Crane, A and Matten, D 2004 Business Ethics: A European Perspective, Managing Corporate
Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization, Oxford University Press.
This book examines the main ethical theories as well as analyzes their importance and capacity in business ethics. A key argument focuses on the position of ethical theories in business ethics, that is, ethical absolutism and relativism. Majority of traditional ethical theories leans on the absolutism side whereas the contemporary ones on the relativistic side. Nevertheless, this book tends to prove that both positions may not be useful in business ethics. On the contrast to this, the book focuses on the pluralism position which occupies a position based on the two. Different ethical theories are used to establish the pluralism position. The book also elaborates assumptions, upon which this position is based, the social phenomenon versus the harm and benefits. These are featured on the perspective of ethical theories use in Europe as compared to other regions. Further, the book differentiates these ethical theories into two groups based on the outcome where they are categorized to either consequential or non-consequential. Here, the theories are evaluated using the moral judgment as to whether a decision is right or wrong. The book explains the theories by reflecting them to certain business problems triggering ethical dilemma. In regards to the consequentialist theories, the book examines egoism and utilitarianism. In egoism, the basis of the outcomes is featured on the decision makers while on the part of utilitarianism it is based upon the community. Likewise, the non-consequential theories looks on two theories applied to business ethics, duties ethics and ethics related to rights and justice. The intersection of these two approaches is similar as they focus on the assumptions of the basic principles of good and wrong. These principles are developed using categorical imperative that applies all morals regardless the benefits or harms to those involved. The categorical imperative framework is examined using three aspects. Each and every action is tested using all the aspects upon which it is defined as being either morally right or wrong. The aspects are based on the issues of consistency, human dignity and universality. Various assumptions concentrating on individual rights are assessed primarily rights to life, freedom, justice, education, property and so forth. Wide agreement about the human rights forms the basis to business ethics in all corporations. The relationship between business ethics and human rights determines the decision making process that is complemented by fairness. The perspective of human rights is directed to the view of justice on how to achieve this fairness. The book provides the useful application of justice in business ethic that has empowered me on how to approach various ethical problems particularly in employment practices. It compares two approaches used and the problems arising. Additionally it clarifies how the main challenge of inequality amongst people or countries can be addressed using ethical theories. The key features, forms, harms and benefits of the ethical theories help me to identify which theory to rely on in approaching business ethics. This book provides a broad category of ethical theories rangi9ng from the traditional to contemporary ones. By this, it provides a good platform of comparison and great assistance in reaching morally informed decisions in business ethics. In addition, we are able to incorporate the idea of pluralism in business ethics as wells as confront its reality. Using the three aspects, ethical theories provide a comprehensive and considerable way to approach problems.
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