Ethics in Modern Management

Ethics in Modern Management

Ethics in Modern Management

Ethics in Modern Management

Synopsis

Is there such a thing as "business ethics?" Author Gerald J. Williams compellingly answers this question in Ethics in Modern Management. Though he agrees that greed and self-interest are at work in the business environment, he also notes that they can be found in just about every area of human endeavor, and it is a fallacy to think that one can justify these vices simply because one operates in the business environment, where such behavior might be more readily condoned. But the book does not stop at establishing the faulty logic behind the "business ethics" concept. It is also designed to help managers with the process of education and moral reflection by describing three approaches to morality--cultural moral relativism, utilitarianism, and Thomistic natural law--and showing how each approach attempts to solve real-life ethical conflicts in the business world.

Excerpt

I have written this book with the people in mind who have to make moral decisions every day in the marketplace. I have selected the world of business as its focus simply because I spent nearly 33 years there, and I believe I have some understanding of the moral conflicts and the anguish that often goes along with trying to resolve them. My experience has led me to believe that business managers need a solid base for reflective thinking on and a serious commitment to a set of conscientiously-held moral principles to help them make sound moral decisions.

What is true about moral reflection and decision making for business people is true, of course, for all human beings in whatever circumstances or occupations they find themselves. Consequently, people in the "nonbusiness" world may find this book useful, especially if they are managers in organizations that are not devoted to profits but to human services, for example, nursing and medical practice in hospitals, community-service groups, or even government. Professors in business schools, and their students may also find the book helpful.

The book is an attempt at applied ethics. Two moral theories, utilitarianism and the Thomistic version of natural law, are examined and their principles applied to specific cases. the cases are also considered in the light of cultural moral relativism. This process, of course, leaves considerable room for error in judgment. the conclusions I arrive at in . . .

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