Kantian Ethics Is the Best Approach to the Issues Surrounding Business Ethics

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Kantian ethics is the best approach to the issues surrounding business ethics There are a number of issues which are created by business activity. Firstly, how are businesses relationships with their consumers? Secondly, how businesses relate to the environment, for example with pollution, or sustainability, or treatment of waste. Another is whether businesses follow moral principles like honesty in their dealings. Kant says that people in business should act out of duty alone, not self-interest or desire to earn huge amounts of money. For example motivating bankers through huge bonuses would be wrong. Kant would also apply the categorical imperative, to derive the duty of a businessman. However, whether Kantian ethics is the best approach in comparison to theories such as utilitarianism is debatable. One issue surrounding business is the relationship of the business to the consumers. Kant’s theory is deontological and objective because it looks at the morality within the action itself and not the result from it. Kant’s theory expresses the importance of treating people as ends in themselves, rather than only as a means to an end. This approach is helpful as it means that businesses need to use their consumers as not only a means for a profit, but also use them as an end e.g. the products that are supplied are of a certain quality. By doing this it will help a business to flourish as consumers are more likely to buy a product because the business has made it to a certain standard. Another key aspect of Kantian ethics is doing something because of one’s duty, not because they have been influenced by others. For example, if a business man gave a customer the correct change he should be doing it out of duty as it is morally right, not out of selfish reasons because it will make him and his business look impressive; this would make his doing morally wrong.

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