The Four Views of Ethics: Including a Discussion of the Benefits and drawbacks Related to each of the Four Views.

Essay by shuixianUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

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Ethics can be defined as the code of moral principles that sets standard of good or bad, or right or wrong, in one's conduct (Schermerhorn 2005). Ethics is important for a manager's decision because every decision they made, they had to consider who will be affecting and the outcome of the decision to the company. Different managers had different concept of ethical decision. Thus, there are four views of ethics in influencing a manager's ethical decision for the best of the company that is the utilitarian view, rights view, theory of justice and lastly integrative social contracts theory. This essay will discuss on the four views of ethics and relate each of the views with a recent example.


The first view is the utilitarian view of ethics. Most of the company will choose to use this view because it does not contradict with such business goals as efficiency, productivity and gives high profits (Robbins et al.

2003). It is defined as a means of making decisions based on what is good for the greatest number (Gomex-Mejia et al. 2005). In other words, it only concern on the majority people who are benefiting from the decision rather than the minority people who are affected by the decision. Ethics uses quantitative method like calculating the costs and benefits of the decision made in decision-making. This concept is suitable for companies who are concern on the outcome for the greatest number, which is best for the company as a whole. To illustrate this view more clearly, we look at the decision-making on the production of the new Ford car, Pinto in the 1960s where the Ford managers had to decide whether to impose the lowest cost and the greatest benefits would be to leave the design to be unchanged (Velasquez 1998).