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Ethical decision

This chapter is perhaps the heart of our study of Ethical Decision Making in Business Management.At least it is to me.My preference is to study our narrow interpretation of “Business Ethics” by understanding the classics of ethical thought.Unfortunately, this book doesn’t go that route.No problem.

Let’s try this approach…Read up on Utilitarianism on page 68: “Greatest Good for the Greatest Number.”Sounds enlightened, doesn’t it?Now, please take a look at:

(Hold on.Parental Advisory time: the short story I am about to ask you to read is deeply unsettling in itself.Additionally, the story contains some superfluous references to nakedness, drug use, and the gratuitous addition of the word “copulation”.{It was written in the 70s, after all.}If this offends you, or you believe that you might be offended by it, please DO NOT read the following…)

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin.

(If the hypertext link does not work, just use the title and your favorite search engine. If you cannot locate it otherwise, I’ve posted a rather ugly copy in “Course Documents” for you.)

So, what is the central flaw with Utilitarianism?Does that render the concept unusable for us business managers?How would you apply The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin to contemporary issues, for example Global Warming?

Page 74, in the second full paragraph down, that starts off: “A second challenge goes directly…”The line: “In short, the end justifies the means.”This quote seems to be lifted right off page 94 of my 1952 copy of Niccolò Machiavelli’s work “The Prince.”This is a book that should rightly belong on any and every manager’s bookshelf.Are you familiar with Machiavelli’s work, and if so, what other words of wisdom has he to offer a business manager?

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