The ethical concept that moral decisions are those that best maintain the rights of those effected people affected by them.
The moral rights approach asserts that human beings have fundamental rights and liberties that cannot be taken away by an individual’s decision. Thus an ethically direct decision is one that best maintain the rights of those people affected by it.
Six moral rights should be considered during decision making:
1) The right of free consent: Individuals are to be treated only as they knowingly and freely consent to be treated.
2) The right to privacy: Individuals can choose to do as they please away from work and have control of information about their private life.
3) The right of freedom of conscience: Individuals may refrain from carrying out any order that violates their moral norms and religious norms.
4) The right of free speech: Individuals may criticize truthful ethics or legality actions of others.
5) The right to due process: Individuals have a right to an impartial hearing and fair treatment.
6) The right to life and safety: Individuals have a right to live without endangerment or violation of their health and safety
To make ethical decisions managers need to avoid interfering with the fundamental rights of others. For example, a decision to eavesdrop on employees violates the right to privacy. Sexual harassment is unethical because it violates the right to freedom of conscious. The right of free speech would support whistle blowers who call attention to illegal or inappropriate actions within a company.
The justice approach holds that moral decision must be based on standards of equity, fairness and impartiality. Three types of justice are of concern to managers. Distributive justice requires that different treatment of people are not based on arbitrary characteristics . Individuals who are similar in respect relevant to a decision should be treated similarly. Thus, men and women should not receive different salaries if they are performing the same job. However, people who differ in a substantive way, such as job skills or job responsibility can be treated differently in proportion to the differences in skills or responsibility among them. This difference should have clear relationship to organizational goals and tasks.
The concept that rules should be clearly stated and consistently and impartially enforced.
The concept that individuals should be compensated for the cost of their injuries by the party responsible and also those individuals should not be held responsible for matters over which they have no control.
Procedural justice requires that roles be administered fairly. Rules should be clearly stated and be consistently and impartially enforced. Compensatory justice argues that individuals should be compensated for the cost of their injuries by the party responsible. Moreover, individuals should not be held responsible for matters over which they have no control.
The justice approach is closest to the thinking underlying the domain of law in Exhibit because it assumes that justice is applied through rules and regulation. This theory does not require complex calculations such as those demanded by a utilitarian approach, nor does it justify self interest as the individualism approach does. Managers are expected to define attributes on which different treatment of employees is acceptable. Questions such as how minority workers should be compensated for past discrimination are extremely difficult. However, this approach does justify as ethical behavior efforts to correct past wrongs, playing fair under rules and insisting on job relevant differences as the basis for different levels of pay or promotion opportunities.
Understanding these various approaches is only the first step managers still have to consider how to apply them. The approaches offer general principles that the managers can recognize as useful in making ethical decisions.
Source: New Era Management