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CONCEPTUAL BACKGROUND

ALTRUISM VS. EGOISM

The struggle between altruism and egoism has always daunted the human race. As defined, altruism is the unselfish concern for the welfare of others and egoism is the tendency to consider only oneself and ones own interests . Altruism is valued higher than egoism because it shows compassion and caring towards others. However, literature often depicts characters who display egoism instead of altruism, often producing strong willing, successful individuals. An egoist character, said, self-sufficient, self-confident, the end of ends, the reason unto himself, the joy of living personified A man who is what he should be. This shows that though self-interest was present in their, it was not necessarily a bad thing. These people generally do not help others and only seek pleasure for themselves. These characters often jump through many more hurdles due to their independent outlooks, but in the end get what they want through a more difficult and thusly gratifying series of events. Such ego-based characters undermine the traditionally high merited altruistic traits by succeeding in a similar task with a more self-rewarding outcome.

Ethical Egoism is also commonly referred to as just Egoism. It is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own selfinterest (Ethical Egoism 2009). To better understand this definition, it is important to note that moral agents refers to a being who is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong. Altruism, a moral obligation to help or serve others, is an important factor when discussing the importance of Ethical Egoism. This type of Egoism deters from transitory pleasures and serves to remind us of the significance of others' lives and well-being.

Altruism (also called the ethic of altruism, moralistic altruism, and ethical altruism) is an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have a moral obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary, at the sacrifice of self-interest. Auguste Comte's version of altruism calls for living for the sake of others. One who holds to either of these ethics is known as an "altruist."

The same argument holds if happiness is taken as the end of life. But critics have asked, if no one has a moral obligation to procure his own happiness, why should anyone else have an obligation to procure happiness for him? Other conflicts have arisen between immediate pain and long-range good, especially when the good envisioned by the doer does not coincide with the vision of the beneficiary.

GUIDELINES FOR MANAGING ETHICS IN THE WORKPLACE

1. Recognize that managing ethics is a process. Ethics is a matter of values and associated behaviors. Values are discerned through the process of ongoing reflection. Therefore, ethics programs may seem more process-oriented than most management practices 2. The bottom line of an ethics program is accomplishing preferred behaviors in the workplace. As with any management practice, the most important outcome is behaviors preferred by the organization. The best of ethical values and intentions are relatively meaningless unless they generate fair and just behaviors in the workplace.

3. The best way to handle ethical dilemmas is to avoid their occurrence in the first place. That's why practices such as developing codes of ethics and codes of conduct are so important. Their development sensitizes employees to ethical considerations and minimize the chances of unethical behavior occurring in the first place. 4. Make ethics decisions in groups, and make decisions public, as appropriate. This usually produces better quality decisions by including diverse interests and perspectives, and increases the credibility of the decision process and outcome by reducing suspicion of unfair bias.

5. Integrate ethics management with other management practices. When developing the values statement during strategic planning, include ethical values preferred in the workplace. When developing personnel policies, reflect on what ethical values you'd like to be most prominent in the organization's culture and then design policies to produce these behaviors. 6. Use cross-functional teams when developing and implementing the ethics management program. Its vital that the organizations employees feel a sense of participation and ownership in the program if they are to adhere to its ethical values. Therefore, include employees in developing and operating the program

7. Value forgiveness. This may sound rather religious or preachy to some, but its probably the most important component of any management practice. An ethics management program may at first actually increase the number of ethical issues to be dealt with because people are more sensitive to their occurrence 8. Note that trying to operate ethically and making a few mistakes is better than not trying at all. Some organizations have become widely known as operating in a highly ethical manner, e.g., Ben and Jerrys, Johnson and Johnson, Aveda, Hewlett Packard, etc. Unfortunately, it seems that when an organization achieves this strong public image, it's placed on a pedestal by some business ethics writers. All organizations are comprised of people and people are not perfect. However, when a mistake is made by any of these organizations, the organization has a long way to fall.

KEY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN ETHICS MANAGEMENT

1. The organization's chief executive must fully support the program. If the chief executive isn't fully behind the program, employees will certainly notice -- and this apparent hypocrisy may cause such cynicism that the organization may be worse off than having no formal ethics program at all. Therefore, the chief executive should announce the program, and champion its development and implementation. Most important, the chief executive should consistently aspire to lead in an ethical manner. If a mistake is made, admit it. 2. Consider establishing an ethics committee at the board level. The committee would be charged to oversee development and operation of the ethics management program. 3. Consider establishing an ethics management committee.It would be charged with implementing and administrating an ethics management program, including administrating and training about policies and procedures, and resolving ethical dilemmas. The committee should be comprised of senior officers.

4. Consider assigning/developing an ethics officer. This role is becoming more common, particularly in larger and more progressive organizations. The ethics officer is usually trained about matters of ethics in the workplace, particularly about resolving ethical dilemmas. 5. Consider establishing an ombudsperson. The ombudsperson is responsible to help coordinate development of the policies and procedures to institutionalize moral values in the workplace. This position usually is directly responsible for resolving ethical dilemmas by interpreting policies and procedures. 6. Note that one person must ultimately be responsible for managing the ethics management program

ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY OF MANAGER

Ethical Leadership

The ethical role of managers, or what the business ethicist leadership, is a combination of being a moral person and being a moral manager. Being a moral person rests on a combination of key traits such as integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness. Integrity involves not only forthrightness and honesty or truthfulness but also consideration for the soundness of the whole entity that one manages as well as of the society in which the organization is located. Integrity also means firm adherence to a code, such as an ethical code of conduct. Thus, being a moral person suggests that the individual has integrity and can be trusted.

ETHICAL DECISION MAKING FRAMEWORKS

Managers in both large and small enterprises face difficult ethical situations daily as they attempt to do their jobs. Since management decisions inherently involve ethical considerations, however, it is important that managers recognize the ethical elements that are embedded in their day-to-day job functions. They need to be able to reason through ethical decisions, just as they would reason through any managerial problem facing them.

RIGHTS AND DUTIES

Rights are justifiable claims or entitlements, frequently based on the law or other authoritative documents, suchas treaties and international declarations, that allow people to pursue their own interests. Rights can be viewed as the positive things that people are allowed to do, but they come with an obverse side as well, in the form of duties or obligations that go along with the rights. For example, in democracies, one right is the ability to vote. Along with that right comes the duty to exercise that right by actually voting.

ETHIC OF CARE

In addition to assessing a moral conflict from the perspective discussed above, ethical managers and leaders also need to look at the impact of a decision on the network of relationships that will be affected. This perspective is called the ethic of care. Based on feminist writings, the ethic of care proposes that one's moral responsibilities vary according to how closely one is linked to other people. That is, if a person is very close to another person, say, a family member, there will be more moral responsibility for ensuring the well-being of the family member than the well-being of an unrelated person.

MAKING ETHICAL MANAGERIAL DECISIONS

Managers, according to Gerald Cavanagh, can use a combination of ways of moral reasoning based on rights, justice, utility, and care when they face a moral conflict and when these different ways of reasoning conflict, as they often do. To decide effectively, managers need to take several factors into consideration as they weighdecisions based on the principles of rights, justice, utility, or care. For example, they can consider whether there are overriding factors in the decision.

MORAL DEVELOPMENT

The ethical decision making framework for managers relies on reasoning using the principles of rights, justice, utility, and care. It presupposes that managerial decision makers have the capacity to reason from principles in making an ethical decision. Unfortunately, not everyone reasons from moral principles in making ethical decisions. A good deal of research on individual development suggests that people develop their cognitive reasoning skills over time and to different levels, generally termed pre conventional, conventional, and post conventional.