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Question 1

The Utilitarian

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Utilitarianism was conceived in the 19th century by
Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill to

help legislators determine which laws were morally best.
Both Bentham and Mill suggested that

ethical actions are those that provide the greatest
balance of good over evil.


To analyse the issue between Mary and Joe using the
utilitarian approach, we first identify the various courses of action available
to us namely:

Refute the claims to the CEOTell the truth and accept the outcomeSecond, we ask who will be affected by each action and
what benefits or harms will be derived from each.  

Refute the claims – The company might lose creditability
and trust if the truth is discovered that the system has indeed problemsTell the truth 
– Mary might lose her job if she tells the truth  And third, we choose the action that will produce the
greatest benefits and the least harm.The ethical action is the one that provides the greatest
good for the greatest number.

Mary to tell the truth and explain herself to
the CEO.  Focuses on the
consequences that actions or policies have on the well-being
(“utility”) ofall persons reasonably foreseen to be directly or
indirectly (but rather immediately) affected by the action or policy.Mary will probably lose her job and if Joe write
the report and lied he might be implicated to be part of the whole affair and
might also lose his job for lying for his boss.Different people often identify benefits and harms
differently and in Mary sees this as not serious whereas Joe has difficulties
at lying.The principle states: “Of any two actions, the most
ethical one will produce the greatestbalance of benefits over harms.” I believe that Mary
should report the truth herself to save the company from scandal and prevent
reputational damage and image. Types of UtilitarianismThere are basically two branches of utilitarianism. They
both agree that the goal of ethics is to maximize happiness. But they disagree
on where that decision should be applied:?Act Utilitarianism argues that
we should always choose our actions based on what will cause the greatest
amount of happiness.?Rule Utilitarianism argues that
we should figure out what sort of behaviour usually causes happiness, and turn
it into a set of rules.Should Joe draft the reply to make Mary happy?Act utilitarianism says yes, because
this maximizes happiness while causing no future pain in this case.But rule utilitarianism says no, because
in general Mary was aware of the problems and could have prevented it. Mary
must inform the CEO of the status of the system and provide him/her with an
action plan.      Utilitarianism
vs. Deontology vs. Virtue Ethics

Utilitarianism is
the most common kind of consequentialism, which is one of the three
major branches of ethics. (There are other kinds of consequentialism, but
they’re uncommon, so for now we can say that utilitarianism and
consequentialism are the same.)

is contrasted with two other schools of thought:



Virtue Ethics

Morality is about good outcomes
We should make decisions based on what will most likely
result in the outcomes we want
“The ends justify the means”

Morality is about good rules
We should come up with a logical system of moral rules and
always follow it no matter what

Morality is about good people
We should strive to become more courageous, honest,
generous, and compassionate. Such a person will make good moral decisions on
their own without the need for abstract moral rules.


The Fairness or
Justice Approach

The fairness or justice approach to ethics has its roots
in the teachings of the ancient Greek

philosopher Aristotle, who said that “equals should
be treated equally and unequals unequally.”

The basic moral question in this approach is: How fair is
an action? Does it treat everyone in the

same way, or does it show favouritism and discrimination?

Favouritism gives benefits to some people without a
justifiable reason for singling them out;

discrimination imposes burdens on people who are no
different from those on whom burdens are

not imposed. Both favouritism and discrimination are
unjust and wrong.

• Focuses on how fairly or unfairly our actions
distribute benefits and burdens among the

members of a group.

• Fairness requires consistency in the way people are

• The principle states: “Treat people the same
unless there are morally relevant differences

















The Rights

An important approach to ethics has its roots in the
philosophy of the 18th-century thinker

Immanuel Kant and others like him, who focused on the
individual’s right to choose for herself or

himself. According to these philosophers, what makes
human beings different from mere things is that people have dignity based on
their ability to choose freely what they will do with their lives, and they
have a fundamental moral right to have these choices respected. People are not
objects to be manipulated; it is a violation of human dignity to use people in
ways they do not freely choose. Mary violated Joe’s human dignity.

Joe was different to Mary and he was not afforded his
fundamental right to choose freely to do the right thing and the treats made by
Mary puts him in a predicament. Mary manipulated Joe by making the treats to
his ability to perform his duties as a district manager.

Of course, many different, but related, rights are
thought to exist — besides this basic one.

These other rights can be thought of as different aspects
of the basic right to be treated as we

choose. Some other rights might include such things as
rights to the truth, privacy rights, a right

not to be injured, and a right to what is agreed (i.e.,
we have a right to what has been promised

by those with whom we have freely entered into a contract
or agreement).

In deciding whether an action is moral or immoral using
this approach, then, we must ask,

Does Mary’s action respect the moral rights of everyone? Her
actions are wrong to the extent that it

violate the rights of Joe; the more serious the
violation, the more wrongful the action.

• Mary did not identify certain interests or activities
that our behaviour must respect, especially those areas of our lives that are
of such value to us that they merit protection from others.

• Each person has a fundamental right to be respected and
treated as a free and equal rational person capable of making his or her own

• This implies other rights (e.g., privacy free consent,
freedom of conscience, etc.) that must be protected if a person is to have the
freedom to direct his or her own life.

• Keep in mind that is often difficult to agree on
exactly which rights we have.

• The principle states: “An action or policy is morally
right only if those persons affected by the decision are not used merely as
instruments for advancing some goal, but are fully informed and treated only as
they have freely and knowingly consented to be treated.”



So, in the end, the various ethical approaches represent
methods used to evaluate situations and

recommend ethical courses of action. The various
approaches often disagree on the best thing to

do. Even when they agree on what to do, they do so for
very different reasons. As a result, each

approach often needs certain questions answered that are
irrelevant to another approach. It is

handy to know which approach we tend to use for our
personal decisions. In business, it is

important to know what the company values are and how
they integrate into policies guiding our

actions as employees.

Even when two approaches would come to the same result,
you should not ignore features that are

relevant to the other approach, if for no other reason to
not insult your friends, colleagues, family

members, hosts, etc. Try always to appreciate the fact
that many methodologies can work

together well, if first we take the time to understand
and integrate them.









Question 2


Social Contract Theory


Social contract theory says that people live together in
society in accordance with an agreement that establishes moral and political
rules of behaviour. Some people believe that if we live according to a social
contract, we can live morally by our own choice and not because a divine being
requires it.

Over the centuries, philosophers as far back as Socrates
have tried to describe the ideal social contract, and to explain how existing
social contracts have evolved. Philosopher Stuart Rachels suggests that
morality is the set of rules governing behaviour that rational people accept,
on the condition that others accept them too.

Social contracts can be explicit, such as laws, or
implicit, such as raising one’s hand in class to speak. The Constitution is
often cited as an explicit example of part of South Africa’s social
contract.  It sets out what the
government can and cannot do. People who choose to live in South Africa agree
to be governed by the moral and political obligations outlined in the Constitution’s
social contract.

Indeed, regardless of whether social contracts are
explicit or implicit, they provide a valuable framework for harmony in society.

Julie has a contract with society and her actions might
create harm to society or her reputation to society.

She also has a contract with her employer to make money
for the company. Stakeholder Theory.

Stakeholder theory suggests that the purpose of a
business is to create as much value as possible for stakeholders. In order to
succeed and be sustainable over time, executives must keep the interests of
customers, suppliers, employees, communities and shareholders aligned and going
in the same direction

Julie are not just answerable to shareholders. In
addition to shareholders or stockholders she also need to consider any group or
individual who can be affect or is affected by the achievement of the firm’s
objectives namely:

competitors communities customers employees financiers political groups supplierstrade associations trade unions Julie must follow the principles of Stakeholder

should acknowledge and actively monitor the concerns of all legitimate
stakeholders, and should take their interests appropriately into account in
decision-making and operations. Julie
should listen to and openly communicate with stakeholders about their
respective concerns and contributions, and about the risks that they assume
because of their involvement with the corporation. Julie
should adopt processes and modes of behaviour that are sensitive to the
concerns and capabilities of each stakeholder constituency. Julie
should recognize the interdependence of efforts and rewards among stakeholders,
and should attempt to achieve a fair distribution of the benefits and burdens
of corporate activity among them, taking into account their respective risks
and vulnerabilities. Julie
should work cooperatively with other entities, both public and private, to
insure that risks and harms arising from corporate activities are minimized
and, where they cannot be avoided, appropriately compensated.Julie
should avoid altogether activities that might jeopardize inalienable human
rights (e.g., the right to life) or give rise to risks which, if clearly
understood, would be patently unacceptable to relevant stakeholders. Julie
should acknowledge the potential conflicts between (a) their own role as
corporate stakeholders, and (b) their legal and moral responsibilities for the
interests of all stakeholders, and should address such conflicts through open
communication, appropriate reporting and incentive systems and, where
necessary, third party review. Stakeholder Swot Analysis  Conclusion Not only are the Julie distracted, it is difficult to reduce
the package content or increase the prices. However, if Julie, stakeholders and
society and government agree to lay down their guns at the same time, they can
go about their tasks without fear. To add another dimension to the contract Julie
have just entered into, they might agree to search for what they need together,
and come to common understanding.                    Question 3 Corporate social responsibility, often called simply CSR,
refers to doing business in ways that benefit, rather than harm, society and
the environment. Business sustainability refers to a company’s ability to
survive into the future and to eventually outlive its current owners. Although
these concepts may seem dissimilar at first, there is an inseparable link
between CSR and business sustainability. Understanding how acting ethically and
responsibly in the marketplace can influence your financial stability and the
future of your business is essential for entrepreneurs and executives alike. 1. Economic responsibility of a business The most basic responsibility of a business organisation
is to maximise its profitability not only to attend to the interests of its
shareholders but also to contribute to the progress of the economy.A business is thereby an integral actor in economic
development and nation building. The more traditional economic model of
corporate social responsibility echoes this role. American economist Milton
Friedman once mentioned that prime responsibility of a business is to maximise
profits and to ensure that it is able to pay all taxes levied by the
government.It is important to note that if a business is unable to
produce profitable products and maintain sustainability, it is impossible to
attend to all other succeeding social responsibilities. 2. Legal responsibility of a business Governments have now become regulators of businesses in
order to maintain the integrity of business practices and protect the interest
of the public. Like individual members of the citizenry, a business also has an
obligation to follow all written and codified laws that concern its existence.Some of the laws affecting a business include basic
business permits and requirements, tax laws, labour rights, intellectual
property rights, consumer protection, contracts and obligations, and anti-trust
and competition laws, among others. 3. Ethical responsibility of a businessThe decisions and actions of a business organisation
affect the stakeholders in several and varied ways. This fact makes it a moral
actor. It also gives a business an obligation to follow ethical standards,
norms, and values of the communities wherein it operates.An ethically responsible business is able to recognise,
interpret, and act upon multiple principles and values according to standards
prescribed by a particular context or within a given field. It is able to
distinguish right from wrong and make decisions and actions that serve the interests
of concerned parties.Several business organisations have adopted a written
Code of Conduct to standardise the way managers and employees act or behave
within an identified ethical boundary. However, there are businesses that do
not have any written code. In this case, managers become the prime moral actors
and they base their decisions on their own standards of morality.  4. Discretionary responsibility of a business The fourth social responsibility of a business is
dependent on whether it sees itself as an active member and contributing entity
in the society. This philanthropic responsibility implies that a business has a
duty to give back in some ways and contribute to the betterment of the society.Take note that the first three responsibilities are
straightforward. Businesses organisations are obligated to fulfil their
economic, legal, and ethical obligations in order to ensure their survival.
However, the fourth responsibility is not a mandatory. There are businesses
that do not have any philanthropic programs. This is especially true for
smaller or struggling businesses with limited resources. But over the years,
some businesses take pride of their philanthropic works. This responsibility
gives them a sense of purpose while also promoting their public image.Of course, philanthropy does not necessarily mean giving
cash donations. There are several ways an organisation can become philanthropic
without spending too much. Some large businesses hold capacity-building
seminars for budding and emerging entrepreneurs. Others participate in
fundraising activities. 

Small Market Capitalisation

Large Market Capitalisation


Maximise profits
Not so good corporate Citizen

Maximise profits
Good Corporate citizen


Do not abide by laws

Abide and follow laws and regulations

Ethical Responsibilities

Does not communicate with stakeholders

Communicate effectively with stakeholders


Does not support charities
Does not donate
Care not about Safety

Support Charities
Donate to communities
Safety of employees and stakeholders important