Ethics of Positive Discrimination Policy

Essay by kit007D+, June 2006

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As society develops, people are attaching much importance to managerial ethics. Every business has its own principles of ethics to guide the business behaviour and decision making. Sternberg (as cited in Just business: business ethics in action by Elaine Sternberg,1996) writes "The principles of business ethics are those enjoining the basic values without which business as an activity would be impossible." This essay will discuss the ethics about Smith Bank's positive discrimination policy for female employees in New Zealand and the ethics of implementing this policy as international strategy. It will be divided in two parts. The first section will provide a brief discussion for the ethics of positive discrimination in New Zealand. In particular, the Distributive Justice ethic and the Moral Rights ethic will be considered. The purpose of the first section is to prove that positive discrimination policy to female employees is ethical in New Zealand's organization. In the second section, the ethics of extending the policy into other countries will be examined.

By analysing the relationship between ethical policy and the national culture values, it will reasonably come to the judgement that it is not ethical to engage a policy to foreign countries without understanding and respecting their culture values.

In New Zealand, women make up nearly half New Zealand's workforce, but only five percent of the directorships held by female employees. The positive discrimination is therefore taken to balance this unequal phenomenon (CORORATE GOVERNANCE-Gender on the Agenda-Boards and the sexual divide, 2005). There arises a heated debate on the issue of positive discrimination policy. Those who criticize this policy argue that it is not ethical for business. Admittedly, it is believed that positive discrimination is not equality. Distributive Justice, one of the business ethics concepts, states that "different treatment of people should not be based on...