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Imagine Yourself In A Situation Which You Are Encouraged To Inflate Your Expense Accounts

1609 words - 7 pages

HC2121 - Comparative Business Ethics & Social Responsibility
Assessment Task 1 – Individual Essay
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"Imagine yourself in a situation of being encouraged to inflate your expense account. Do you think your choice would be most affected by your individual moral development or by the cultural values of the organisation for which you work? Explain"

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Nowadays, the current global business culture requires the making of critical decisions ...view middle of the document...

Personal moral philosophies are the set of rules or principles that individuals apply in determining what is right or wrong. Almost every moral philosophy can be categorised as ethical formalism, consequentialism, or justice. Ethical formalism centers on the rights and the intentions of individuals correlated with a certain behavior rather than on its consequences. On the other hand, consequentialist philosophies regard a decision to be correct or acceptable if it can achieve a desired result such as knowledge, enjoyment, career development, the recognition of self-respect, or even utility. Consequentialism can also be further classified as utilitarianism and egoism. Justice theory associates with the assessment of fairness, or the nature to deal with others’ perceived injustices. According to David McClelland, three different social needs are believed to motivate an individual in an ethical decision-making situation: achievement, affiliation, and power. Furthermore, Lawrence Kohlberg proposed that a normal person would progress through six stages in their subjective moral development that can be grouped in three levels which are pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional (principled). A pre-conventional typed person would act on their best interests and is willing to break legal laws for it where as a conventional individual conform to the expectations of others to uphold legal and moral laws. A principled level person has their own internal set of moral values and ethics and would disregard orders and consequences to pursue what he or she believes is right. In general, the majority of people would fall into level two – conventional level. Nevertheless, studies show that a few individuals operate at level one and less than 20 percent of individuals reach the principled level. Individuals on both pre-conventional and conventional levels would most likely go ahead and inflate their expense accounts if they are encouraged to. Only individuals on the principled level may be able to resist the pressure and not inflate the expense account if they felt it was unethical.

Even though, ethics focus a person’s moral evaluation about right and wrong and decisions taken within a company may be finalised by individuals or groups, but whoever makes them will be heavily influenced by the culture of the company. In other words, the culture of the organisation, as well as co-workers, superiors, and subordinates, can have a large impact on the ethical decision-making process. Corporate, or organisational, culture can be identified as a same set of values, beliefs, purposes, goals, norms, and ideas shared among employees or members within an organisation. While a company’s universal culture demonstrates ideals that guide a broad range of behaviors for every employee of the whole organisation, its ethical environment emphasizes specifically on the matters of right and wrong. Significant others include co-workers, superiors and subordinates in the...

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