Diffusion of responsibility is a psychological phenomenon whereby individuals do not consider taking actions especially when working with large group of people (Tabetha, 2015). In most cases, diffusion of responsibility in organizations makes staff members to develop diluted or diminished sense of their moral responsibilities. In hierarchical organizations, diffusion of responsibility and conformity makes subordinates who claim to be doing the right things to avoid undertaking their responsibilities and engage in activities which they logically know are illegal or immoral. It also makes individuals not to see the importance of taking proper action on some matters because it makes them feel that someone else will act.
Because employees tend to feel less need of taking responsibilities, they also feel less guilty when they do less or nothing to help (Leube. 2013). Through this it prevents individuals from paying the required consideration to their own conscience. Organizational norms, pressure to conform, and diffusion of responsibility makes the process of employee integrity very difficult especially when it happens in large organizations. The pressure to conform and adhere to the norms and believes of large group of people makes an individual to take the decision of surrendering individual moral autonomy.
The consequentialism theory judges the rightness or wrongness of a particular action based on the consequence which result from that action (Goodman, 2013). From the consequentialism stand point, a morally right action is the one which produces positive outcome or consequence, while immoral actions produce negative outcome. In an extreme from, the idea of this theory is commonly summarized in the saying “the end explains the means” which means if a particular goal is morally fundamental, any mean of attaining it is acceptable. On the other hand, the judgment of the rightness or wrongness of an action in non-consequentialist resides on the properties that are intrinsic to the action (Scott, 2010). This means if something is anticipated to be ultimately positive, then one should consider taking a moral action. For this theory, the morality of any action is based on adherence to the accepted rules and regulations. This means the outcome of an action does not matter, what matters is basically the intention. This means it is up for the community to state what is moral or immoral and for the individuals to obey that morality
One of the advantages of consequentialism theory is that it promotes a happier word because it makes individuals to truly reason about the impacts of their decision before they implement them (Goodman, 2013). The disadvantage of this theory is that it makes it not possible to predict the future because if people judge actions based on the outcome, it becomes challenging to come up with accurate judgment. Additionally, it is really challenging to correctly determine the exact consequences of a particular action, therefore it may end up making one to make wrong decisions. On the other hand, one of the advantages of non-consequentialism theory is that it considers each situation differently, which means thought goes to all serious decisions based on the specific nature of the event (Scott, 2010). The disadvantage of this theory is that different people have different views concerning what is right or wrong because various factors like values, culture, religion, traditions among others, have a significant influence on their decision making. The other disadvantage of this theory is that overall decisions may be impacted by personal influence.
The veil of ignorance theory considers what is regarded as just and fair in the society (Andrew, 2013). The theory states that if people have no knowledge, or information concerning each other, they agree on the rules and regulations that are fair and just with no bias on any special interest. Based on this theory, People should imagine that they sit behind a veil of ignorance which keeps them from understanding who they are having information concerning other people. It also suggests that people should be ignorant to their circumstances so that they can objectively consider the manner in which societies should operate.
The veil of ignorant can ensure justice for all because it enables people to make decisions based on moral considerations. Application of the veil of ignorance ensure fairness when deciding on how the rules of society should be structured, and fairness, just like Rawls believes is the essence of justice in the society (Poe, 2016).Lack of equality which in most cases result from people not being aware of who they are in the society is the one which brings lack of justice. If people have no knowledge or information on each other and fairness is considered when coming up with rules, then justice for all can be attained.
Andrew, K. (2013). Veil of Ignorance: Tunnel Constructivism in Free Speech Theory. Northwestern University Law Review, 107(2), 65-78.
Goodman, C. (2013). Consequentialism, Agent-Neutrality, and Mahayana Ethics. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 20, 54-76.
Kurt, L. (2013). Business Ethics, Sharpened. Policy Review, 173, 70-90.
Poe, M. A. (2016). Toward Writing as Social Justice: An Idea Whose Time Has Come. College English, 79(2), 90-110.
Scott, W. (2010). When Will Your Consequentialist Friend Abandon You for the Greater Good? Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy, 132-145.
Tabetha, H. (2015). Ethics and Morality: What Should Be Taught in Business Law? Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 19(2), 34-78.