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Ethical Perspectives Paper

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Ethical Perspectives Paper

Management 344


Ethics are a crucial part of communal interactions. Whether for business or pleasure acting ethically can have positive and negative consequences. Because ethical considerations are based on individual perceptions the ethicality of an action may be discretionary depending upon a certain viewpoint. There are four basic ethical perspectives which are generally applied to solving ethical dilemmas and other decisions.

Character Ethics

People with the character ethical perspective believe that character is more important than actions. Moral uprightness is perceived as the most important part of ethical behavior. When examining a person's ethics the character perspective values characteristics like trustworthiness, truthfulness, integrity, fairness and wisdom. Compliance with the rules is less important than being a good person.

Obligatory Ethics

Those with the obligation ethical perspective believe it is their duty to do what is morally right. Obligatory perspectives focus on the intentions of the actions rather than the results. Those with the obligation perspective towards ethics believe in the importance of conscience convictions leading them to have good intentions. Respecting each individual and their rights is foremost for the obligatory thinker. Goals must be reached without harming any individual or denying them their rights. Obligatory people respect each individual's capability of making sound decisions on their own. People with obligation ethics embrace individual freedom.

Results Ethics

People with the results ethical perspective believe that the end result or what ultimately happens is the most important part of justifying whether or not a decision or action was ethical. Results ethics embraces solid facts and evidence to justify decisions. Results ethics embrace things that are for the greater good. Sometimes results ethics can lead to challenges making decisions which are good for the group and bad for the individual.

Equity Ethics

People who have the equity ethics perspective believe that because people have diverse cultures, experiences, intelligences and morals they cannot all be held to the same code. Equity ethics people find that the actual background and experiences define the ethicality of an individual's actions. Because of people's individual biases it is believed that judging others' rights from wrongs is not something people can readily do. Since the knowledge people have leads their actions they need individual consideration, and to not be judged under universal idealism.

What's my view?

I believe the Ethics Inventory survey was accurate in defining my ethical perspective. I believe that people are instinctively programmed with a conscious and a sense of right and wrong. I think I have a strong sense of right and wrong. I know I feel a need to be an equal, and be a contributing member of society. I recognize the importance of the saying "what goes around comes around." But I think there are more reasons for doing good things than just reaping the rewards. Every good deed furthers the idea of human harmony and that is reward enough. Along with doing good things, I feel that not doing bad things sustains human harmony. I know that just as I desire respect I am also obligated to give respect. I embrace the perspective that we are obligated by duty to further better and not negate humanity.

While I believe there is pretty clear cut line on ethics which is "Do no harm", and that is obligatory, I also side with the equity perspective that actions are based upon the experiences of an individual and those experiences should be considered. Justice is sometimes not equally served with a uniform code.

Ethical Dilemmas

In our day to day activities we walk around trying not step on other people's feet. Sometimes just to be safe we have to tip toe as we walk. Tip toeing can often be very challenging, but failing to do so may infringe feet which kick back. Sometimes we face the decision of stepping on two feet or only one, other times we have to decide whether to walk on several feet or jump and severely pounce one foot. There are times when the required action does not have a perfectly ethical solution.

As the manager of the maintenance division of a landscaping company I was responsible for giving bids to prospective customers. Bidding for maintenance was pretty standard first I would assess the owner's desires and then use those to produce a bid based on pruning and mowing time, chemicals and their application times, special needs and existing problems. The formula was all numbers and really not discriminatory.

When it comes to getting people to pry open their wallets, my boss believed it was necessary price with discretion towards the size of their billfold. I found that to be discriminatory and unethical. After a few contracts for houses were established my boss noticed that one of my customers had an indoor swimming pool and a Porsche sitting in the driveway of his mansion overlooking the Columbia River. This customer was rich, but only paying five hundred dollars a month for the maintenance of his estate and my boss thought I should have charged him more, even though I actually cared for larger estates for less money.

With pressure to raise the prices to this customer I could not bring myself to "gouge" the price. Instead what I did was pay more detailed attention to problematic issues and get the customer to pay top dollar extra prices to solve those problems. While I tried to act ethically the direct result of my boss's greed caused



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