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Explain the background and development theoretical ethical


In general, there are two types of theoretical ethical approaches which are
deontological and teleological ethical theories. Through a simple understanding,
deontological ethical theory is more interested in duty while teleological ethical
theory is more interested in consequences.
Deontological theory was introduced by Immanuel Kant. He was a philosopher
and scientist t born in 1724 in the Prussian city of Konigsberg.

At the age of

eight, he attended the Collegium Fridiricianum, a Latin school that taught

primarily classicism. After over eight years, he went to the University of
Konigsberg to study about philosophy, mathematics and physics.
However, he left the university and earned a living as a private tutor after the
death of his father. Luckily, in 1755, his friend lends a hand for him to resumed
his study and Kant was receiving his doctorate in 1756. He died in 1804.
The term of deontology comes from the Greek word deon, meaning duty. It
states that we are morally obligated to act in accordance with a certain set of
principles and rules regardless of outcome. (Kantian Duty Based Deontological
Based on this ethical approach, the organization or the individual itself should
know their duties as well. Its can be says that when the organization or the
individual itself obey the duties, then they are doing morally things but if they are
failed to do so, then it was immoral things. As the result, deontological concerned
on the action itself, but not on the result of the action. Therefore, if the action is
wrong, then dont do it.
Three deontological frameworks:
a) Existentialism
b) Contractarianism
c) Kants ethics

MIRI: A former accounts clerk was sentenced to 56 months imprisonment by the

Magistrate's Court today after pleading guilty to three charges of criminal breach
of trust involving three cheques worth RM11,313. (Borneo, 2015)
Based on case above, we can relate with the deontological theory which is the
duty of account clerk. Based on deontological theory, she should obligate her
duties as an account clerk of the company. The company that running the aircraft
business operation realize that their account clerk has breach of trust with the
cheques of the company. She should not do that because it was immoral action
based on the deontological theory. When the action is wrong, she should avoid
Kant theory
Kant argued that morality is only possible in a community of beings that possess
the natural attributes of rationality and free will. (White, n.d.)
In this theory, the organization or the individual itself cannot asked for someone
responsible for his or her actions unless he or she is capable of knowing right
from wrong; and unless that person is capable doing right and avoiding wrong.
From this aspect, knowing what is right or wrong is different from doing what is
right or wrong. (White, n.d.)

The word teleology comes from Greek telos which means end or purpose. This is
an ethics approach where actions are judged morally based upon their
consequences. It is counter approach to the deontological ethics. ( Teleological
ethics, 2013)
Teleological is differing than deontological ethics. Teleological ethical theory
focusing on the consequences rather than the duties. It can be says that What
are those actions that produce the best possible results
For the same case of accounts clerk that worked at Rotorwing (M) Sdn Bhd, she
has known the consequences happened due to her action. Based on teleological
perspective, this ethical theory is concern on the consequences rather than the

duties itself. As in this case, the defendant needs to liable on the all
consequences due to her action before. Below are all the consequences that she
needed to liable with;
a. Based on the first charge, the defendant as an accounts clerk entrusted
with the control of company property Rotorwing (M) Sdn Bhd, OUB Bank
chequebook, has committed breach of trust by using the cheque to buy a
tile worth RM2, 990 for her own use.
b. While the second charge, she had repeated the same action with a
company cheque to buy a half leather sofa set worth RM5, 000 for her own
c. While the third charge, she again has used company cheque for the
purchase of cosmetics set worth RM3, 323 for her own use.
For a first offense, the defendant was sentenced to 14 months in prison, second
offense was sentenced to 24 months and a third offense is punishable with
imprisonment of 18 months.
Mill theory
This ethical theory proposed by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). He was a
philosopher, author, political scientist, scholar and also an economist that born in
London, United Kingdom. John Stuart Mill began his intellectual journey at an
early age, starting his study of Greek at the age of three and Latin at eight. (John
Stuart Mill Biography)
As of overall, both of the ethical approaches have its own strengths and
weaknesses. However, our country, Malaysia is practising Islamic concept. In
Islam, Muslim should follow the right action that parallel with right consequences.


Compare and contrast absolute and relative ethics.

Absolute ethics
Absolute ethics also known as moral absolutism which mean as the ethical belief
that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged,
and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act.



inherently moral or immoral,



the beliefs and goals of the individual, society or culture that engages in the
actions. It holds that morals are inherent in the laws of the universe, the nature of
humanity, the will of God or some other fundamental source. (Mastin, 2008).
Therefore, when the universal standards of right or wrong apply to all people at
all times irrespective of their cultures or beliefs.
Relative ethics
Relative ethics known as moral relativism is a philosophy that asserts there is no
global, absolute moral law that applies to all people, for all time, and in all places.
Instead of an objective moral law, it espouses a qualified view where morals are
concerned, especially in the areas of individual moral practice where personal
and situational encounters supposedly dictate the correct moral position.
Based on relative ethics, the individual itself can decide what is right for them as
can say that Its true for me, if I believe it. This ethic is based on the theory that
truth and rightness is different for different people of cultures.
Similarities between absolute and relative ethics
As a guideline
Table 1.1: Similarities between absolute and relative ethics

Based on table above, the similarities between absolute and relatives ethics is
both of the ethics are become a guideline. Based on both ethics, it says that what
right things to be done are and what are should not to be done. This guideline is
very essential especially for the business operation to operate ethically.
Differences between absolute and relative ethics
Intolerant of other peoples beliefs and More tolerant of others



moral ethics.
different cultures live differently.
Fixed ethical code
Focus on the consequences
Focus on the action
Table 1.2: Differences between absolute and relative ethics
One of the differences between absolute and relative ethics is about toleration.
As in table above, absolute ethics is intolerant of other peoples beliefs and moral
ethics as well. In this type of ethic, absolutists believe that their way is right and
could be accused of arrogance.
While for relatives, these ethics is more tolerant of others and accept that
different cultures live differently and follow different moral codes for whatever
reason. This is due to many traditions, religion or simply for practical survival as
well. (Andrews)
Absolute and relative also can be differ on what it focuses on. The absolute ethics
is focusing on the consequences which are the effect of the action itself. It is
focus on the good or wrong impacts. Meanwhile, relative ethics is focusing on the
action itself. This is due to the variable and will changes based on the
Apart from that, the absolute ethics is the fixed ethical code. When the universal
standards of right or wrong apply to all people at all times irrespective of their
culture or beliefs. While for relative ethics, it was more flexible than absolute.
Relative is based on the theory that truth and rightness is different for different
people or cultures. (Andrews)


Explain the ethical issues which can affect the operational

activities of a business.

Nestle Corporation unethically gave Nestle Formula Samples that make mothers
breast milk would dry up for their own benefit in order to sell more infant formula
in third world countries. In order to get attraction from customers, Nestle hired
dressing women with no specialized training as nurses. Others than that, Nestle
did not provide enough information on their products sold.
As a result, in 1977, the world wide boycott was launch against the Nestle
Corporation. All the consumers all over the world stopped purchasing Nestle
products. Apart from that, the World Health Organization (WHO) drafted the
International Code on the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.
Due to unethical way of Nestle Corporation, the operational business activities
especially in the production department of infant formula need to stop for a while
because of the boycott launched by the worldwide. The companys sales also
affected where the sales of Nestle decreases after all the worldwide boycotting
them. Apart from that, the marketing and financial department also affected As a
result, the company needs to make a change in order to attract back their

Discrimination is the act of treating someone differently-typically by restricting or
excluding the person from opportunity that are available to others-solely because
of that person's membership in a certain class or category of people. (Schneider,
2011). There are many types of discrimination which is the company try to
discriminate their workers based on gender, race, religion, skin color and many
more. This usually happened in companies that operating their business because
of special interest of the company it and they did not care about the different
culture of different people as well.
Religious discrimination refers to treating people differently because of their
religious beliefs and practices. (Schneider, 2011)
We can refer on case that happened at one big company which is Walt Disney
World and a Muslim woman.
A former Disney employee on Monday sued the California-based entertainment
giant, charging harassment and religious discrimination against her based on
her Muslim religion and ethnic origins in North Africa. (Huus, 2012)
Based on this case, the company should not discriminate their employees
because they have contributed something for the company itself. The company
had unethically because asked the Muslim woman to open her hijab. The Disney
officials insisted that the women either wear different headgear or transfer to a
position where she would not be in the public's view.
In Islam, the Al-Quran mention in Chapter 24 known as an-Nur (the Light), in
verse 30, Allah commands Prophet Muhammad as follows:

Say to the believing women that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private
parts (by being chaste)

Since that woman is Muslim, she has responsibility and also compulsory to cover
her aurat that have been teach in Islam. The reason why all the organization in
Malaysia should not discriminate on religious because to take care of the

harmony that practice in everyday life as our country as well. This also will lead
our company and economy towards a better economy and efficient progress.

This case had attracted the media attention and at the same time also affects the
business operation activities of Walt Disney World. Its become viral and the
Muslim people all around the world criticized what have the company done. As a
result, the company Walt Disney World make a conference with the public to
make an explanation on the case happened.

As a conclusion, as a human being, we are always make mistakes either we
realize or not. Some people trying to be fair, trying to be good without thinking
the consequences that he or she will liable with. As long as the action is correct
and no matter what will happened. There also some people that did not care
about the action that they will take but they concern on the consequences of the
However, as a Muslim people, we should follow what Islam teach and back to the
straight path. Before make any action, we should think first what the
consequences happened if we do so. What the effects toward ourselves,
surrounding and also considered about other peoples too. As we know, in Islam,
we have Kifarah which mean that what you give, youll get back; either its in a
good way or vice versa. Allah is fair. Terry Mark says that Thinking before acting
is wisdom but acting before thinking is regret.
Since both of the deontological and teleological theory are not really relevant to
be use nowadays, as a Muslim people we should follow what this Hadith mention:
Prophet (PBUH) said I leave you two things. As long as you follow these you will
never go astray: Allahs Book (Quran) and the Sunnah of the Prophet. (Muwatta,
Al-Qadr (Decree) 3).
In a 2007 interview Noam Chomsky defined universalism or absolute as If
something's right for me, it's right for you; if it's wrong for you, it's wrong for
me. Differ with the relative, for example, slavery was considered moral in the
United States at one time but not anymore. If one society believes that slavery is
wrong and another believes that slavery is right, a moral relativist would say that
either side may be correct. We have no way of knowing for sure whether slavery
is ethically right or wrong, since human beings have not yet found an absolute
moral yardstick with which we can judge. (Connick)

The ethical issues that happened nowadays especially Malaysia becoming

serious. As for example in the corruption issue, our country has increased the
corruption index. According to The Star, Malaysia has climbed up three places in
the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) table for 2014. Malaysia scored 52 points
in the CPI score, two more points than they did last year. (Zainal, 2014). As a
result, the government and non-goevernment organisation should come with
solution in order to overcome the ethical issues happened in Malaysia.


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