Strategies for Ethical Reasoning

2464 words 10 pages


Release Date: March, 2012

Capsim Ethics Plug-in: Identifying the Options
In hindsight, it is always easier to see how we might have done things differently. How can ethical reasoning help us identify what our options might be before we act and evaluate which of those options might be the most appropriate course of action? Like most academic disciplines, the study of ethics is charged with energetic debate. The ethical principles traditionally applied in business and professional settings are acknowledged on numerous websites such as those belonging to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and
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The Fairness Approach focuses on the fair and equitable distribution of good and harm, and/or the social benefits and social costs, across the spectrum of society. It starts with the premise that all equals should be treated equally, and that those who are unequal, or differ in some relevant

way, should be treated differently in a manner that is fair and proportionate to, or commensurate with, their difference. A classic example would be the payment of a group of employees at different salary levels based on the contribution their work effort makes to the corporation's profitability. Here we assess our action in terms of its fairness to those affected. Are those who are similar in some relevant aspect treated in the same way? Are those who are different in some relevant way treated differently based on a legitimate distinction and a standard of fairness? Are some favored in the case where they may receive certain benefits for no justifiable reason? Is there a discriminatory practice where some, who are no different than others, bear a burden that is not imposed on the rest? What are the relevant factors that determine similarities and differences of those in a group? What is the fair course of action for all the stakeholders or all entities that may be affected by the outcome?

The Common Good Approach regards all individuals as part of a larger community; as such, we share


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