Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories in business (the fashion industry).

Essay by prince_avpUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 2009

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IntroductionBusinesses in today's world raise many ethical issues and it is important to understand which actions are right and which ones are wrong. In this report the focus will be placed on an article about models working in the fashion industry. It explains how models are being mistreated and exploited in many ways which include sexual harassment, lack of rights, overworking and having to face dangerous situations such as taking drugs which include cocaine in order to stay thin. The article also mentions that models enter the industry as young as 13 years of age and definitely need protection from this exploitation.

The industry has acted though the commonplace laws do not apply to them, many of the models do not complain about mistreatment by their agency or photographer because of their fear of being blacklisted from the industry. Safety for models is a real issue here as with any employee in the workforce.

The ethical issue this report will analyse will be "Is it morally acceptable for models in the workplace to be exploited?". The business ethics area this issue falls under is ethical issues in the workplace, which include for example discrimination, invasion of privacy but the main concentration in this report will be put on workplace harassment. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories will be applied to this report and will be used to conclude if this issue is morally permissible.

AnalysisAccording to the principle of utility, the central idea of utilitarianism is that the right action is the one that will likely produce the greatest amount of happiness and reduce the amount of pain for all concerned including humans and animals, than any other alternative. Utilitarianism is also a consequentialist based theory which means it defines right or wrong according to consequences (Rachels, 2003).