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Deontology Approach in Ethical Decision Making Process

Discuss about the Business Ethics for Deontology and Teleology Approach.

Decision making is a crucial aspect that helps a business to run effectively in external environment and succeed. Understanding the importance of decision making process, it should be noted that a person should analyze and evaluate all the aspects present in the environment and then initiate corrective decision making in the organization. The ethical aspects related to the organization’s decision making process should be taken into consideration while implementing any activity in the company. So, the below mentioned essay provides a brief description about the meaning of ethical approach and explanation of two different approaches in context to ethical decision making process. The paper explains a review of deontology and teleology approaches of ethics. Further, it explains the use and advantages and disadvantages of these approaches on the ethical decision making process. The latter part of the paper talks about the best ethical approach that should be used by organizations for ethical decision making process. More details about the report are discussed below:

Leaders in the current scenario faces ethical dilemma in functioning their daily basis activities in the organization. If any decision in the organization is not taken wisely then it can affect the reputation of an organization in long run. So, it is important for the leaders to understand the importance of ethics and apply adequately ethical approaches in the organization that support the business activities and does not hamper its growth. The ethical approach is based on the moral values that help the leaders to take adequate measures that do not harm the interest of any person. Further, there are many ethical approaches that can be used by the leaders in initiating their activities in the environment. These approaches are utilitarian, virtue, justice,  etc. (Bauman 2011).

Talking about the deontological ethical approach, it should be noted that this approach is a normative ethical aspect that judges the morality of the actions based on the rules. Deontology is a system of ethical decision making process that lays emphasis on the moral rules and principles that cannot be changed. This process is also called formalistic system, the process of ethics or the duty based ethics. The deontological approach of ethics provides importance to the value and duties that a person should adhere or the organizations should consider while initiating any activity in the environment. This concept says that the human being has the ability to analyze the actions that are right on the moral grounds or are wrong and can adversely affect to other person’s interest present in the environment (Ulrich, & Sarasin 2012).

Teleology Approach in Ethical Decision Making Process

Deontology theory of ethics provides adequately standards to the people to understand and differentiate between activities that are right or wrong for them. Under this theory, foremost priority is given to the moral and ethical code of conduct that are present in the environment, this approach helps a person to take ethical decision based upon these rationale (Goetsch, & Davis 2014). This approach is above the objective of betterment of an organization as it does not provide decision that ethically right for the company or it will provide benefits to the organization if they will do so; instead, this approach helps the leaders in initiating decisions that are good  for the organization on moral grounds. A decision taken with the help of this approach will be a right and effective decision for every organization and under every circumstance. As this approach is not affected by the prevailing environment or the type of organization, thus, it provide decision that are fit for all organizations. This provides a rationale view of right and wrong acts that present in the environment and it is not based upon the consequences those decisions on the organization (Shapiro, & Stefkovich 2016).


Further, it should be noted that there are two types of the deontology that are, act-deontology and rule-deontology. The difference in application of both the rules is that the act theory argues on the concept that humans have intuitions that helps them to fulfill their moral obligations, whereas the rule deontology theory states that the human capacity that gives a reason to one another to come forward and fulfill their moral obligation. There are four major principles in the theory of deontology that are autonomy, justice, non-maleficence and beneficences (Griffin, & Moorhead 2011). Apart from that there are some issues that are faced by the people while implementing the deontology theory. The issue says that the theory sometimes provides views and opinions to people that become impractical for them to follow. The use of this application is rigid due to which people faces difficulty in following them and there are many negative consequence seen for this event as well. The deontologists argue the statement that there are few things that people should not do even if they maximize its total utility. The leading philosopher that used this theory is Emmanuel Kant (Trenkamp 2009).

Coming up to the ethical theory of teleology, it should be noted that this theory is based on certain assumptions that says that a decision behind certain events has to be based upon the assessment of respective outcomes. The term teleology was originated from a Greek work ‘telos’ that means an end (Thiel, et. al., 2012). The theory of teleology is concerned with the consequences of actions that states that the basic standards of the morals of a person should be morally right and the wrong actions depends upon the good and evil generated. This theory oppose to the notions of deontology theory. The German deontological philosopher Immanuel Kant segregated the teleological theories of ethics. This theory was further divided into three parts that are, ethical egoism, utilitarianism and eudalmonism. The ethical egoism theory of teleology states that an action is good if it produces or has the capacity to produce optimum results to the self-interest of a person. If any activity increases the satisfaction level of a person even after bearing expense of other, then that action is good for that person (Bolman, & Deal 2017).

The Best Ethical Approach for Organizations

This theory is based upon the notion that it is always moral to encourage their own good, but actions of contributing self-interest for the benefit of others is also regarded as a good act. This ethical theory is different from the theory of psychological egoism that states that people are self-motivated and they only listen to their mind and performs actions that maximize their interest level. Thus, this aspect states that a person should initiate activities that are good for them but they should also waive their interest to provide benefits to others (Ford, & Richardson 2013). The second aspect of teleology theory utilitarianism theory that states that an action is regarded as a good act only if it increases the satisfaction level of maximum number of people present in the society. For instance, a manager of the company creates an annual employee tour program from the part of the company. The manager decides the hotel, time and place at the discretion of employees of the company. Then it should be said that the manager is acting the utilitarianism theory as he is aiming to satisfy maximum number of people present in the society. The third and last part of the teleology theory is eudaimonism, this aspects state that an action is good if it fulfills the goals of the organization and provides benefits to the human being and the society on a whole (Crossan, Mazutis, & Seijts 2013).

This theory lay stress on both the aspects that are actions and the results thus it aims to fulfill the obligation of the organization and provide maximum welfare to the people present in the society as well. The actions initiating concerning this approach are considered to be fruitful as it promotes the goal objective of an organization and provides happiness to all people connected with the decision. An example of this case would be training knowledge development sessions given to the employees will certainly provide happiness to them and increase output for the company as well (Pimentel, Kuntz, & Elenkov 2010).


Further talking about the use of deontology theory it should be noted that according to the meaning of this theory, the activities under this case focus on the act on the consequences of the act. This type of theory can be used under the case where the organization is keen in following the rules and regulations present in the society irrespective of the cause of the event. Under this case the leaders believes that highest virtue comes when they do what they are supposed to do in the society. For instance, this type of ethical approach can be followed by a lawyer, as it is the duty of the lawyer to provide result that is according to the rules and regulations defined in the eye of law. Irrespective of the outcomes of the events, it is important for the lawyer to adequately follow the rules and regulations given in the law (Woiceshyn 2011). Under the deontology approach it is the obligation of the leader to provide true and fair results according to the rules and regulations defined for that activity. A lawyer in the society has to always aim to support what is right in the eye of law, h cannot make assumption according to his personal view neither can he initiate activity for the social welfare but harms the code of conduct. Thus, the best example of the deontology theory of ethics is the work of a lawyer in the society. The human benefit and good consequences matter little to them, what matters the most is the duty that they have to perform (Kujala, Lämsä, & Penttilä 2011).

Further, it should be noted that the teleology theory applies in every business process as this process stands with the decisions that makes a human being happy. Thus, this theory applies with the activities that every human initiate in the environment to satisfy the requirements of other human being and make them happy. The theory of teleology is usually used by the politicians present in the environment. The politicians in the environment initiate activities that helps the societies and provide a better and sustainable living to people (Wood, & Hilton 2012). Resulting to which they work increase the satisfaction level. They do not care about the their image or the money that they spend on providing facilities to people but what they want is the prime satisfaction of the people present in the society. This ethical decision also helps the politicians to properly fulfill their objectives as well. The main motive of a politician is to get maximum number of votes from the people present in the community so that they can gain a reputed position in the law. Thus, for that purpose they initiate activities that maximize the satisfaction level of people present in the society and make them. Under this case the political leaders uses the Eudaimonism theory of ethics as their purposeful activities helps them implementing their goals and objectives and satisfying the people present in the market as well. This approach helps a person to remain in the win-win situation as it helps them in achieving their objectives along with successfully helping other people present in the environment as well (Anderson, & Anderson 2011).

The above mentioned are the examples of the people who can use these approaches to effectively create an impact on the society along with fulfilling their personal objectives. But there are certain advantage and disadvantages of both of the decision making process on the activities of people respectively. Firstly talking about the advantage of the deontology approach, it should be noted people who uses this approach gains the knowledge of understanding things and decisions that are ethically right or wrong. As this theory helps in understanding the rights present in the society by overlooking the consequences of the event (Certo 2018). Thus, it helps the people in taking adequate decision without fearing of its consequences. The decision of people taken with the help of this process does not get hindered by thinking of future aspects of the event. Further the biggest disadvantage of this process is that decision taken with the help of this approach providing a conflicting view against moral duties. Under some circumstances what is right for one person might be actually wrong under the rule of law. Humanity is the biggest ethical law that people should serve with their decision making and this approach overruns this law. Also, it should be noted that this approach is strict as it helps the leaders to take decision based on the rules and rights prevailing with them. These rules sometimes give strict punishments to people doing negligible mistakes as well those results in dissatisfaction in organization (Hartman, DesJardins, & MacDonald 2014).

Relating it to the advantages and disadvantages of using the teleology approach, it should be noted that people taking decisions with the help of this approach can effectively take decisions in complex situations. As this process gives the advantage to implement flexible decisions in the system of the organization due to which with the help of this approach people can easily take decision on complex situations. Teleology theory provides advantage to the leader to satisfy large number of people at a time. With the help of this approach, a leader can effectively satisfy the requirement all the people connected to the decision (May 2017). This is the best feature of this approach that it helps the leader to take effective decision that satisfies the people along with the fulfillment of their personal objectives. With respect to that, the disadvantages of this approach are that it is based upon the personal opinion and view of the leader present in the situation. The decisions are taken on the biasness of the leaders; he will provide benefit to the society irrespective of right or wrong. Suppose the workers of a factory have gone on a strike, then according to this approach the leader will satisfy the requirements of all the workers even by fulfilling their demand. Even if the demand of the workers unreasonable then also the leader need to satisfy them according to this approach (O'Sullivan, Smith, & Esposito 2012).

Lastly, it should be noted that the leaders in the current era should uses both types of approaches to create effectiveness in the market by initiating ethical decisions. As the deontology approach is based upon the rules and regulations that bind the activities of an individual thus, it is effective under circumstance when the leader needs to fix the problems by evaluate the actual good cause and not being biased in decision. On the other hand the approach is flexible that helps a leader to make the decision keeping in mind the interest of all people connected to the decision. This process helps them in properly satisfying a large segment of people present in the market and fulfills their organizational objectives (Pearson 2017). Depending upon different circumstances, both the approaches have their significant impact on the society. Like, in a situation where the leader of an organization needs to do right even if the outcomes are not good in long run. So, he should implement the deontology strategy as this strategy provide the power to the leader to make corrective decision that provides benefit in long run. Furthermore, relating it to the teleology theory it should be noted that this theory aims to provide benefits to the people irrespective of what the rules says. Thus, case when the rules are tough and rigid to follow then the leader should apply the teleology strategy. This theory of ethics also provides instant results to people (May 2017).

Thus, it depends upon the chances and circumstances given to the leader in the environment that enforce them to initiate certain ethical actions for the betterment of the society. Thus, both the approaches are equally good based on the moral ground. It would be unjustifiable if one compares both the approaches and evaluate the best approach as both deontology and teleology approaches have their own differential circumstances under which they show positive ethical implications in the environment. It depends upon the discretion of the leader to use certain ethical approaches based on the results and the prevailing environment (Rohr 2017).  

Thus, in the limelight of above mentioned events it should be noted that it is the duty of a leader to initiate decision that maximize the satisfaction level of employees and fulfill the legal obligation of the company as well. Resulting to which, it should be noted that both the approaches show effectiveness under differential surroundings in a sustainable in the business environment. The above mentioned essay stated that the deontology approach is useful when the leader needs to implement good ethical decision based on the rule or duty and rule of right present in the environment. Whereas the teleology approach says that a leader should implement this approach if they want to see the people happy. Thus, it should be noted that both the approaches deontology and teleology are equally good depending on the circumstances and situations that the moral agent(s) get into.

References

Anderson, M., and Anderson, S. L. (Eds.). 2011. Machine ethics. Cambridge University Press.

Bauman, D. C. 2011. Evaluating ethical approaches to crisis leadership: Insights from unintentional harm research. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(2), 281-295.

Bolman, L. G., and Deal, T. E. 2017. Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Certo, S. C. 2018. Supervision: Concepts and skill-building. McGraw-Hill Education.

Crossan, M., Mazutis, D., and Seijts, G. 2013. In search of virtue: The role of virtues, values and character strengths in ethical decision making. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(4), 567-581.

Ford, R. C., and Richardson, W. D. 2013. Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature. In Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics (pp. 19-44). Springer, Dordrecht.

Goetsch, D. L., and Davis, S. B. 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Griffin, R. W., and Moorhead, G. 2011. Organizational behavior. Cengage Learning.

Hartman, L. P., DesJardins, J. R., and MacDonald, C. 2014. Business ethics: Decision making for personal integrity and social responsibility. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kujala, J., Lämsä, A. M., and Penttilä, K. 2011. Managers’ moral decision-making patterns over time: A multidimensional approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 100(2), 191-207.

May, L. (Ed.). 2017. Applied ethics: A multicultural approach. Routledge.

Noddings, N. 2013. Caring: A relational approach to ethics and moral education. Univ of California Press.

O'Sullivan, P., Smith, M., and Esposito, M. (Eds.). 2012. Business ethics: a critical approach: Integrating ethics across the business world. Routledge.

Pearson, R., 2017. Business ethics as communication ethics: Public relations practice and the idea of dialogue. In Public relations theory (pp. 111-131). Routledge.

Pimentel, J. R. C., Kuntz, J. R., and Elenkov, D. S. 2010. Ethical decision-making: An integrative model for business practice. European Business Review, 22(4), 359-376.

Rohr, J. 2017. Ethics for bureaucrats: An essay on law and values. Routledge.

Shapiro, J. P., and Stefkovich, J. A. 2016. Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.

Thiel, C. E., Bagdasarov, Z., Harkrider, L., Johnson, J. F., and Mumford, M. D. 2012. Leader ethical decision-making in organizations: Strategies for sensemaking. Journal of Business Ethics, 107(1), 49-64.

Trenkamp, L. M. 2009. The Identification of Ethiocal Frameworks Using Public Administration Students (Doctoral dissertation, University of Akron).

Ulrich, P., and Sarasin, C. (Eds.). 2012. Facing public interest: The ethical challenge to business policy and corporate communications (Vol. 8). Springer Science & Business Media.

Woiceshyn, J. 2011. A model for ethical decision making in business: Reasoning, intuition, and rational moral principles. Journal of business Ethics, 104(3), 311-323.

Wood, J. L., and Hilton, A. A. 2012. Five ethical paradigms for community college leaders: Toward constructing and considering alternative courses of action in ethical decision making. Community College Review, 40(3), 196-214.

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