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code of moral principles and values that governs the behaviors of a person or group with respect to what is right or wrong

ethical dilemma

situation in which all alternative choices or behaviors have potentially negative consequences. Right and wrong cannot be clearly distinguished

utilitarian approach

this approach to ethical decision making says that the ethical choice is the one that produces the greatest good for the greatest number

individualism approach

this approach suggests that actions are ethical when they promote the individual's best long-term interests, because with everyone pursuing self-interest, the greater good is ultimately served; not considered appropriate today because it is easily misused to support one's personal gain at the expense of others

moral rights approach

some managers rely on this approach which holds that ethical decisions are those that best maintain the fundamental rights of the people affected by them

justice approach

this approach says that ethical decisions must be based on standards of equity, fairness, and impartiality

distributive justice

requires that different treatment of individual not be based on arbitrary characteristics

procedural justice

holds that rules should be clearly stated and consistently and impartially enforced

compensatory justice

argues that individuals should be compensated for the cost of their injuries by the party responsible, and individuals should not be held responsible for matters over which they have no control

virtue ethics approach

this approach says that moral behavior stems from personal virtues. If a manager develops good character traits and learns to overcome negative traits, he or she will make ethical decisions based on personal virtue

practical approach

today's managers also use this approach which sidesteps debates about what is right, good, or just, and bases decisions on prevailing standards of the profession and the larger society, taking the interests of all stakeholders into account

corporate social responsibility

refers to the obligation of organizational managers to make choices and take actions that will enhance the welfare and interests of society as well as the organization


refers to any group within or outside the organization that has a stake in the organization's performance


refers to the economic development that generates wealth and meets the needs of the current population while preserving the environment for the needs of future generations

discretionary responsibility

purely voluntary and is guided by the organization's desire to make social contributions not mandated by economics, laws, or ethics

code of ethics

formal statement of the organization's values regarding ethics and social issues

ethics committee

group of executives charged with overseeing company ethics by ruling on questionable issues and disciplining violators

chief ethics officer

some organizations have ethics offices headed by a..., a manager who oversees all aspects of ethics and legal compliance

ethics training

used to help employees deal with ethical questions and translate the value stated in a code of ethics into everyday behavior


managers who want ethical organizations support..., the disclosure by employees of unethical, illegitimate, or illegal practices by the organization

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