Ethical System Table

Table of contents

Directions

1. Fill in brief definitions of each primary ethical theory.

2. Identify alternate names or variations of each ethical system based on your reading of the text and supplemental materials. Match the real-world examples listed below with the corresponding systems. The first one has been completed for you in the table.

a. I believe people should be able to eat sand if they like the taste of it.

b. I believe that if sand is going to be eaten, it should be available for everyone to eat.

c. I believe people should be able to eat sand because it is the right thing to do.

d. I believe people should be able to eat sand because it is good for one’s health.

e. I believe people should be able to eat sand if they decide they want to, regardless of whether it is someone else’s sand.

f. I believe people should be able to eat sand if they want to because they are free to make the decision themselves.

g. I believe I will eat sand because it is the standard meal for my community.

3. Develop your own workplace example that fits with each system. Present each workplace scenario in a substantial paragraph of approximately 40 words. Although the table field will expand to accommodate your workplace examples, you may list them at the end of the table; make a note in the table to see the attached examples, however, so your facilitator knows to look for scenarios below the table.

4. Format references according to APA standards and includes them after the table.

Ethical Theory or System Brief Definition Other Names for Theory Real-world Example Workplace Example
Duty-based Ethics Regardless of consequences, Deontology, pluralism, C It is my duty to follow through with
certain moral principles are moral rights, rights-based I believe people instructions my boss gives me, even if I
binding, focusing on duty rather should be able to do not agree with the concept. It is my
than results or moral obligation Categorical imperative eat sand because moral obligation to respect authority
over what the individual would it is the right figures.
prefer to do (Trevino & Nelson, Golden rule thing to do.
2007, Ch. 4).
In ethics, deontological ethics,
or deontology (Greek: deon meaning
obligation or duty), is a theory
holding that decisions should be
made solely or primarily by
considering one’s duties and the
rights of others. Some systems are
based on biblical or tenets from
sacred.
Consequence-based “…an ethical decision should Consequentialist Theories B
Ethics maximize benefits to society and I believe that if I know that we signed a contract for a big
minimize harms. What matters is Utilitarianism sand is going to new client but we can’t announce it until
the net balance of good be eaten, it next month. The benefits to morale of the
consequences over bad” (Trevino & should be company and employees outweigh the
Nelson, 2007, Ch. 4). available for consequences of making an early
everyone to eat. announcement. I should make the
announcement.
Rights-based Ethics Rights are considered to be Contractarianism A
ethically correct and valid since Social Contract I believe people Employees have the right to expect a safe
a large or ruling population should be able to working environment since that is part of
endorses them (Ridley, 1998). eat sand if they the social contract in modern America.
like the taste of
it.
Human Nature Ethics Ethical values that are hardcoded D
into people as being part of the “Common Courtesy” I believe people A co-worker has the need to switch shifts
human race. Natural tendencies should be able to to care for a sick family member. If the
instead of man-made law for making eat sand because other individual doesn’t have a pressing
decisions. it is good for engagement it would be nice to switch the
one’s health. shift and help them out.
Relativistic Ethics Moral disagreements are caused by Moral Relativism F
the fact that everyone in theory I believe people Based on the position someone has in a
is right in their own way. “When in Rome, do as the should be able to company it may not be appropriate for them
Individuals only have to be true Romans do. eat sand if they to have visible piercings or tattoos when
to themselves and no one else. want to because a more professional demeanor needs to be
they are free to maintained. Others may be able to since it
make the decision doesn’t affect their performance or the
themselves. company image in their position.
Entitlement-based E
Ethics I believe people
should be able to
eat sand if they
decide they want
to, regardless of
whether it is
someone else’s
sand.
Virtue-based ethics
The virtue ethics approach focuses Community ethics, G The quality control team in our company
more on the integrity of the moral professional I believe I will has to carry food handlers and safety
actor than on the moral act responsibility eat sand because cards. I should be able to trust that food
itself. In virtue ethics, The Disclosure Rule it is the standard provided as sample meets the standards of
character is very much defined by meal for my the guidelines that they accepted when
one’s community (Trevino & Nelson, community. getting that certification.
2007, Ch. 4).

Reference

  1. Trevino, L. K. , & Nelson, K. A. (2007). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Ridley, Aaron. (1998). Beginning Bioethics. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

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