Reasoning Toolkit

Categorical imperative

What should she say?

Kant’s theory of categorical imperative is a theory of ethics that relies on morality of an action. Its focus mainly dwells with morality of action regardless of the consequence of a particular action. It is therefore an absolute theory. In interpreting Kant’s theory of morality, it would mean that a person’s actions should relate to the maxim in a way that can fit the universal law. This means that an action is moral when a person, is in a situation where by any other person would do the same action, following that same maxim. This means that the consequences of that action cannot be hindered by any one or any other circumstances that come along the way.

Since lying is not permissible to universal law according to Kant, the only thing that Pat can answer the numerous questions of those below her is to tell the truth. She should in fact convene a meeting to address the rumor that is circulating in the firm. She should explain the reasons as to why the company has decided to lay off two hundred workers. She should elaborate in detail which departments are going to be affected and the reasons for each. She should also clarify on the criteria’s that will be used to select the workers who will be laid off, which should be strictly on justifiable concepts like one’s academic qualification and experience. By doing so, the workers will be ready for the results of the consequences with the mind that they have not been biased since that is the only step they themselves could have followed if they were in Pat’s shoes.

This theory therefore offers the insight in which we can view employee-employer relation especially in tense decision making as seen in ABC Company. We see situation whereby a close friend of Pat and an employee under her is full of mistrust where she sees her boss as less competent. This theory is therefore important to employers in making crucial decisions.

Reasoning Toolkit

Virtue ethics

Virtue ethics are sanctions are used to self regulate internally with its religious form externally. The Confucians, Buddhists, Roman stoics and the Greeks have used the self regulating sanctions as one owns reward but the Christians have made it seem like heavenly goods deeds external to life. Virtue ethics are honest, patient, just, loyalty and having compassionate behaviors.

Sweatshop is a poor working environment that the workers are exposed to unhealthy conditions. This could be the reason why the company has decided to lay off the two hundred workers. Routing a standard that will correct the dilemma will then require Pat to implement policies based on virtue ethics and justice. The management will consider means that would eliminate the conditions which violate human rights, workers rights and to check if the working conditions are in coherence with human rights conditions. Another reason would be due to improved technology which could be introduced in the company. Pat has to explain the advantages of embracing computers and internet technologies to the firm as compared to human labor. These are the sanctions that can be used by the company rules based on ethics.

Virtues are the inner acquired qualities of human beings that are used to enhance good life. It is therefore a life long principle based on ethical approaches that can form the character of individuals. Virtue ethics in an organization like ABC, Pat has to redefine the context of the work place. She has to see the potentiality of such an incidence happening so that the company lays down principles based on ethical grounds since they assist an organization to smoothly transform. The awareness of workers in such a transformation would help the organization and the society in general as they collaboratively accept that the changes for the best interest of all those involved ( Jones , Parker and Bos 2005)


Reasoning Toolkit

Jones , C.,  Parker , M and Bos , R (2005) for business ethics, Rutledge publishers.