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The Problem Statement

Question:

Discuss about the Virtue Ethics and Moral Knowledge.

The problem statement for this particular case is whether the CEO of the mid size company will select John as his successor or not after getting to know the health related problems of John from Brian, another employee of the business organization. in the given case study it is seen that the CEO of a business organization is retiring and thus he is looking for suitable replacement for his post. However, John is the primary choice of the CEO of the company as he has seen John taking up extra burden of work for the best interest of the company, though he takes some planned long leaves in a frequent manner. In this regard, it should be mentioned that John never takes leaves beyond the limit that has been set for him. The dilemma arised when Brian another junior employee of the organization informed the CEO of the company that John is dealing with heart disease and anytime John’s heart can give up and he may die instantly. Brian has been able to gather this information by application of sophisticated analytics generated by the Apple watch of John. The purpose of this essay is to solve the ethical dilemma that the CEO of the company will go through after getting the information regarding John’s health from Brian.

To define ethics it can be said that ethics gives a set of standards for behavior that can help the individuals to take decisions or take action under a variety of situations. Precisely it can be said that ethics is all about making choices and along with that providing valid justification for the choices that an individual make.

Deontological ethics can be explained as the normative ethical position that can judge the morality of an action taken by an individual based on the rules[2]. It can be explained as obligation, duty or rule based ethics as the rules can bind an individual’s actions with duties. Deontological ethics is generally contrasted with virtue ethics, censequencialism and pragmatic ethics. In this context it can be said that action has more importance than consequences[3]. It can be said that relying on the deontological ethics under consideration, moral obligation may invoke from internal or external sources, such as universal set of rules, personal or cultural values or religious laws.

In this context, it should be mentioned that Kant’s theory of ethics can be followed while taking the necessary decision regarding whom to give the position of the CEO in the given situation. In his theory, Immanuel Kant argued to act in a moral way and the individuals should obey their duties. Secondly, Kant stated that motives of individuals behind a course of action can determine whether the action is right or wrong and never can the consequences of an action can make the act right or wrong. According to Kant, to act in a moral way an individual should act from the duty that initiates with an argument. The argument is that the highest good should be both good without qualification and good in itself. Kant also stated that intelligence; pleasure and perseverance are thought to be goods and fail to be good without qualification or intrinsically good.  According to Kant, act of willing’s consequences cannot be utilized to determine whether an individual has a good will, and good consequences may invoke from a motivated action where the motivation behind the action was to harm a innocent individual. On the other hand, bad consequences may also arise after an act where the motive behind the action may have been good[4].  Thus, in this regard, Kant stated that when an individual acts with a good will definitely he would act out of the respect for the moral law. According to Kant, individuals at times act out of respect for the moral law when they act in some way as they have duties. Thus, it can be said that the only thing which can be said good in itself certainly is the good will, and good will is only good when the individual decides to do something as it falls under that individual’s duty. Three major formulations of Kant of the categorical imperatives are   

  • Act is such manner so that a person always treat humanity whether in their own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end
  • An individual should act according to that maxim by which he or she can alsi will that it may become an universal law
  • Every rational individual should act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends.

Defining Ethics and Deontological Ethics


In this regard, it is worthwhile to mention that deontologists like Immanuel Kant are moral absolutists and they have faith that specific actions are either absolutely right or wrong and that is regardless of the moral agent or the consequences of the action committed by an individual[5]. In this context, Kant stated that good will can be the absolute good thing and thus the single determining factor can be the motive of the person who is taking an action; or whether an action is morally right should have a good will behind the action. Thus it can be said that if an individual is acting on a bad maxim for an example, “I will lie’ the action of that person can be classified as wring even if some good consequences of the action is experienced later on. According to Kant’s theories regarding deontology, it can be said that,the individuals as rational being makes the moral laws universal[6].

Virtue ethics is considered to be one of the three major approaches in the normative ethics. It can be identified as one that focuses on the moral character or the virtues contrasting with the approach that sheds light on rules, duties and on the consequences of the actions[7].  For an example, if someone needs to be helped, a utilitarian approach will point out that consequence of helping out an individual will maximize the well being of that individual[8]. While doing so, the person who is helping the other person will act according to the moral rule ‘Do unto others as you would be done by’ and a virtue ethicist to the fact that helping an individual shall be benevolent or charitable[9]. There are four major forms of virtue ethics and those are Platonistic virtue ethics, target centered virtue ethics, eudaemonist virtue ethics and lastly exemplarist or agent based virtue ethics[10].


For this particular case study the CEO is undergoing a dilemma regarding choosing the person who will fill up the gap in the workforce after his retirement after getting to now the medical status of John from Brian in a  confidential meeting. The main reason behind choosing John over other candidates for the post of CEO is, John is hardworking and at times when needed, his commitment towards the company is commendable. In a frequent manner, John takes up huge responsibility and helps the management of the organization to complete the tasks. Thus, John became one of the most eligible person for the post of the CEO being an effective senior employee of the organization. The only flaw John ha is that he takes frequent leaves though he takes leaves within his holiday entitlements. Under this circumstances, when Brian, a junior employee of the firm came to the CEO and disclosed that from the readings of John’s Apple watch he got to know about John’s health and John is suffering from a dangerous heart disease and he may die suddenly due to a heart attack or something like that.

Kant's Theory of Ethics

This drove the CEO of the company under an ethical dilemma that whether he would recommend John as becoming the next CEO of the company or not knowing the medical status of the person. In this context, it is a matter of fact that John is certainly the most eligible person for the post due to excellent track record of his in the business organization and his mentality to get the job done while taking full responsibility. This positive mentality of John has made him the automatic choice for the CEO of the company to choose him as the next CEO.of the company.  Following the ethical theories of Immanuel Kant, it can be said that consequences of the action would not justify the motive of the action[11]. Thus, to ensure the best interest of the company, the CEO should consider John as the most eligible person for the post of next CEO after his retirement considering John’s effort to establish and sustaining the gradual growth of the business organization. In accordance with that, it can be said that the information the CEO received regarding the health issues of John that he got from a different source Brian. Brian acquired the knowledge by going through the reading of John’s Apple watch and that is somewhat a breach of privacy within the office premises. Thus, depending on an unfair action of an employee of the concern, the decision of the CEO should not get manipulated and thus John should have handed the role of the CEO of the company after the existing CEO retires.

What Brian did is just peeping through the documents generated by the Apple watch of John and got the medical information of John; which is not ethical. Brian in a confidential manner approached the CEO of the company and informed him regarding the medical status of John. There are no evidences that can back up the statement of Brian and thus by following the virtuous ethics, The CEO of the company should overlook what Brian is trying to portray, and select John as the upcoming CEO of the company. According to the ethics of virtue, individuals should take decision that will be virtuous and thus in this case John should be chosen as the next CEO of the company. According to the ethics of virtue, the CEO of the organization should follow the moral obligations and the case study clearly backs up the cause of John, he being the most eligible person to get the post of the CEO.

Virtue Ethics

Conclusion

Thus to conclude, it can be said that apparently it looks that John would not be the perfect choice for becoming the CEO of the company due to the medical issues he is dealing with and a sudden demise of a CEO would definitely negatively impact on the productivity and profitability of the company. In this context, it is worthwhile to mention that the information the CEO received regarding John’s health was from a third party (junior employee of the concern), and there are no valid prrof that can back up the statement o Brian   health issues of John. Not only that, the way Brian acquired the medical details of John is breaching John’ privacy, which can be penalized. These, sudden growth of interest not only regarding John’s health and subsequently providing these information regarding John to the CEO of the company when John is on the verge of becoming the next CEO of the company is somewhat suspicious. Thus it can surely be said that abiding by all the ethical norms, the present CEO should choose John as the next CEO of the company due to his excellent track record as an employee of the organization.

References and bibliography

Annas, Julia. "Which Variety of Virtue Ethics?." Varieties of Virtue Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2017. 35-51.

Arpaly, Nomy. "Moral Worth And Normative Ethics." Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5 (2015): 86-104.

Bright, David S., Bradley A. Winn, and Jason Kanov. "Reconsidering virtue: Differences of perspective in virtue ethics and the positive social sciences." Journal of Business Ethics 119.4 (2014): 445-460.

Buijs, Govert, and Simon Polinder. "Introduction." (2015).

Fraser, C. J. "What's Right is Set by What Fits: Normative Ethics in the Zhuangzi." Dao Companion to the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi (2017).

Han, Hyemin. "Virtue ethics, positive psychology, and a new model of science and engineering ethics education." Science and engineering ethics 21.2 (2015): 441-460.

Han, Hyemin. "Virtue ethics, positive psychology, and a new model of science and engineering ethics education." Science and engineering ethics 21.2 (2015): 441-460.

Jayawickreme, Eranda, et al. "Virtuous states and virtuous traits: How the empirical evidence regarding the existence of broad traits saves virtue ethics from the situationist critique." School Field 12.3 (2014): 283-308.

Kagan, Shelly. Normative ethics. Routledge, 2018.

Segon, Michael, and Chris Booth. "Virtue: The missing ethics element in emotional intelligence." Journal of Business Ethics128.4 (2015): 789-802.

Shafer-Landau, Russ. "The fundamentals of ethics." (2014).

Smith, R. Scott. Virtue ethics and moral knowledge: philosophy of language after MacIntyre and Hauerwas. Routledge, 2017.

Thines, George. "Phenomenology and the science of behaviour: An historical and epistemological approach." (2015).

Van Hooft, Stan. Understanding virtue ethics. Routledge, 2014.

Wang, Ying, George Cheney, and Juliet Roper. "Virtue Ethics and the Practice–Institution Schema: An Ethical Case of Excellent Business Practices." Journal of business ethics138.1 (2016): 67-77.

Woozley, Anthony Douglas. "Theory of Knowledge: an introduction." (2016).

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My Assignment Help. (2019). Ethical Dilemma Essay: Choosing A CEO Successor. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/virtue-ethics-and-moral-knowledge.

"Ethical Dilemma Essay: Choosing A CEO Successor." My Assignment Help, 2019, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/virtue-ethics-and-moral-knowledge.

My Assignment Help (2019) Ethical Dilemma Essay: Choosing A CEO Successor [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/virtue-ethics-and-moral-knowledge
[Accessed 23 April 2024].

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My Assignment Help. Ethical Dilemma Essay: Choosing A CEO Successor [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 23 April 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/virtue-ethics-and-moral-knowledge.

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