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Ethical decision making among businesses is the process through which corporations align their actions with the societal norms and expectations. According to Crane & Matten (2010, p 23), it is the responsibility and the role of businesses to exercise high degree of morality in their actions by conforming into the values and norms of the society at large.
By being ethically responsible in their various decision making processes, corporations would establish cordial and productive relationship with the society. In the currently competitive business environment, businesses are entrusted with the role of safeguarding positive business-customer relationship by being ethical in their decisions, which influenced by both individuals and the organizational factors.
On this basis, the process of making decisions in businesses is a multi-dimensional process which requires systematic corporation of all the parties involved.
The Considerations of Ethical Decision Making
In making an ethical decision, personal and social factors ought to be considered. As Fisher & Lovell (2009, p 22) holds, morality should be the core guiding principle in any ethical decision making process, where rationality forms the realm of the entire decision making process. Being rational means to be considerate of the societal norms and values in any decision making process.
Blowfield & Murray (2008, p 41) considers rationality as the ultimate key for ethical decision making. On this basis, personal ambitions should be geared at ensuring satisfaction of all the other stakeholders, rather than being self-centered. By so doing, decision making would be considered as ethical, since all the stake-holders involved are put into consideration.
Significantly, there is deep need of understanding and being aware of the significance of personal morals in any decision making process. It is through being morally upright in making decisions which will render any decision making process ethical. By being considerate of the prevailing moral standards and social norms, individuals should act in accordance to such standards and regulations.
As Crane et al (2009, p 51) holds, personal decision making processes should conform to the expectations and values of the society for them to be considered as ethical. By so doing, it would be more appealing for stakeholders of the corporation, which would further foster prosperity of such business.
Blowfield & Murray (2008, p 42) considers the process of personal decision making as an ethical duty for rightfulness in taking actions within an organization. It is through being considerate of the general rules and principles of action which will make decisions ethical.
Behavioral outcome of any action should be apparently considered in an ethical decision making process. After rationally analyzing a decision, it is important to decision makers to consider the group behavior. This means to incorporate a number of individuals in the process of decision making for a wider base of views.
By involving other stake-holders in any decision making process, Fisher & Lovell (2009, p 84) sees it as a more accurate and efficient strategy towards an ethical decision making. By incorporating other stakeholders in a decision making, Desjardins (2007, p 15) perceives this particular approach as creating positive and more productive organizational behavior for overall success of the corporation.
It is important for the decision makers involved to be focused on long-term perspective rather than only in the short run. According to Crane & Matten (2010, p 26), an ethical decision making should consider the sustainability of such decision with regard to the natural environment. It is an absolute role of corporations to be environmentally conscious by safe guarding the natural environment from any hazard.
This would forms a very strong basis for an ethical decision making, since this nature would be considered. Basically, a productive decision making should consider personal, group behavior and natural environment for it to be considered as ethical.
Post-Modern Business Ethical Considerations
Ethics in the postmodern business era governs the practice of rules, listening and following or emotions and innate convictions of making certain decisions but not others. According to Craig & Lenssen (2009, p 95), the postmodern business ethics are the fundamental business success strategies of creating cordial relationship between businesses and the entire society.
On this basis, utilitarian approach is necessitated for any ethical decision making among businesses. Utilitarianism involves the consideration of all the factors capable of ensuring satisfaction for all parties involved. In this case, it is through ethical decision making which will ensure satisfaction of both the business owners and the society at large.
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Approaching business decision making in the contemporary society on moral rights perspective renders business strategies more relevant both to the society and the business owners. Moral rights refer to the conformity of the already established universal rules and norms among the people.
As Fisher & Lovell (2009, p 27) holds, a business should create a positive image to the entire society by being making decisions which are morally upright. As a result, the business would receive the support it requires from the society since the society would perceive it as its part. This would result into ‘common good’; since there would exist a mutual relationship between the society and the business.
In the current competitive business environment, fairness and execution of justice in making decisions is a very important consideration. According to Blowfield & Murray (2008, p 42), fairness is a very important virtue for a prospective business since it would determine the ultimate relationship with its stakeholders.
It is important to note that, ethical decision making process in the postmodern business era requires consideration of a wider rage of factors for efficiency. For instance, businesses should not be involved in business activities which will benefit some people, but harm others. In this case, fairness should be an utmost virtue among business decision making to be considered as ethical.
Depending on various contexts, business decisions ought to be based on social principles. More specifically, it is a moral obligation of the business to consider all the situations requiring certain decision making with regard to execution of ethics.
With reference to Crane et al (2009, p 55), it is not restricted on how businesses should make decisions, but upholding or all social norms and values should prevail in all business decision making processes to be considered as ethical.
By practicing ethics in decision making, businesses would be cherishing success since they would be coherent to the society. As a result, business prosperity and success would be realized, since the society, which forms an important stake-holder to businesses, would be attracted to the business.
Generally, ethical considerations in any decision making process forms a basis for prospective businesses in the contemporary society. As it has been revealed, it is the moral obligation for corporations to make decisions which conform to the societal norms and values.
It is important to note that, the process of decision making should involve high degree of rationality, with regard to the overall behavioral outcome of any decision. By so doing, corporations would establish mutual and more sustainable relationships with the society at large.
Blowfield, M., & Murray, A. (2008). Corporate Responsibility: a Critical Introduction. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University press. 37-79.
Craig, S. & Lenssen, G., (2009). Mainstreaming Corporate Responsibility. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. 89-98.
Crane, S., et al. (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 47-59
Crane, A., & Matten, D., (2010) Business Ethics, 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 24-31.
Desjardins, J., (2007) Business, Ethics and the Environment. New Jersey: Pearson Educ. Inc. 11-23.
Fisher, C., & Lovell, A., (2009) Business Ethics and Values: Individual, Corporate and International Perspectives, 3rd Ed. Harlow: Pearson International Ltd. 25-33.