values of ranking jobs
- What makes an organisation unethical?
- Explicitly accepting employment at ethically
difficult workplace
2.1 - 2.2
Getting a job, getting a promotion and leaving
- Resume misrepresentations
- Ethics of stretching resume
- Determining wages
- Plotting a promotion
- ethical issues along the
way to a new job
2.3 - 2.6
Making the best of the job you have
- Accepting gifts
- Whistle blowing - Company loyalty
2.7 - 2.10
Getting, promoting and firing
- Hiring
- Screening
- Testing
- Interviewing
- Wages
- Promotion
- Firing
2.7 - 2.10
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 4

(Weekly topic and study activity for each unit)
Corporate culture
- Common threads of corporate culture
- Styles and values of management
3.5 - 3.8
The tense office
- Racial Discrimination - Affirmative Action
3.9 - 3.12
The responsible office - corporate social responsibility
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- The Triple Bottom Line
- Stakeholder Theory
- Arguments for and
against CSR
4.1 - 4.4
The responsible office - corporate governance
- Three Moral Ecologies
- Statutory Restrictions and
Liabilities on Directors
- Governance Guidelines
4.5 - 4.7
The responsible office - code of ethics
- Functions or purposes served by codes
- Difficulties with codes
- Objections to code of
4.8 - 4.9
The selling office
- Types of Deceitful Advertising
- Consumers and Their Protections
5.1 - 5.4
The green organisation
- Environmental Damage
- Ethical Approaches to
- Environmental Protection - Three Models of
Environmental Protection
for Businesses - Animal rights
5.5 - 5.8
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 5

Quiz, Group Work, Presentation, Proposal, Essay, Annotated Bibliography, etc.
TOTAL 100%
Quiz, Group Work, Presentation, Proposal, Essay, Annotated Bibliography, etc.
40% - 50%
The student will be assessed through the following methods
Note: The grade for a course is assigned based on the overall score, which combines both the contiuous assessment and the final examination compoNents (please refer to the Student Handbook for details).
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 6
FINAL EXAM 30% - 40%

1.1 What is Business Ethics?
1.2 Theories of Duties and Rights: Traditional Tools for Decision
Making in Business
1.3 Theories of Consequence Ethics: Traditional Tools for Decision
Making in Business
1.4 Theories Responding to the Challenge of Cultural Relativism
2.1 Finding the Job You Want
2.2 Getting a Job, Getting a Promotion and Leaving 2.3 Making the Best of the Job You Have
3.1 Getting, Promoting and Firing
3.2 Deciding on a Corporate Culture and Make it Work 3.3 The Tense Office
4.1 Corporate Social Responsibility 4.2 Corporate Governance
4.3 Code of Ethics
5.1 The Selling Organisation 5.2 The Green Organisation
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 7

Unit 1

1.2 1.3
1.5 1.6
What is Business Ethics?
Learning Activity 1.1 Self-Check 1.1
Theories of Duties and Rights: Traditional Tools for Decision Making in Business
Learning Activity 1.2
Self-Check 1.2
Theories of Consequence Ethics: Traditional Tools for Decision Making in Business
Learning Activity 1.3
Self-Check 1.3
Theories Responding to the Challenge of Cultural Relativism
Learning Activity 1.3
Self-Check 1.3
Summary References
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 9

This unit focuses on:
1. What business ethics is.
2. Theories of Duties and Rights: Traditional tools for decision making in business
3. Theories of Consequence Ethics: Traditional tools for decision making in business
4. Theories responding to the challenge of cultural relativism
Ethical theories and principles are the foundations of ethical analysis because they are the viewpoints from which guidance can be obtained along the pathway to a decision. Each theory emphasises different points such as predicting the outcome and following one's outies to others in order to reach an othically correct decision. However, in order for an ethical theory to be useful, the theory must be directed towards a common set of goals. Ethical principles are the common goals that each theory tries to achieve in order to be successful. These goals include beneficence, least harm, respect for autonomy and justice.
In this unit, each ethical theory will emphasise different aspects of an ethical dilemma and lead to the most ethically correct resolution according to the guidelines within the ethical theory itself. People usually base their individual choice of ethical theory upon their life experiences.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 10
Please watch this video to understand what is business ethics and why does it Matter?
Duration : 3.57 minutes

By the end of this Unit 1, you should be able to:
1. 2.
3. 4.
Discuss the fundamentals of business ethics.
Distinguish between the Theory of Duties and Rights: Kant and Rawls.
Compare the Theories of Consequence Ethics: Consequentialism,utilitarianism, altruism and egoism.
Examine the theories responding to the Challenge of Cultural Relativism: Nietsche’s Eternal Return of the Same, Cultural Ethics, Virtue Theory, Discourse Ethics and the Ethics of Care.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 11

Conducting business in an ethical manner means providing reasons for how things ought to be in the economic world. This requires the following:
1. Arranging values to guide decisions.
2. Understanding the facts.
3. Constructing arguments.
Finally, the last word in ethics is a determination about right and wrong. This actual result, however, is secondary to the process: the verdict is only the remainder of forming and debating arguments. That is why doing ethics is not brainwashing. Conclusions are only taken seriously if composed from clear values, recognised facts, and solid arguments.
Case Study
Read the case of Ann Marie Wagoner in the Captive Customer, Unit 1, Page 6 & 7
• Studies at University of Alabama
• Pays $1200 a year for books
• Composition class - a book required - A Writer’s Reference (custom publication for the University of Alabama)
• Same as A Writer’s Reference is sold elsewhere
• With a slight modification -32 extra pages of school’s writing programme
• Student need to pay extra $6 for an Alabama A emblazoned on the front cover
• Students forced to buy new copy of Alabama A text.
Because of the above arrangement 50% goes to goes to publisher the cost of customized cost and the balance 50% goes back to the university English Department, which is a money making scheme.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 12

The conclusion that kickback textbooks turn universities into liars does not end debate on the question. In fact, because well developed ethical positions expose their reasoning so openly (as opposed to “it doesn’t smell right”), they tend to invite responses. One characteristic, in other words, of good ethical arguments is that, paradoxically but not contradictorily, they tend to provoke counterarguments.
Disputing an Argument in Ethics:
1 Facts 2 Values 3 Reasoning
There is no irrefutable answer to the question about whether universities ought to get involved in kickback textbooks. What is clear, however, is that there is a difference between responding to them by asserting that something does not smell right, and responding by uniting facts, values, and reasoning to produce a substantial ethical argument.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 7 o 10
Morality, Ethics, and MetaEthics: What is the Difference?
1 Morality
• Only involves Specific
Guidelines that should be instituted and followed
• The Rules
2 Ethics
• The Moral Factory,
the Production Guidelines • The Making of the Rules
3 MetaEthics
• The most Abstract and Theoretical Discussions Surrounding Right and Wrong
• The Origin of the Entire Discussion
What is the Difference Between Normative Ethics and Descriptive Ethics?
Normative Ethics
Descriptive Ethics
• It concerns how people ought • How people are actually to act acting
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 11 to 14
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 13

Is Business Ethics Necessary?
Two arguments:
1) Business needs policying because it is dirty enterprise featuring people who get ahead by being selfish liars.
2) Successful business work well to enrich society, and business ethicists are interfering and annoying scolds threatening to ruin our economic welfare.
Conclusion: doing business does not equal to deceit and false to assert business ethics is the cure to the ills of commerce.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 14 to 17
Learning Activity & Self-Check 1.1
Please attempt the Learning Activities and Self-Check below to gauge and improve your learning of this topic from online materials Business Ethics (BBM208/05) Learning Activity 1.1 Learning Activity 1.3
Learning Activity 1.2 Learning Activity 1.4
Self-Check 1.1
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 14

This section examines some theories guiding ethical decisions in business. It considers ethics defined by duties and rights.
The foundational question: THE MEANS JUSTIFY THE ENDS VERSUS THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS. In business ethics, do the means justify the ends, or do the ends justify the means? Is it better to have a set of rules telling you what you ought to do in any particular situation and then let the chips fall where they may, or should you worry more about how things are going to end up and do whatever’s necessary to reach that goal?
Case Study
Read the case of Eddy Lapp, Unit 1, Page 21
• Eddy Lapp ran an organic medicine business in Northern California.
• His herbal product soothed nausea and remedied vomiting, especially as suffered by
chemo patients.
• His business is approved by (California) regulators.
• But, the Federal agencies do not approved of his meds, thus, he is breaking the law at
national level.
If the means justify the ends - if you should follow the rules no matter the consequences, then when the agents ask Lepp point blank whether he is selling the medicine, the ethical action is to admit it. He should tell the truth even though that will mean the end of his business.
On the other hand, if the ends justify the means - if your ethical interest focuses on the consequences of an act instead of what you actually do, then the ethics change. If there is a law forcing people to suffer unnecessarily, it should be broken. And when the agents ask him whether he is selling, he is going to have an ethical reason to lie.
Across the entire field of traditional ethics, this is a foundational distinction. Is it what you do that matters, or the consequences?
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 15

Perennial Duties
There are things that are right and others that are wrong, and the discussion ends. This level of clarity and solidity is the main strength of an ethics based on duties. We all have a duty not to steal, so we should not do it. An ethics based on duties is one where certain rules tell us what we ought to do, and it is our responsibility to know and follow those rules.
Case Study
Read the case of The Maddoff Family, Unit 1, pg 23 to 24
If we are supposed to obey our duties, then what exactly are they? That is a question Andrew Madoff faced in December 2008 when he learnt that some — maybe most, maybe all — of the money he and his family had been donating to the charitable Lymphoma Research Foundation and similar medical investigation enterprises was, in fact, stolen.
• Andrew’s father, Bernie Madoff ran his Ponzi empire for around fifteen years. So many people handed over so much cash, and the paper trail of fake stock-purchase receipts and the rest grew so complicated that it’s impossible to determine exact numbers of victims and losses. Federal authorities have estimated the victims were around five thousand and the losses around $65 billion, which works out to about $13 million squeezed from each client.
• A Ponzi scheme — named after the famous perpetrator Charles Ponzi — makes suckers of investors by briefly delivering artificially high returns on their money. The idea is simple: You take $100 from client A, promising to invest the money cleverly and get a massive profit. You spend $50 on yourself, and at the end of the year, you send the other $50 back to the client along with a note saying that the original $100 investment is getting excellent results and another $50 should come in next year and every year from then on. Happy client A recommends friends, who become clients B, C, and D. They bring in a total of $300, so it’s easy to make good on the original promise to send a $50 return the next year to client A. And you’ve now got $250 remaining from these three new clients, $150 of which you will soon return to them ($50 for each of the three new clients), leaving you with $100 to spend on yourself. The process repeats, and it’s not long before people are lining up to hand over their money. Everyone makes off like bandits.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 16

What do I Owe Myself? Historically Accumulated Duties to the Self
Perennial duties falls into two categories:
1) Duties to ourselves
• Begins with our responsibility to develop our abilities and talents.
2) Duties to others
• Avoid wronging others
• Honesty – duty to tell the truth
• Respect others
• Beneficence – duty to promote the welfare of others
• Gratitude – duty to thank those who help you
• Fidelty – duty to keep our promises
• Reparation – duty to compensate others
Where Do Duties Comes From?
• Written into nature of the universe; they are part of the way things are
• Humanity in the sense that part of what it means to be human is to have this particular sense of right
and wrong.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 24 to 27
Duties include those to:
1. Develop abilities and talents.
2. Do ourselves no harm.
3. Avoid wronging others.
4. Honesty.
5. Respect others.
6. Beneficence.
7. Gratitude.
8. Fidelity.
9. Reparation.
10. Fairness.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 17

What Are the Advantages and Drawbacks of an Ethics Based on Duties?
– Fairly easy to understand and work with
– Straightforward rules about honesty, gratitude, and keeping our ends of agreements
– No hard and fast rule for deciding which duties should take precedence over others
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 27 to 31
The Concept of Fairness
According to Aristotle: Treating equals equally and unequals unequally
• Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same treatment: it means the rules for treating people
must be applied equally
• Impartiality – the Rule of No Exception
RAWLS: Modern Fairness
The recent American philosopher John Rawls proposes a veil of ignorance as a way of testing for fairness, especially with respect to the distribution of wealth in general terms.
A Veil of Ignorance
– As a way of testing fairness, especially with respect to the distribution of wealth.
– Rawls proposed that we try to re-imagine society without knowing what our place in it would be. – Is the idea that when you set up rules, you do not get to know beforehand where you will fall
inside them, which is going to force you to construct things in a way that is really balanced and fair.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 18

Immanuel Kant: The Duties of the Categorical Imperative
German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 –1804) accepted the basic proposition that a Theory of Duties - a set of rules telling us what we are obligated to do in any particular situation - was the right approach to ethical problems. What he set out to add, though, was a stricter mechanism for the use of duties in our everyday experience.
KANT: Categorical Imperative
• An Imperative: Something you need to do
• Hypothetical Imperative: Something you need to do but only in certain circumstances
• Categorical Imperative: Something you need to do all the time; there are ethical rules that do
not depend on the circumstances, and categorical imperative will tell us what they are.
1. Act in the way that the rule for your action could be universalised
– A consistency principle
– Like the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.
– Objection: impossible to live by
2. Treat people as an end, and never as a means to the end.
– A dignity principle
– Objection: difficult to actually work
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 19
Please watch this video. Title: Kantian Ethics Duration :8.24 minutes

An ethics based on rights is similar to an ethics based on duties. • Duties tend to be ethics as what you cannot do;
• Rights tend to be about what you can do.
Case Study
Read the case of Eddy Lapp, Unit 1, pg 36 & 37
What is Right?
• A right is a justified claim against others
• Duties tend to be protective in nature while rights tend to be liberating in nature
• Duties tend to be community orientated while rights tend to center on the individual and what
he or she can do regardless of whether anyone else is around or not.
Characteristics of Rights
Rights are:
• Universal: The fundamental rights do not transform as you move from place to place or
change with the years.
• Equal: Same for all men or women
• Inalienable: Cannot be taken, sold, and given away
What Rights do I Have?
• The Right to Life
• The Right to Freedom
• The Right to Free speech
• The Right to Religious Expression
• The Right to Pursue Happiness
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 20

Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person's right to Life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created.
1 Negative & Positive Rights
• Negative rights – Fundamental
• Positive rights
– Closer to traditional duties
– They are obligations other have to
help protect and preserve my Basic, Negative Rights.

They require other not to interfere with me and whatever I am doing
Rights in Conflict
Problems with rights occur in one of two places:
1) 2)

I have negative rights to life, freedom and my possessions
but they infringe your rights to the same.
I have a right to freedom and I do what I want but that right clashes with larger, society level protections put into place to assure everyone a reasonable shot at pursuing their happiness.
Eg: abortion
What Justifies a Right?
What justifies a right?
• •
It is comparable with the idea about duties being part of the logic of the universe.
It is to derive them from the idea of duties
• –

Advantages & Disadvantages of Rights
It clear a broad space for you and me to be ourselves or make ourselves what we choose
Simplicity that it is fairly easy to
and apply.
• Disadvantages
– Centering ethics on individuals
leaves little space of agreement on
how we can live together
– The blunt and comprehensive rights
comes when two or more of them are in conflict.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics

For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 36 to 44
Learning Activity & Self-Check 1.2
Please attempt the Learning Activities and Self-Check below to gauge and improve your learning of this topic from online materials Business Ethics (BBM208/05) Learning Activity 1.5
Learning Activity 1.6
Self-Check 1.2
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 22
Please watch this video. Title: What Are Rights? Duty & The Law Duration :6.41 minutes

What is Consequentialism?
What is more important in ethics — what you do or what happens afterward because of what you did?
People who believe ethics should be about what happens afterward are labelled CONSEQUENTIALISTS. They do not care so much about your act; they want to know about the consequences.
They are:
– Utilitarianism
– Altruist
– Egoism
Utilitarianism: The Greater Good
Utilitarianism is a consequentialist ethics – the outcome matters, not the act.
Utilitarianism is a happiness calculation. The belief is that we should pursue the greatest good for the greatest number. So we can act in whatever way we choose we can be generous or miserly, honest or dishonest, but whatever we do, to get the utilitarian’s approval, the result should be more people happier.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 23
Please watch this video. Title: PHILOSOPHY - Ethics: Consequentialism Duration :5.13 minutes

Case Study
Read the case of The College Board and Karen Dillard, Unit 1, pg 48 to 52
The College Board of the SAT and PSAT exams sued a Dallas-area test-preparation company, Karen Dillard College Prep, accusing it of trying to give its customers an unfair edge on the tests by illegally obtaining "live" copies to help students practice.
The theft of live tests fails the utilitarian test. While a few students may come out better off and happier, the vast majority more than balances the effect with disappointment and anger. The greater good is not served.
The theft of the exams by the high school principal may conceivably be congratulated by a utilitarian because it increases general happiness.
Can Money Buy Utilitarian Happiness? The Ford Pinto Case
Basic questions in business tend to be quantitative, and money is frequently the bottom line:
How many dollars is it worth?
What is my salary?
What is the company’s profit?
The basic question of utilitarianism is qualitative: how much happiness and sadness is there? Inevitably, it is going to be difficult when businesses accustomed to bottom-line number decisions are forced to cross over and decide about general happiness.
Case Study
Read the Case of The Ford Pinto, Unit 1, pg 54 to 56
The theory demands that decision makers stubbornly keep their eye on overall happiness no matter how much pain a decision might cause certain individuals.
Versions of Utilitarian Happiness
– Jeremy Bentham: Hedonistic – getting pleasure right now is good but not as good as
maximising the feeling over long term.
– John Stuart Mills: Idealistic – distinguished low and high sensations. The kinds of raw, good
feelings that both we and animals can find, according to Mill, are second-rate pleasures. Pleasures with higher and more real value include learning and learnedness. These are not physical joys so much as the delights of the mind and the imagination.
– Act Utilitarianism -Affirms that a specific action is recommended if it increases happiness.
– Rule Utilitarianism -Whether we would all benefited if everyone obeyed a rule. If we would – if
the general happiness level increases because the rule is there – then rule utilitarianism that we adhere to it.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 56 to 58
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 24

Advantages and Disadvantages of Utilitarian Ethics in Business
Clarity and simplicity Acceptability
– subject to invididuals
– cannot quantify happiness
Apparent injustice
– e.g. Grandma last wish
The utilitarian monster
- a much greater capacity to experience happiness than others
The utilitarian sacrifice
- e.g. the gladiators For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 59 to 60
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 25
Please watch this video. Title: Philosophy - Ethics: Utilitarianism Part 1 Duration :4.30 minutes

Altruism: Everyone Else
An action is morally right if the action’s consequences are more beneficial than unfavourable for everyone except the person who acts, eg Mother Theresa, Gandhi.
Case Study
Read the case of Tom’s Shoes, Unit 1, pg 60
Shoes are given away to needy children in Argentina at a one-to-one rate: for every pair bought in the United States, TOMS delivers a pair down there. Mycoskie determined that he could make the whole machine work most efficiently by starting a shoe company., he could produce shoes for donation and shoes for sale to finance the effort.
Rules of Altruism
Some questions faced by Altruist:
• The Happiness Definition – what counts as happiness?
• The Happiness Measure – how can it be measured?
• The Happiness Foresight – are recipients going to be happier overall?
The Altruist in Business and the Business that is Altruistic
Altruism connects with business in three (3) basic ways.
i. There are Altruists who use Normal, Profit-Driven Business Operations to do good.
ii. There are Altruistic Companies that do good by employing Non-Altruistic workers .
iii. There are Altruistic Organisations composed of Altruistic Individuals.
Altruism: Advantages & Disadvantages Advantages
Clarity and simplicity Acceptability
Uncertainty about the happiness of others
Shortchanging yourself
BBM208/03 Business Ethics
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 60 to 65
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 27
Please watch this video. Title: Altruism Duration :3.28 minutes

Egoism: Just Me Ethical Egoism
– Whatever action serves my self-interest is also morally right action. What is good for me in the sense that it gives me pleasure and happiness is also good in the sense that it is the morally right thing to do.
– Egoism means putting your welfare above others’ while selfishness is refusal to see beyond yourself.
Enlightened Egoism, Cause Egoism, and the Invisible Hand
Enlightened Egoism
The conviction that benefitting others – acting to increase their happiness (eg. Social contract).
Cause Egoism
Works from the idea that giving the appearance of helping others is a promising way to advance my own interest in business.
Invisible Hand
The force of the marketplace competition, which encourages individuals to make money for a better life. (Adam Smith)
Some Rules of Egoism
The Personal Egoist in the business world does whatever is necessary to maximise
his or her own happiness.
The Impersonal Egoist believes everyone should get up in the morning and do what is best for themselves and without concern for the welfare of others.
The Rational Version stands on the idea that egoism makes sense. In the world as it is, and given a choice between the many ethical orientations available, egoism is the most reasonable.
The Psychological Egoist believes that, for each of us, putting our own interests in front of everyone else is not a choice; it is a reality. We are made that way.
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 28

The four (4) relations between Egoism and Business
• An Egoist in an Egoist Organisation - Mercenary Capitalism
• An Egoist in a Non-Egoist Organisation – e.g. CEO of the College Board • A Non-Egoist in an Egoist Organisation – e.g. TOMS shoes
• A Non-Egoist in a Non-Egoist Organisation – e.g. Christmas donations
Advocating and Challenging Ethical Egoism
• Advocating
– Clarity and simplicity
– Practicality
– Sincerity
– Unintended consequences
– Dignity
• Argument Against
– Egoism is not ethics
– Egoism ignores blatant wrong
– Psychological egoism is not true
BBM208/03 Business Ethics 29
Please watch this video. Title: Egoistic Altruism Duration :7.14 minutes

For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 66 to 73
Learning Activity & Self-Check 1.3
Please attempt the Learning Activities and Self-Check below to gauge and improve your learning of this topic from online materials Business Ethics (BBM208/05) Learning Activity 1.7
Learning Activity 1.8
Learning Activity 1.9 Self-Check 1.3
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This section examines some theories guiding ethical decisions in business. It considers reactions to the possibility that there are no universal definitions of right and wrong, only different customs that change from one society to another.
Cultural Relativism
Nietzsche proposed that different cultures and people each produce their own moral recommendations and prohibitions, and there is no way to indisputably prove that one set is simply and universally preferable to another. For example: Inuit Eskimos, regularly practiced female infanticide during their prehistory, and it was neither evil nor insane.
Cultural Relativism in Business Ethics
Steve Veltkamp, president of Biz$hop, an American import-export business: “Bribery is a common way of doing business in a lot of foreign places.”
US businesses trying to expand into markets abroad and competing with local businesses already established there are probably going to consider doing what everyone else is doing, which means getting in on the bribery action.
~ the business dilemma
Anything, the reasoning goes, may be morally good or bad in the economic world; it just depends on where you happen to be, at what time, and who else is around.
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Please watch this video. Title: Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism | What is It? Duration :4.44 minutes

Nietzsche’s Eternal Return of the Same: Responding to Cultural Relativism by Leaving Common Morality Behind
If, along with cultural relativists, you accept that rules distinguishing right from wrong shift around from place to place and time to time, it becomes difficult to keep faith in morality.
It is difficult because verdicts seem flimsy and impermanent, and because this hard question seems inescapable: Why should I go out of my way to do the right thing today if what counts as the right thing might change tomorrow?
One response to the question is to give up on morality, disrespect the whole idea by labeling all the customary regulations - don’t lie, don’t steal, strive for the greatest good for the greatest number - a giant sham. Then you can live without the inhibiting limits of moral codes. You can go beyond any idea of good and evil and lead an unconstrained life exuberantly celebrating everything you want to do and be.
Case Study
Read the Case of Wallace Souza, Unit 1, pg 80
Wallace Souza was a Brazilian television presenter and politician. He was an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Amazonas until his expulsion in October 2009. He is commonly known for presenting the controversial program Canal Livre. In 2009, he was subject to worldwide media coverage, when Amazonas State Police launched an investigation into the claims that murders had been ordered in order to boost ratings on his programme.
Nietzsche’s Eternal Return of the Same
Every decision you make and everything you feel, say and do will have to be repeated forever – at the end of your life, you will die and are immediately reborn right back in the same year and place where everything started. Existence becomes and infinite loop. Therefore, we should always act as though the eternal return were real.
What the eternal return definitely does do is force you to make decisions about your professional life in very different terms than those presented by traditional ethical theories. There’s no consideration of sweeping duties; there’s just you and a simple decision: the life you choose now will be repeated forever, so which will yours be?
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Eternal Return: Advantages & Drawback
Adds gravity to life Forces you to make your own decisions
– –
How can we make peaceful and harmonious societies when all anyone ever thinks about is what best for themselves forever?
For a better understanding of this topic. please read Unit 1: Pg 77 to 83
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Please watch this video. Title: Nietzsche on Eternal Recurrence Duration :2.33 minutes

Cultural Ethics
• Cultural ethics embrace the idea that moral doctrines are just the rules a community believes, and they accept that there is no way to prove our society’s values are better than another.
• Right and wrong in the business world is nothing more than what is commonly considered right and wrong in a specific community.
Cultural Ethics: Advantages & Drawbacks
– –

– –
Allows people to be respectful of others and their culture.
Explicitly acknowledges that there is no way to compare one culture against another as better or worse.
Adapts well to contemporary reality.
It does not leave any clear paths to make things better.
It provides few routes to resolving conflicts within a society.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 84 to 89
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Virtue Ethics
The idea that people who are good will do the good and right thing, regardless of the circumstances: whether they are at home or abroad.
The idea that we can and should instill those qualities in people and then let them go out into the complex business world confident that they will face dilemmas well.
Virtues and Vices
Here is a set of virtues overlapping with what most proponents will offer:
1. Wisdom (both theoretical and practical)
2. Fairness
3. Courage
4. Temperance
5. Prudence
6. Sincerity
7. Civility
1. Cowardice
2. Insensibility
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Please watch this video. Title: Cultural Relativism Duration :3.58 minutes

Virtue Ethics: Advantages & Drawback
– Flexibilty

– –
Confidence that the virtuous will be equipped to manage unforceable moral dilemmas in unfamiliar circumstances.
Lack of specificity
Theory does not allow clear, yes or no responses to specific problems.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 89 to 94
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Please watch this video. Title: Aristotle & Virtue Theory: Crash Course Philosophy Duration :9.21 minutes

Discourse Ethics
Proponents of discourse ethics reverse the order in which we normally address ethical uncertainties. Instead of starting with one theory or another and then taking it out into the world to solve problems, they start with a problem and try to create a moral structure to solve it.
For example bribery : instead of trying to impose one side’s convictions on the other, the effort will be to overcome the divide by constructing a new and encompassing moral framework through common agreement.
Steps Include:
Define the stakeholders
Establish the goal
- which in Discourse Ethics is always the peaceful and consensual resolution to the dilemma
Discourse Ethics Advantages & Drawbacks
Establish a language of discussion
Define the problem.

– –
The search for solution opens the door all the way. Everything is on the table.
Everything is on the table.
For every ethical dilemma faced, you have to start over.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 94 to 97
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Ethics of Care
Sometimes advocated under the titles of community ethics or feminist ethics, an ethics of care switches the focus of moral regulation from the individual to networks of social relationships.
The basic question is not about yourself; it is not “What should I do?” Instead, it is always about a larger us: “What should be done to nurture the connections among those of us closest to each other?”
The basic question is not about yourself. The focus of moral regulation from the individual to networks of social relationships.
Three (3) critical steps on the way to formalising care as a coherent ethical orientation:-
i. Ethics is not about me and you; it is about us.
ii. Ethics is less about the fair imposition of rules and more about crafting social integration.
iii. Ethical tensions are not my rights versus yours; it is me being torn between those I care for.
Ethics of Care: Advantages & Drawbacks
– – –

It can cohere with what we actually do and think we ought to do.
It humanises ethics by centering thought on real people instead of cold rules. It allows us to focus our energy and concern on those who are closest to us.
Threatens to devolved into tribalism - every social group for itself.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 1: Pg 97 to 101
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Learning Activity & Self-Check 1.4
Please attempt the Learning Activities and Self-Check below to gauge and improve your learning of this topic from online materials Business Ethics (BBM208/05) Learning Activity 1.10 Self-Check 1.4
Learning Activity 1.11
Learning Activity 1.12 Learning Activity 1.13 Learning Activity 1.14
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Please watch this video. Title: Ethics of Care Duration :3.02 minutes

Ethical theories and principles bring significant characteristics to the decision-making process. Although all of the ethical theories attempt to follow the ethical principles in order to be applicable and valid by themselves, each theory falls short with complex flaws and failings. However, these ethical theories can be used in combination in order to obtain the most ethically correct answer possible for each scenario.
Chegg. (2016, Mar 22). Cultural relativism-sociology-Chegg tutors [Video
file]. Retrieved from
CrashCourse. (2016, Dec 5). Aristotle & virtue theory: crash course philosophy #38
[Video file]. Retrieved from
Egelko, B. (2009). Medical pot grower Eddy Lepp gets 10 years. Cannabis Culture
Magazine, May 18. Retrieved from eddy-lepp-gets-10-years
Existentialist Dasein. (2018, Feb 3). Nietzsche on eternal recurrence [Video
file]. Retrieved from
FunSimpleLIFE. (2017, Jan 25). Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism: what is it? [Video file]. Retrieved from
Hechinger, J. (2008). As textbooks go 'custom,' students pay: Colleges receive
royalties for school-specific editions; barrier to secondhand sales.Wall Street Journal, July 10. Retrieved from
Jumar Ladia. (2017, Oct 25). Ethics of care [Video file]. Retrieved from
Kurzgesagt. (2018, Mar 18). A selfish argument for making the world a better place-egoistic altruism [Video file]. Retrieved from
Larson, E. (2009). Lepp sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for marijuana case. Lake County News, May 18. Retrieved from
Missy, P. (2008). CB-Karen Dillard case settled-no cancelled scores. College Confidential. Retrieved from http://talk. dillard-case-settled-no-cancelled-scores.html
Phillips, D. (2009). Brazil crime show host‘used murder to boost ratings. Times, Aug 13. Retrieved from
Philosophy Vibe. (2017, Dec 10). Kanthian ethics. [Video file]. Retrieved from
Philosophy Vibe. (2016, Jan 15). Where are rights? Duty and the law. [Video file]. Retrieved from
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Ross, B., Schecter, A., & McCarthy, K. (2011). Bernie Madoff's other secret: His hadassah CFO mistress., April 16. Retrieved from story?id=8319695&page=1
SciShow. (2012, July 3). Altruism. [Video file].
Retrieved from
Toms, S. (2006). ShoeHero. Retrieved from jpg
Velasquez, M. (2006). Business ethics, concepts and cases, (6th ed.). NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. (pp. 60-61).
Wireless Philosophy. (2015, Jun 12). Philosophy – ethics: consequentialism[HD]. [Video file]. Retrieved from
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Unit 2

2.4 2.5
Finding the Job You Want
Learning Activity 2.1 Self-Check 2.1
Getting a Job, Getting a Promotion and Leaving
Learning Activity 2.2 Self-Check 2.2
Making the Best of the Job You Have
Learning Activity 2.3 Self-Check 2.3
Summary References
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This unit focuses on:
1. Finding the job that you want.
2. Getting a job, getting a promotion and leaving.
3. Making the best of the job you have.
The section starts with employee ethics which examines some ethical decisions facing employees. It considers the values that underlie and guide choices about the kind of work you choose to pursue.
This section then continues with the getting a job, a promotion and leaving. The foundational ethical question in our job: Even if we do our job ethically, if we aspire to a high ethical standard, might we want to ask if our talents might do more good in some other pursuit? We can, of course, elevate our workplace ethics by treating people well. Amid the pressures, many employers do not even send rejection letters to applicants. Other employers do not praise employees lest it cause complacency or a request for a salary increase.
This section ends with a discussion on making the best of the job you have. Employees desiring promotions or fearing being laid off too often bad-mouth co-workers, withhold key information from them, etc. Suffusing your work and personal life with non-random acts of kindness help ensure that your time on the planet yields the most good possible.
By the end of this Unit 2, you should be able to:
1. Examine the ethical dilemmas, values and considerations in job search and crafting a resume.
2. Determining the justification for the wages of demand, responsibilities of seeking job and resignation.
3. Explain gifts giving and its relationship with conflict of interest.
4. Probe the requirements and justifications of whistle-blowing.
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You may find yourself faced with ethical dilemma while searching for a job. Whenever you are involved in a job search, whether through Internet job postings or your school’s on-campus recruiting programme, your behaviour has a direct impact on employers’ perceptions of you as a candidate. Ethical behaviour becomes even more important during interviewing when you your behaviour not only affect employers’ perceptions of you, but also that of your fellow colleagues and your organisation as a whole.
Examples of Best Jobs to Get:
• Child-care worker
• Lumberjack
• Butcher
• Seaman
• Nuclear decontamination tech
• Nurse
• Firefighter
Examples of Worst Jobs to Avoid:
• Actuary
• Parole officer
• Accountant
• Medical laboratory technician
• Paralegal assistant
• Meteorologist
• Historian
Why is a Career Decision Ethical instead of just a Personal Decision about Jobs?
• Ethics is also about how we treat ourselves and the responsibilities we have to ourselves. One of the deepest of the responsibilities is making thoughtful and independent decisions about what is worth doing and what is not.
• Narrowing this to economic reality, the most tangible choice you are going to have to make is
where am I going to go to work when I wake up in the morning?
• This decision choosing a job and a career path is about value.
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Seven (7) Values of Ranking Jobs
Leisure time Money
Power Prestige
Job Security
Dedicating your professional life to a cause or activity that you believe in does not mean low wages and long hours.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 2: Pg 3 to 14
Balancing the Values
One (1) factor can be chosen to weigh more heavily than everything else combined when sorting out the values for initiating a job search. The imbalance would go a long way toward efficiently filtering career possibilities. For many, however, the priorities will not sort out so easily: it will be necessary to balance competing values, to trade one against another when considering specific jobs and career paths.
For a better understanding of this topic, please read Unit 2: Pg 15 to 17
Whose Job Is It, Anyway?
No one can decide for you what line of work to start down; it is a decision only you can make and that you have to make for yourself. This does not mean, however, that your life is the only one involved in the decision.
• If you adopt egoism, the one job that makes you happy.
• If you adopt utilitarianism, one bringing the greatest good to the greatest number.
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