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Flashcards in Business ethics Deck (38)
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Define 'capitalism'

An economic system based on private ownership of how things are made and sold, in which businesses compete freely to make profits


Define 'shareholder'

A person who has invested money in a business in return for a share of the profits


Define 'corporate social responsibility'

A sense that businesses have wider responsibility than to their shareholders including their communities and their enviornment


Define 'whistle-blowing'

When an employee discloses wrongdoing to the employer or public


Define 'globalisation'

The international integration of economies, industries, markets, cultures and policies


Define 'stakeholder'

A person who is affected by or involved n some form of relationship with a business


Define 'consumerism'

A set of social beliefs that put a high value on acquiring material things


Is corporate social responsibility an example of socialism or capitalism?



What is Kant's view on how people should be treated within a business, (workers and customers)?

- Treat people as an end in itself not a means to an end
- Companies that control and monitor employees seem to be without respect for human dignity
- Companies that don't ensure safe working conditions are treating their workers as a means
- You cannot mislead customers with false information


What is the general view of utilitarianism in business ethics?

- If the greatest good is to get the greatest profit then maximise income at all costs
- Don't just act in the interest of the shareholder but also the stakeholders, workers, the environment, the community and the national economy


Explain Kant's shopkeepers example

1) Honest because they're scared of being caught to give short change
2) Honest because it's their duty
Only the second shopkeeper is being moral


Give a disadvantage of Kant's views

Abstract - tells us what is right and wrong but not how to act


Give a disadvantage of Utilitarianism

No regard for human value


Milton Friedman



Give a quote from Adam Smith

"It is not from the omnibenevolence of the butcher... we expect our dinner but from their regard to their own self-interest"


Adam Smith is the founder of (1)



Karl Marx - Gov intervention is essential to avoid what?

Exploitation of workers


What is the Protestant work ethic?

Hard work, frugality and discipline are an aspect of a person's salvation, capitalism incentivises human behaviour for the result of self-interest


What are two disadvantages of the Protestant work ethic?

- Encourages greed and moral corruption
- Capitalism encourages consumerism at the expense of human relationships


How are whistleblowers treated by law in the UK?

Protected as witnesses and so don't need to provide evidence


What are two advantages of whistleblowing?

- Improves work safety
- Encourages businesses to accept social corporate responsibility


What are Kant's views of whistleblowing?

Accepted as long as people are not treated as an end and so duty beyond employment encourages people to take personal risk


What is the Utilitarian view on whistleblowing?

Depends on the severity caused by the wrongdoing, it is justifiable for companies to break rules to succeed whereas rule utilitarians believe that the greatest good comes from following rules


What are imperatives? (Kant)
What are Kant's two types?

Instructions telling people what to do
Categorical and hypothetical


What are hypothetical imperatives?

Instructions on what to do to achieve a goal


What are categorical imperatives?

What to do irrespective of desire (moral behaviour)


Give some effects of globalisation

- Increased TNCs
- Increased competition in manufacturing industries
- Lower wages abroad causes loss of jobs in MEDCs
- Cultural erosion


A Utilitarian may be in favour of globalisation due to (1) as a result of global trade but the (2) divide is increasing and the utilitarian does not have specific notions of (3) and so may see globalisation as greater good despite individual suffering

1 - millions lifted out of poverty
2 - rich-poor
3 - individual human rights


A Kantian may be concerned that globalisation will increase (1) in LEDCs where TNCs have greater power than the government. This may be seen as (2) causing (3) loss. Everyone should have the same freedom with (4) and a sufficient (5) to support independent living

1 - exploitation of workers
2 - neo-colonialism
3 - national identity
4 - government control
5 - salary


What environmental issues have been caused by globalisation?

LEDCs have greater priorities than the environment and so standards decrease including building safety regulations