Consider arrest records, which are mostly computerized and stored locally by law enforcement agencies. They have an accuracy rate of about 50%—about half of them are inaccurate, incomplete, or ambiguous. People other than law enforcement officials use these records often. Approximately 90% of all criminal histories in the United States are available to public and private employers. Use the three normative theories of business ethics to analyze the ethical issues surrounding this situation. How hiring decisions might be influenced inappropriately by this information?
Topic 8 Discussion 2: Ethical Issues
The three business ethics theories that will help in analyzing the ethical issues of the situation determined in the discussion prompt are the theory of Egoism, Utilitarianism, and Kant’s theory. These three theories are discussed below in brief.
Egoism theory: The theory of egoism states that those actions are morally right and offer a personal advantage to the organization or employees as a whole. Meanwhile, the situation given in the discussion prompt had the issue which is associated with the egoism theory is that employers can use the information and data of the candidates to reject them not based on their current performance. However, based on its records. Here the issue is that the business executive thinks that it is their business interest to reject or hire some candidate (Frederiksen & Nielsen, 2022). However, this behavior can prove to be unfair to deserving candidates who have good merits, and records, and hold the capability of performing well and achieving success for the organization.
Utilitarianism theory: In this theory, the actions that had been taken to provide welfare to a maximum number of people are considered to be ethically right. Here all those actions are taken into consideration which benefits the organization most. In the situation given in the discussion, the ethical issue is that the company had decided not to hire a candidate who had a criminal records (Ramboarisata & Gendron, 2019). However the business executive here knows that the criminal record might be wrong, the actions of the candidate sound intrinsical and therefore justifies that if some action is wrong, then no good even the best performance can morally justify it.
Kant’s theory: As per Kant’s theory, ethical right actions are those actions that hold the intention of doing the right things, instead of aiming for the right outcome. This ethical business theory argues that if the actions need to be moral intrinsically, then they also need to be ethically right. In this situation, the ethical issue associated with Kant’s theory is that if the organization is hiring the candidate without looking at his or her records, then the organization is hiring the biggest liability for their premises and might bear losses in the future.
In the end, it is recommended that if hiring decisions are taken by considering the above ethical business theories then the decisions will prove to be profitable for the overall business. Meanwhile, if it gets ignored, the organization needs to suffer a lot.
Frederiksen, C.S. & Nielsen, M.E.J, (2022). Ethical Egoism & CSR. Retrieved on 26th September 2022, from: https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-642-28036-8_612#citeas
Ramboarisata, L., & Gendron, C. (2019). Beyond moral righteousness: The challenges of non-utilitarian ethics, CSR, and sustainability education. The International Journal of Management Education, 17(3), 100321. Retrieved on 26th September 2022, from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1472811719300035