Acc/260 Week 4 Assignment

Acc/260 Week 4 Assignment Words: 1367

Assignment: Critiquing Philosophical Approaches to Ethical Decision Making When it comes to making ethical decisions there are many different approaches to reach a decision. There is an ethical decision making (EDM) framework which incorporates traditional requirements for profitability and legality, as well as requirements shown to be philosophically important to stakeholders. The EDM framework asses the ethicality of a decision or action by examining the consequences or well-offness created in terms of net benefit or cost, rights and duties affected, fairness involved, and the motivation or virtues expected.

Within the EDM framework there are three major philosophies used when making ethical decisions for a business. Being able to utilize all three of the EDM philosophies is massively important in order to make the right decision not only for the business but the stakeholders and yourself as well. The first philosophical approach is consequentialism. The consequentialism approach determines whether a decision or act is ethical depending upon its consequences.

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Brooks (2007) stated, “The consequentialist approach requires students to analyze a decision in terms of the harms and benefits to multiple stakeholders and to arrive at a decision that produces the greatest good for the greatest number. ” (Significant Ethics Issues Facing Business and the Accounting Profession). In essence act or decision is ethical if its favorable consequences outweigh its negative consequences. The next philosophical approach is deontology. The deontology approach focuses on the obligations or duties motivating a decision or action rather than the consequences of the action.

Brooks (2007) stated, “A deontological approach raises issues related to duties, rights, and justice considerations and teaches students to use moral standards, principles, and rules as a guide to making the best ethical decision. ” (Significant Ethics Issues Facing Business and the Accounting Profession). With the deontology approach, when making a decision about what would be the right decision one needs to weigh out what action would be good for all of society to do where the act improves the well being of the decision maker and society as well.

In essence if the conclusion of a decision is not one that all of society could make then it is said to not be a moral or ethical one. The third and final philosophical approach is one of virtue. The virtue approach is concerned with the motivating aspects of moral character demonstrated by decision makers. The virtue approach focuses on whether the decision maker will be able to make the decision knowing it is the right one rather than having a guilty conscience about their decision.

Brooks (2007) stated, “Virtue ethics focuses on the character or integrity of the moral actor and looks to moral communities, such as professional communities, to help identify ethical issues and guide ethical action. ” (Significant Ethics Issues Facing Business and the Accounting Profession). A decision maker can make a virtuous decision but for the wrong reason as well which results in the inspection of why the virtuous decision was made.

A decision is truly virtuous if the decision maker is making the decision not to gain a greedy end result but because it is the right thing to do to improve society and or to discharge a duty to another person or organization. In a scenario where a mayor has to make a choice between a new building proposal for a mall that will boost the local economy massively or not building it because the location for the building is where the only nursing home and senior citizens’ recreation center is located effected 130 people what is the right decision to make?

When using the consequentialism philosophy the correct decision would be to demolish the nursing home and senior citizens’ recreation center and build the mall. The reasoning behind the decision is that more people would benefit from building the mall than would not benefit from building the mall making it the logical and ethical thing to do. When using the deontology approach the decision could go either way.

The reason why the mayor would decide not to build the new mall would be because he or she has a duty to protect the quality of life for individual citizens and it would be morally wrong to force senior citizens out of their homes with nowhere to go. When using the virtue ethics approach the decision would be to reject the building proposal. The reasoning behind the decision is that the mayor should have a virtuous character recognizing that forcing senior citizens out of their homes with nowhere to go is immoral.

The right decision to make would be to reject the building plan. The approaches used to get to this decision are deontology and virtue ethics. The mayor needs to recognize that by building the mall senior citizens will be affected in a negative way but if the mall is not built then will be affected negatively other than the economy will not get a boost. There will be other opportunities to boost the economy and possibly one that will not have any negative effects. In a scenario where a worker is the only employee left to not hit her sales goals with three sales to go.

If she hits her sales goals the entire branch will have hit them. If the entire branch hits their sales goals they will all get new equipment, vacation packages, and larger bonuses on top of their individual bonuses. She faced with making the decision of reporting three false sales to meet the goal and in turn help everyone. When using the consequentialsim approach the correct decision would be to report the three false sales. The reason that decision would be made is because it would benefit the entire branch whereas by not reporting the sales it benefits nobody.

When using the deontology approach the decision would be to not report the sales. The reason that decision is made is because it would be dishonest and immoral to report false sales for personal benefit. When using the virtue ethics approach she will not report the sales. The reason this decision is made is because she needs to have a virtuous character by being honest. Out of all of the decisions made the right one is to not report the sales. The deontology and virtue ethics approaches were used to determine this.

The action itself would be considered immoral by society’s standards and she would not be demonstrating virtuous character by being dishonest. In a scenario where four guys are living together and one of them walks in on another one of them in what appears to be a drug deal. The one guy has a decision to make about whether to turn him in to the authorities or to keep quiet and not make a big deal out of it. When using the consequentialism approach the decision would be to turn in the roommate.

The reason the decision would be made that way is because it would benefit his other roommates and himself where if he did not turn him in the only people it would benefit would be the two involved in the drug deal. When using the deontology approach the decision would be to turn in the roommate. The reason for this decision is because it is the decision maker’s moral obligation to report the illegal activities. By not reporting the illegal activities the decision maker would be putting everybody else in danger as well. When using the virtue ethics approach the decision would be to turn in the roommate.

The reason for this decision is because it would not be considered an act of virtuous character if he did not report the illegal activities. It would also be putting his other roommates in danger as well. The correct decision to be made in this scenario is to turn in the roommate. All of the different approaches lead to the same decision of turning him in therefore it has to be the most ethical decision. References Brooks, L. J. (2007). Business & Professional Ethics for Directors, Executives, & Accountants (4th ed. ). Mason, OH: Thomson Southwestern

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