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Business Ethics And Deontology Essay

1587 words - 6 pages

Ethics 501 Business EthicsAdam JesseeModule 1 - Case AssignmentBusiness Ethics and DeontologyFor the Module 1 Case Assignment we are asked to briefly describe the Adelphia Communications scandal and drawing upon deontological ethics, discuss how Adelphia Communications' executives violated the trust of the company's shareholders and the trust of that of the larger public. We first need to look at deontological ethics and how the philosophy of deontological ethics affected the choices that were made in the Adelphia Communications' case.So what is deontological ethics? The word deontology derives from the Greek words for duty (deon) and science (or study) of (logos). In contemporary moral philosophy, deontology is one of those kinds of normative theories regarding which choices are morally required, forbidden, or permitted. (Deontological Ethics, 2007) To make the correct moral choices, we have to understand what our moral duties are and what correct rules exist to regulate those duties. When we follow our duty, we are behaving morally. When we fail to follow our duty, we are behaving immorally. So what is the philosophy of deontological ethics? This addresses the question of what makes one person's actions right and another's wrong regardless of the consequences of the action. It emphasizes what is the right thing to do rather than what is the best thing to do. The idea of this theory seeks to justify our obligation to behave in some ways and not in others. Therefore, the essence of deontological ethics is that an action's moral value is independent of its consequences. An actions moral value depends on whether the motivation was to one's duty. (Duska & Duska, 2003). Thus, looking at this theory, we all have the duty to take the fair and right course of action. So what is meant by deontological ethics by Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative. Kant's version, of the duty-based ethics, is a rule that is true in all circumstances. In Kant's formula the universal law states that we ought to act in conformity with that maxim, and that maxim only, which can at the same time, will to be a universal law (Pecorino, 2000). With that being said, did the Adelphia's executives take the fair and right courses of action? Were the actions Adelphia's executive's moral or immoral? Finally, were their actions motivated by one's duties? To better answer these questions let's look at a brief description of the Adelphia Communications scandal.The Adelphia Communications scandal broke in 2002 when a footnote in a routine quarterly earnings statement revealed that Adelphia had backed $2.3 billion worth of personal loans to the Rigas family. Another item that was sounding the alarm was the financial affairs of the Rigas family entities were intermingled with Adelphia, but not consolidated. This lead to off the balance sheet debt and the ideal arrangement with Adelphia that made the family and the company responsible for each other's debts. Ultimately it was revealed...

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