Business ethics challenge: when balancing the different perspectives in business life, whose ethics matters the most

During the Sustainability and International Business Ethics class taken during the spring semester of the year 2015 (19.04.2015), we had a problem-based learning session. During the session, we discussed the ethics of premium pricing on cancer treating medicine. As a part of the learning process, we were organized in groups. Based on the learned material and the voiced during the session problem, the groups had to come up with the relevant question, which later needed to be answered individually by each student within the limits of 3-4 pages. The group I was a part of produced exactly the question, which is the topic of the post. Below is my reflection about the challenge.

So, the question is when balancing the different perspectives in business life, whose ethics matters the most. This question clearly considers three aspects: the ethics (see the “different perspectives”), applicable context (see the “business life”) and stakeholders (see the “whose ethics matter the most”). Surely, the easiest way is to start with the list of most spread ethical approaches. Those approaches one can synthesize with the voiced during the problem-based learning (PBL) session three important perspectives in the business context: company, customers and institutions. After that, one can write a paragraph or two of personal analysis and page assignment is ready for the submission.

I advise a different approach. Perhaps, instead of looking for a ready-made ethical point of view, one needs to look at the starting point of each ethical position, the metaphysics, and decide for oneself. The honest answer will determine the answering pattern to the current discussion and will affect the ultimate result generated by each ethical approach. In my opinion, the answer is not what is good or bad and whose opinion is more important but where the reasoning starts. The answer to this question simplifies the understanding of the following to the starting point argumentation flow, which I find more important than identifying the smaller details of the answer. Continue reading “Business ethics challenge: when balancing the different perspectives in business life, whose ethics matters the most”