Ethics involves identifying, differentiating, and defending concepts of right and wrong, and what values humanity retains from ethical growth and development. The Williams Group for Ethics and Management developed an exercise, called the Ethics Awareness Inventory, which analyzes responses to a set of questions, and categorizes the results under four ethical perspectives: Character (or Virtue Ethics), Obligation (or Deontological Ethics), Results (or Utilitarianism), and Equity (or Relativism). After completion of the inventory, my ethical perspective was determined to be Obligation, or Deontological Ethics.
I will begin by explaining the core beliefs and values of the ethical perspective of Obligation, and look into the beliefs and values of the remaining three perspectives. I will also examine a few issues which will likely be faced in my workplace, examining how my ethical perspective comes into play.
Deontological Ethics "falls within the domain of moral theories that guide and assess our choices of what we ought to do (deontic theories), in contrast to (aretaic [virtue] theories) that fundamentally, at least guide and assess what kind of person (in terms of character traits) we are and should be." (Alexander & Moore, 2007, 1).
The first perspective I will explain involves focus on "an individual's duty or obligation to do what is morally right." (University of Phoenix Ethics Awareness Inventory, 2003). The Obligation perspective establishes that human beings can not be treated as "means" to accomplishing a goal, and that the intent behind an individual's action is a much better definition as to if their actions are ethical, rather than examine the results.
People have the right to their individual respect, and to make their own choices. If an individual is denied opportunities and respect, social traditions and policies aimed at "the best interests of society as a whole" should be set aside. These events only detract from the development of society toward an "ethical ideal," and should be reconsidered to include a greater percentage of the population.
Minority groups have been left out, and segregated from the majority for centuries. They lack in numbers, which, according to western ways of thinking, renders them insignificant. Minority groups are defined as "a group of people who, because of their physical or cultural characteristics, are singled out from others in the society in which they live for differential and...