What is ethics

What is ethics? Define the term business ethics

Discuss what is descriptive, analytical and normative ethics? Provide examples to support your view.

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The word ethics describes the course of taking action in the right or wrong way in a certain situation and can be referred to a particular tradition, group or individual. Ethics can also be seen as a moral philosophy and involves defending, defining and recommending certain concepts of action and putting them into the context of right or wrong behavior. Ethics is also centered around the questions “What is ethical good behavior?” and “What actions are right or wrong in certain situations?”.


What is ethics 294x300 - What is ethics? Define the term business ethics
What is ethics?

It is very difficult to break down ethics into one sentence since ethics includes a lot of values of human morality, sustainability, tradition, justice and good and evil. It is very important that we pay attention to ethics and debate about different points of view to create a world where every human being and nature can live together in a sustainable, valuable and peaceful manner.

When referring to the term business ethics the meaning of the word is seen in a different scale and referred to the actions, values and approaches of companies of any size in everyday business. The moral principles or the course of taking action throughout the production of a product for example is analyzed and evaluated if the approach in everyday business is good or bad. A good example for bad ethical behavior is the production of clothes in sweatshops, child labor or hazardous working conditions with chemicals.

On the other hand, good ethical behavior in terms of business ethics can be defined through treating the environment respectful and only using sustainable material, not taking advantage of child labor or exploiting humans for cheaper production costs. These are only a few examples which actually define good ethical behavior when it comes to business. When talking about business ethics in today’s world, the biggest challenges humanity is confronted with are the pollution, the enormous damage we are doing to our environment and the often very bad working conditions in the third world such as child labor and exploitation of the poor for our own benefits here in Europe and other rich parts of the world like the United States for example.

There are three different approaches to ethics and the ethical theory. The three different aspects of ethics are founded by descriptive, analytical and normative ethics. Descriptive ethics means the presentation of facts related to a certain action of an individual or organization. Descriptive ethics describes each step taken in a certain process and is used by an observer to understand the course of action that might have led to an ethical issue. Descriptive ethics only have a describing function without analyzing actions or interpretations and are centered around the questions “How?” and “When?”.

Analytical ethics or also called meta ethics are the second step of the ethical theory and look more into the depth of the issue. Analytical ethics analyze the course of action and are therefore the step to create an understanding of the actual problem. Analytical ethics are centered around the question “why?” and are used to develop an understanding between each step of action and the ethical behavior in total. Analytical ethics also help to understand the motive behind each step of action of the issue.

The third and last step of the ethical theory are the normative ethics. The normative ethics can be seen as a finalized interpretation and analyzation of the ethical issue. The evaluation, interpretation and the exact documentation of the ethical issue also includes recommendations and solutions how to avoid unethical behavior in the future. Both descriptive and analytical ethics have to be applied before normative ethics come into play. Therefore normative ethics should give an exact definition of ethical and unethical behavior and should be implemented directly into daily life or business. Normative ethics in business allows employees and managers to address ethical issues before they occur and can also be translated into an ethical code or philosophy of the business.

Für Leser die mehr über Ethics erfahren möchten, empfehlen wir diese Seite: https://www.ethics-in-business.com/.


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