Kantian versus Utlitarianism
What sort of changes in the business system would Kantian ethics require? Does Utilitarianism prioritize the quality of life? What would you choose as your ethical model?
Kantian ethical model’s foundation lies on duty-based ethics and it puts emphasis on doing moral deeds out of moral duty not because it leads to good consequences. This conceptual background has important implications on how we run a business. In my view such an ethical system requires certain modifications in how businesses are conducted and the way employees’ behavior is regulated in a firm. If entrepreneurs base their businesses on this model, according to me, no formal code of conduct would be required to be followed in case of ethical issues. I say so because according to Kantian ethics everyone has a moral obligation to act morally and do such deeds without giving a thought to its consequences. Kantian ethics fail to provide any guidance in case organizations face ethical dilemmas. Such an ethical model or system supports the establishment of absolute rules in an organization instead of looking into the details of the issues faced. Furthermore, since Kantian ethical system obligates people to take moral actions without any incentive of rewards for doing good deeds, implementation of it would mean no setting up of any sort of reward system for the employees to keep them motivated and enhance their performance by doing good deeds within an organization and avoiding actions that may end up in punishing them.
Yes, I think Utilitarianism does give priority to the quality of life since this ethical model weighs the benefits against the costs of doing any action or taking any decision. Utilitarian ethical system takes into account the profits and rewards imbedded in a business model. Under the umbrella of utilitarian approach to doing business, an action that results in larger benefits than costs and that too not just to individuals but to a larger number of people in the society should be undertaken.
I would definitely choose utilitarianism ethical model because it presents a more realistic and practical approach to how businesses should be conducted.