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Business Ethics ­MGT610
VU
LESSON 04
MORAL DEVELOPMENTS AND MORAL REASONING
Moral Developments and Moral Reasoning
This section investigates how we examine our own moral standards and apply them to concrete
situations and issues. It first looks at the process of moral development itself.
We sometimes assume that a person's values are formed during childhood and do not change.
In fact, a great deal of psychological research, as well as one's own personal experience,
demonstrates that as people mature, they change their values in very deep and profound ways.
Just as people's physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities develop as they age, so also their
ability to deal with moral issues develops as they move through their lives.
Moral Reasoning & Kohlbergs' Resaech
Lawrence Kohlberg identified six stages of moral development:
Level One: Pre-conventional Stages
1. Punishment and Obedience Orientation - At this stage, the physical consequences of an
act wholly determine the goodness or badness of that act. The child's reasons for doing
the right thing are to avoid punishment or defer to the superior physical power of
authorities. There is little awareness that others have needs similar to one's own.
2. Instrument and Relativity Orientation- At this stage, right actions become those that can
serve as instruments for satisfying the child's own needs or the needs of those for whom
the child cares.
At these first two stages, the child is able to respond to rules and social expectations and can
apply the labels good, bad, right, and wrong. These rules, however, are seen as something
externally imposed on the self. Right and wrong are interpreted in terms of the pleasant or
painful consequences of actions or in terms of the physical power of those who set the rules.
Level Two: Conventional Stages
Maintaining the expectations of one's own family, peer group, or nation is now seen as valuable
in its own right, regardless of the consequences.
1. Interpersonal Concordance Orientation - Good behavior at this early conventional stage
is living to the expectations of those for whom one feels loyalty, affection, and trust,
such as family and friends. Right action is conformity to what is generally expected in
one's role as a good son, daughter, brother, friend, and so on.
2. Law and Order Orientation - Right and wrong at this more mature conventional stage
now come to be determined by loyalty to one's own larger nation or surrounding
society. Laws are to be upheld except where they conflict with other fixed social duties.
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Business Ethics ­MGT610
VU
Level Three: Post-conventional, Autonomous, or Principled Stages
1. Social Contract Orientation - At this first post-conventional stage, the person becomes
aware that people hold a variety of conflicting personal views and opinions and
emphasizes fair ways of reaching consensus by agreement, contract, and due process.
2. Universal Ethical Principles Orientation - At this final stage, right action comes to be
defined in terms of moral principles chosen because of their logical comprehensiveness,
universality, and consistency.
At these stages, the person no longer simply accepts the values and norms of the groups to
which he or she belongs. Instead, the person now tries to see situations from a point of view
that impartially takes everyone's interests into account. The person questions the laws and
values that society has adopted and redefines them in terms of self-chosen moral principles that
can be justified in rational terms.
Kohlberg's own research found that many people remain stuck at an early stage of moral
development. His structure implies that later stages are better than the earlier ones. Kohlberg
has been criticized for this implication, and for not offering any argument to back it up.
Carol Gilligan, a feminist psychologist, has also criticized Kohlberg's theory on the grounds
that it describes male and not female patterns of moral development. Gilligan claims that there
is a "female" approach to moral issues that Kohlberg ignores.
Both Gilligan and Kohlberg agree that there are stages of growth in moral development,
moving from a focus on the self through conventional stages and onto a mature stage where we
critically and reflectively examine the adequacy of our moral standards. Therefore, one of the
central aims of ethics is the stimulation of this moral development by discussing, analyzing,
and criticizing the moral reasoning that we and others do, finding one set of principles "better"
when it has been examined and found to have better and stronger reasons supporting it.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Business Issues
  2. INTRODUCTION (CONTD.)
  3. THEORY OF ETHICAL RELATIVISM
  4. MORAL DEVELOPMENTS AND MORAL REASONING
  5. MORAL REASONING:Arguments For and Against Business Ethics
  6. MORAL RESPONSIBILITY AND BLAME
  7. UTILITARIANISM:Utilitarianism: Weighing Social Costs and Benefits
  8. UTILITARIANISM (CONTD.):rule utilitarianism, Rights and Duties
  9. UNIVERSALIZABILITY & REVERSIBILITY:Justice and Fairness
  10. EGALITARIANS’ VIEW
  11. JOHN RAWLS' THEORY OF JUSTICE:The Ethics of Care
  12. THE ETHICS OF CARE:Integrating Utility, Rights, Justice, and Caring
  13. THE ETHICS OF CARE (CONTD.):Morality in International Contexts
  14. MORALITY IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTS:Free Markets and Rights: John Locke
  15. FREE MARKET & PLANNED ECONOMY:FREE TRADE THEORIES
  16. LAW OF NATURE:Theory of Absolute Advantage, Comparative Advantage
  17. FREE MARKETS AND UTILITY: ADAM SMITH:Free Trade and Utility: David Ricardo
  18. RICARDO & GLOBALIZATION:Ricardo’s Assumptions, Conclusion
  19. FREE MARKET ECONOMY:Mixed Economy, Bottom Line for Business
  20. COMPETITION AND THE MARKET:Perfect Competition
  21. PERFECT COMPETITION
  22. MONOPOLY COMPETITION:Oligopolistic Competition
  23. OLIGOPOLISTIC COMPETITION:Crowded and Mature Market
  24. OLIGOPOLIES AND PUBLIC POLICY:Ethic & Environment, Ozone depletion
  25. WORLDWATCH FIGURES:Population Year, Agriculture, Food and Land Use
  26. FORESTS AND BIODIVERSITY:The Ethics of Pollution Control
  27. THE ETHICS OF POLLUTION CONTROL:Toxic Chemicals in Teflon
  28. THE ETHICS OF POLLUTION CONTROL
  29. THE ETHICS OF POLLUTION CONTROL:Recommendations to Managers
  30. COST AND BENEFITS:Basis of social audit, Objectives of social audit
  31. COST AND BENEFITS:The Ethics of Conserving Depletable Resources
  32. COST AND BENEFITS:The Club of Rome
  33. THE ETHICS OF CONSUMER PRODUCTION AND MARKETING:DSA Comments
  34. THE ETHICS OF CONSUMER PRODUCTION AND MARKETING:Should Consumers Bear More Responsibility?
  35. THE CONTRACT VIEW OF BUSINESS' DUTIES TO CONSUMERS
  36. THE CONTRACT VIEW OF BUSINESS' DUTIES TO CONSUMERS:The Due Care Theory
  37. THE SOCIAL COSTS VIEW OF THE MANUFACTURER’S DUTIES
  38. ADVERTISING ETHICS:The Benefits of Advertising, The harm done by advertising
  39. ADVERTISING ETHICS:Basic Principles, Evidence, Remedies, Puffery
  40. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Psychological tricks
  41. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Criticism of Galbraith's Work
  42. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Medal of Freedom
  43. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:GENERAL RULES, Substantiation
  44. ADVERTISING IN TODAY’S SOCIETY:Consumer Privacy, Accuracy
  45. THE ETHICS OF JOB DISCRIMINATION:Job Discrimination: Its Nature