PHL 313  - BUSINESS ETHICS
Lawrence P. Ulrich, Ph.D.
Lawrence.Ulrich@notes.udayton.edu
ETHICAL SYSTEMS IN BUSINESS ETHICS


INTRODUCTION TO THE ETHICAL SYSTEMS.

[1] Why is it important to view ethical systems as a set of rules for guiding decision-making?

The contexts for making decisions in ethics are called ethical systems. These systems function very much like the rules in an athletic competition. The systems (rules) of a game give significance and meaning to the activities of the athletes. For example, a "home run" has meaning only in the system of baseball. Outside this system it has no meaning except as a metaphor which is ultimately grounded in the rules of baseball. In contrast the term "field goal" has significance in several sports, e.g., football and basketball. The term "goal" is extended to hockey as well. But the notion of field goal or goal has a different meaning and significance in the various sports. The same term can be confusing unless one clarifies the context in which it is used.

In ethics the term "good" covers a broad spectrum of judgments and it can give rise to much ambiguity. Problems arise both in attempting to define the term and in deciding what behaviors will lead one to the "good." But there is another significant problem that must be faced, namely, the way disputes in judgments about the good are resolved. Suppose there is a disagreement about the practice of dumping toxic wastes. One individual considers it to be morally repugnant and bases her claim on the natural law context for determining the good. Another individual considers it to be morally permissible and does so based upon a utilitarian framework. There is no possibility for resolving this dispute unless one of the disputants changes her moral system. Natural law and utilitarianism have decidedly opposing ways of approaching moral conclusions. They do not share a common ground which would allow those disagreeing to come to a conclusion, given their assumptions, about what is needed to make moral judgments. If, however, there is a disagreement about the moral permissibility of dumping toxic wastes by two individuals who are coming from the same ethical framework, e.g., utilitarianism, it is conceivable that they may come to a resolution of their dispute. This would occur by reexamining the issues and reassessing the utilities involved. Such a reconsideration does not guarantee a resolution; it only opens the door to its possibility. The reason that the dispute about the marketing of handguns has become so strident in our society is that the sides are arguing from radically different ethical frameworks. Of course, it is possible that individuals may agree on an ethical conclusion but do so from different contexts. This does not present a problem . . . this time.

[2] How can recognizing ethical systems assist in resolving ethical disputes? This essay is not the place to debate about which ethical system is the best to utilize in making moral judgments. It would be desirable for all judgments to follow one system consistently. The fact is, however, that some problems can be addressed by one system more comprehensively than another. In reflecting upon the various ethical issues which arise in business practices, it would be helpful, when possible, to examine them from the perspective of the various systems. This exercise would provide a richness of insight that might otherwise escape the practitioner. It would also develop the skill of being sensitive to the way these systems might underlie the ethical judgments of those with whom one might disagree in the future.   What follows now will be a brief outline of the major ethical systems that are often utilized in making judgments about ethical issues that arise in healthcare practice. No attempt will be made to give a detailed account of the systems or the many objections that have been raised about each system. The details and objections are readily accessible in any ethics book or an introduction to some business ethics texts. There will be some attempt to compare the systems so that the reader can see their similarities where they exist and their incompatibilities.    1. NATURAL LAW.

[3] What is the basic assumption of natural law ethics?

The system of natural law ethics was developed in the fourth century B.C. in Greece by the school of philosophers known as the Stoics. This school arose after the death of Aristotle in 322 B.C. The Stoics, like all thinkers in the ancient Greek world, subscribed to the belief that the physical world was an orderly arrangement of parts that were governed by laws. These "natural" laws accounted for the regularity that was revealed in the common sense observations of everyone. Thus, the movement of the heavenly bodies could be both explained and predicted because of these laws.   While the attention of astronomers was drawn to the movement of the heavens, the Stoics focused on the moral life of human beings. They considered human beings to be another set of objects in the physical world with many similarities to other objects in the world. One of the characteristics that set human beings apart, however, was their moral life. They reasoned, as one might expect, that the moral life of humankind must be governed by laws in much the same way as the universe was governed. The notion of law, then, must apply to moral as well as physical phenomena since they are both part of an integrated whole. [4] How does the notion of universality fit into the context of natural law ethics? In their belief, the laws governing moral behavior must be universal in much the same way that physical laws are universal. That is, the laws must apply in the same way to all beings regardless of peculiar circumstances. These laws are not just universal but they are absolute as well. This means that they do not change over time regardless of the time period in which human beings find themselves. In their origin they are objective, that is, they arise from a source independent of human beings. Personal or human whim cannot create, change, or negate a law.   The natural human order dictates what one ought to do. It guides our actions in ways that will promote the agent's moral well-being and the well-being of others. The natural law that the Stoics developed is very general in character. This is not surprising since the whole notion of natural law was in its infancy. Their formula for the natural law was that "Good is to be done and evil is to be avoided." The application of this law to particular human actions was, for them, a matter for further investigation. [5] What is the naturalistic fallacy and how can it be avoided? One of the interesting features of this system is that it takes its clue on what should be done by observing what occurs in the natural setting. They believed that one can derive what is to be done from what actually occurs. This has come to be known in the twentieth century as the naturalistic fallacy. Those who would identify this as a fallacy claim that the fallacy committed by the Stoics lies in the fact that there is no intrinsic value in nature. Value which drives any kind of obligation results from human beings making decisions about what will help them accomplish their goals. Thus, the natural world, at best, gives us clues about how we should behave but cannot actually dictate our behaviors. We make those decisions based upon the values to which we subscribe.   Natural law ethics, which is sometimes called "human nature ethics," often surfaces in business ethics when dealing with matters of worker exploitation. One of the important considerations in the achievement of human goods is the ability of human beings to flourish, i.e., to fulfill their potential. Natural law ethics would require that the circumstances of the working situation must be such that men and women be treated in such a way that their potentials are maximized or, at a minimum, not be compromised. Endangering workers or trampling on their rights, then, would be a violation of natural law. [6] How does divine command ethics derive from natural law ethics? Natural law ethics was adopted by Christian moral thinking in the third century A.D. It was considered to be a system that could give moral guidance to the early Christians as a supplement to the moral teachings of the Gospels. In subsequent centuries it took on a new cast which is now characterized as divine command ethics. This approach to ethics is a logical outgrowth of both the continuing belief in the order of the universe and its authorship by a deity. According to this account the physical order which we see is the order given by God. The moral order that we should follow is also authored by God. To be moral one must conform to God's laws. Human beings know what the laws are by determining God's will as manifested in scripture and tradition and interpreted by the authoritative teachings of God's representatives. [7] How does the notion of conscience fit into the context of divine command ethics? Divine command ethics has the same characteristics of absolute, universal, and objective laws which are found in its origins in the natural law system. There is an important twist to this moral theory, however. In medieval philosophy the notion of conscience emerged as a strong moral force. Conscience is considered to be the subjective norm of morality in contrast to the objectivity of natural law or divine command ethics. Ordinarily conscience and God's law will coalesce. On occasion, however, there may be a disparity between them. When this happens the obligation of the moral agent is to inform her conscience as carefully as possible about what God's law is considered to be as interpreted by those who have legitimate authority to do so. If, after diligently trying to form her conscience, the disparity persists, then the moral agent must follow her conscience. [8] What is the principle of double effect and when may it be used? Another significant addition to this ethical system that arose in medieval moral thinking was the foundations for the principle of double effect. This principle accepts a fundamental assumption of post-Stoic natural law ethics that holds that some actions are fundamentally evil. The principle of double effect begins with the assertion that evil may never be willed directly. However, it acknowledges that many actions may have two effects, one good and the other evil. One can perform the action provided the agent intends the good effect and merely tolerates the evil. The agent cannot achieve the good effect through the instrumentality of the evil effect. And there must be a sound reason for employing the principle of double effect.   Natural law ethics and its religious counterpart, divine command ethics, have a long history in the Western intellectual tradition. It is not a museum piece, for it still has strong adherents today. Many of the controversial positions in communities that have strong religious ties or beliefs find partial formulation in these ethical systems. For this reason anyone who would work in such communities will have to develop some knowledge of and sensitivity to these long-standing ethical systems. Like all ethical systems they uphold ethical ideals which one simply cannot ignore.   2. DEONTOLOGY. By the eighteenth century it became clear to many thinkers in Western philosophy that an abstract system such as natural law or divine command theory could not adequately provide a resolution for the many moral conflicts which arise in human experience. The enlightenment attempted to return to a basic understanding of human reasoning and what it can know with confidence. Among those who were most influential in this enterprise was Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Kant developed an ethical system that is called deontology. The name for this system is derived from the Greek word for duty. [9] How does the notion of universality figure in the system of deontology? In what way does the system allow for subjectivity? As so often happens in the history of thought, Kant began by adopting a number of the ethical commitments of his predecessors. He believed that moral rules must be universally binding if there is to be an adequate moral system to govern human actions. This belief arises from his understanding that human beings all share a common nature. The most significant part of these shared properties is the structure of the human mind. Human beings, for Kant, all have the same structures or rules according to which the mind operates. However, contrary to his predecessors, Kant did not believe that the mind was a passive recipient of external stimuli. The mind does not photograph the world. Rather, the mind actively constructs its objects according to the rules of the mind out of the data that is presented to it in experience. Because the rules of the mind are common to all rational agents, knowledge can be true or false according to whether the rules are properly applied in experience. But because the structure of what we know arises from the mind rather than from the external world, our knowledge is subjective. This revolutionary epistemological shift has dramatic consequences for the moral system that he developed. [10] What does Kant believe to be the foundation of the moral worth of human actions? Kant believed that moral worth in human actions derives from the good will. This is present in all human beings and consists of the fundamental orientation of the act of willing (in conformity with reason) toward the achievement of the good through a sense of moral duty. The moral law springs from the good will rather than being legislated by some source outside of the moral agent. Actions have moral worth, then, when they are performed out of a sense of duty to the moral law and a respect for that law. [11] What is the categorical imperative and how does it relate to the moral worth of actions? Laws which carry moral worth are only those laws which can be expressed as a categorical rather than as a hypothetical imperative. The categorical imperative is a feature of the moral law which carries with it universality. A categorical imperative is binding on all individuals who find themselves in similar circumstances. Because it is universally binding (grounded in our shared human nature) individuals cannot claim exception to it for any reason. In contrast a hypothetical imperative is one which is binding only if certain conditions are fulfilled. For example a parent may say to a child "I will love you, if you are obedient to me." Such a hypothetical imperative would imply that, if the child does not obey the parent, the parental obligation to love the child ceases. Kant is of the opinion that such flexibility in moral obligations does not provide an adequate foundation for the moral life. Only the firm foundations of universally binding moral laws will lay a secure basis for human morality. The test for whether an individual action has moral worth is whether the moral dictate according to which the agent is prepared to act is one which can be universalized for all humankind. If it cannot be so universalized then the action lacks moral worth even though the action may produce good consequences. [12] What does Kant consider to be inadequate grounds for the moral worth of actions? For Kant the issue of the moral worth of an action is one that is highly significant. There are many reasons for performing actions for the benefit of others. One can do something because (1) its consequences are good for others, (2) the agent is inclined to perform such good actions, or (3) divine law or civil authorities dictate the performance of certain actions. Such reasons for acting may produce results which are in some sense "good" but the actions do not fulfill Kant's strict requirements for moral worth. None of these reasons will confer moral worth on an action because they either are too capricious to provide a stable moral foundation or because they originate outside of the moral agent. On Kant's view, consequences flowing from the same action could be either good or bad and such variation cannot carry the requirement of universality. The agent could be inclined to behave in one way at a particular time and behave in a very different way at another time. The capricious character of inclinations renders them incapable of creating a firm foundation for morality. Laws derived from external sources will not work because they do not derive from the good will of the moral agent and because they can be changed depending on the wishes of the law-givers. Thus, while actions resulting from these various reasons may produce good results for some, they can never confer moral worth on the actions. Only an origin which confers a universal characteristic on an action can render the action morally worthy. This universal feature is to be found only in moral agents themselves acting as members of a common nature out of respect for the moral law that springs up from within them. [13] How is the concept of autonomy grounded in the system of Kantian deontology? This strong emphasis on the derivation of morality from its internal source in the moral agent lays the foundation for the concept of autonomy that has become central to many areas of applied ethics. To violate one's autonomy is not simply to disregard a particular preference. Rather, it is to act out of contempt for the individual as a legislator of the moral law itself. Conversely, to respect one's autonomy is not merely to "go along" with someone's whim or even carefully considered decision. It is to respect the fundamental moral agency of that individual who, in formulating the moral law, does so not only for herself but for all humankind as well. The major moral principle (categorical imperative) which Kant formulates reflects this respect for autonomy: One must act so as to treat every person as an end and never as a means only. To treat one only as a means would treat that individual as a convenience for others and not with the dignity required as a moral legislator.   Kant's deontological approach to ethics frequently underlies many of the issues which are faced in business practices. Besides laying the foundation for the notion of autonomy and its accompanying notion of human dignity, it also provides the framework for truth-telling which has profound ramifications for advertising and marketing techniques. The requirement to tell the truth is one of the two examples which Kant gives for the categorical imperative. An absolute duty to respect life, which has repercussion on worker and consumer safety may also be traced in its secular history back to the moral context which Kant designed. [14] How can deontology serve as framework for acting as a professional? A case could also be made that the issue of the professionalism of managers, executive, and employers in general makes most sense when placed within a Kantian context. One does not act as a professional merely because it leads to good consequences. Nor does one act in this way merely because one is so inclined. And no one acts as a professional simply out of obedience to a code of ethics formulated by a council of the profession. One acts as a professional as a result of the dictates of the inner source of moral authority which says that certain behaviors are the right thing to do. A true professional is one who acts out of respect for that authority and, thereby, legislates the moral code for all like professionals.   Criticism could be leveled at the ethical system of deontology because, like its predecessor, natural law ethics, it is abstract and can be easily manipulated by moral agents to achieve self-serving goals. It may lead to endless reflection on the moral rules that are used to govern human actions without leading to a definitive resolution. Thus, the outcome could be similar to the result of natural law ethics, a moral uncertainty and even moral paralysis generated by a variety of formulations and interpretations of the moral law that claims to provide guidance to our human actions.   But in spite of the criticisms of Kantian moral theory it reminds us that there is more to morality than merely pursuing individual preferences. It points out the important role that reflection plays in the moral life. Finally, it calls our attention to the fact that individual moral decisions cannot be divorced from their impact on the moral lives of others. 3. UTILITARIANISM. Modern utilitarianism was born in the eighteenth century in England with the work of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). It reached its most classical formulation in 1863 with the publication of Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). The roots of the modern version can be traced back to the Epicurean school in the fourth century B.C. This philosophical movement was a contemporary rival of the Stoics and was ultimately dominated by them. [15] Why was experience rather than universalism selected as a cornerstone for utilitarianism? Modern utilitarianism was born out of the inability of universalist approaches to ethics to establish a system which would provide a firm guidance for the moral life. As indicated earlier, the natural law, divine command, and deontological approaches to ethics all held out the promise of providing a system for giving moral guidance and resolving moral conflicts. Unfortunately, they failed to accomplish their goal in an uncontested way. These abstract approaches seemed to be doomed to failure because they were replete with metaphysical assumptions that in turn led to further debates.   Modern science seemed to hold out a different promise. With its emphasis on empirical investigation and its testing of claims against experience, it seemed to be the appropriate paradigm for establishing a useful ethical system. Utilitarianism began by dropping the assumption that there is a natural moral order that universally governs all of humankind. [16] What is the relation between happiness and pleasure in the utilitarian framework? Utilitarianism disregarded any allegiance to a common human nature for undergirding an ethical system other than the belief that all human beings seek happiness. This happiness can be found in the various pleasures that human beings seek. The pleasures that we seek are open to empirical observation. [17] Are all pleasures equal in the utilitarian framework? Unlike Jeremy Bentham who thought that all pleasures had equal stature, Mill believed that there was a hierarchy of pleasures. Some pleasures were considered to be more conducive to producing human happiness than others. Pleasures that last longer are to be preferred over those of shorter duration. Those that are more intense are preferable to those which are weak. Those that affect the largest number of persons touched by the action are generally to be preferred to those that affect a very limited number. Sometimes the more remote pleasure is preferable to the closest pleasure; sometimes just the opposite is the case.   Actions, then, are to be measured insofar as they produce pleasure or pain. Those that produce the greatest balance of pleasure over pain are to be performed because they are good actions. Those that produce the greatest balance of pain over pleasure are to be avoided because they are evil actions. This is often stated as the calculation of utilities, i.e., the usefulness of an action to produce pleasurable outcomes leading to an overall increase in happiness. It will be noted that, in utilitarianism, the moral dictum of the Stoics is given content. Because actions can be observed and pleasures "measured" there is an empirical component to utilitarian ethics. Besides providing moral guidance this system claims to resolve moral conflict by measuring and comparing the pleasures and the pains generated by the action being considered. [18] How does the weighing of benefits and burdens (benefits and costs) fit into the utilitarian framework? Proponents of utilitarianism are well aware that all actions are a mixture of pleasures and pains. The pleasure of instant communication by telephone is mixed with the pain of loss of privacy. The pleasure of computer technology is coupled with the pain of higher demands on work performance. This fundamental acceptance laid the foundation of contemporary cost-benefit analysis. Costs and benefits are calculated and compared with each other. Those actions or programs where the costs outweigh the benefits are not to be carried out while those actions or programs where the opposite is the case are performed. Thus, the ultimate utilitarian question is: "What am I (are we) willing to endure in order to gain the advantages I (we) seek?" [19] What is the principle that guides utilitarian decision-making? The principle which guides utilitarian decision-making requires that one should act in such a way as to maximize the greatest amount of pleasure for the greatest number of persons affected by the action over the longest period of time. In order to exercise this principle relevant empirical data must be considered and weighed within a hierarchy of values. Because of the introduction of this hierarchical component utilitarianism escapes from the simplicity of the naturalistic fallacy and reflects to some degree the complexity of human experience and preferences. In addition the pursuit of a particular value may itself be a driving force in achieving happiness. The inclusion of a value component adds even further complexity to any utilitarian calculation.   Utilitarianism is often represented as having two versions: act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Although there are many subtleties to these two approaches the basic component that unites them is the requirement that pleasure be produced. Act utilitarianism requires that each action should be examined against the pleasure-pain test while rule utilitarianism requires that moral rules that claim to guide classes of actions should be examined against the pleasure-pain test. Thus, those rules are to be preferred which will lead to the greatest pleasure, all things considered.   Of all the ethical systems examined above, utilitarianism is probably the most widely followed in business practices, particularly those that involve a cost-benefit analysis. A good example of the use of utilitarian ethics lies in the examination of business practices that have an impact on the quality of the environment. The question of protecting the environment, and at what cost, is the fundamental focus of the Environmental Protection Agency.   While the many varieties and interpretations of utilitarian ethics admits of a number of problems, one must be specifically noted. The comparison of pleasures and pains is not an easy task because it often involves the comparison of incommensurables. This problem arises where the choice has to be made between two courses of actions that do not share a common denominator. It is easy to compare the salary of one hourly worker with another because in both instances one is dealing with dollar figures. It is not so easy to compare the production of a commodity that has value in a consumer-driven economy with the compromise that the production causes to the environment. Hard choices in business ethics are not often between two equally good outcomes but often between two incommensurables, sometimes compounded by two undesirable outcomes. [20] What does it mean to say that utilitarianism only provides a method for resolving ethical conflicts rather than providing solutions to conflicts? In spite of its difficulties utilitarianism provides a method for identifying the issues which must be considered when ethical decisions must be made and conflicts resolved. Beyond identifying issues it offers a process whereby decisions can be made. While it does not provide a perfect guide for achieving satisfactory moral outcomes, it, nonetheless, offers the possibility of some success in areas where other systems continue to quarrel.   4. VIRTUE ETHICS.

[21] What is the emphasis of virtue ethics?

Virtue ethics has enjoyed a significant revival in the past twenty-five years. Its original formulation was found in the ethical works of Aristotle who died in 322 B.C. Aristotle's approach was to establish an ethical system that was not based upon abstract rules to be followed in human action. Instead, his focus was upon the character of the moral agent and the habits which individuals develop in their behavior. [22] How is virtuous behavior communicated? On Aristotle's view the way to discover moral guidance for one's actions was not to look for moral laws to dictate the behavior which is to be chosen. Rather, one should look to the behaviors of virtuous persons and emulate what they would do in a given set of circumstances. Virtuous individuals have had the benefit of a lifetime of learning in making moral decisions. They have reflected carefully on what is proper and have developed a character that makes right decisions about actions with considerable ease. They have been able to accomplish this goal through their experiences. [23] How does the notion of the mean fit into virtue ethics? The virtuous person achieves the golden mean in performing actions. This means that the excesses at either end of the spectrum of actions are avoided. For example, virtue is not to be found in being profligate with one's resources. Nor is it to be found in being miserly. If there is a need to contribute to the welfare of others the proper amount is to be found between these two extremes. And the mean will vary from person to person because each person has different resources available. Variation will also occur in different situations that call for action. So the virtuous person, through practice and reflection will know where the mean lies in a given set of actions. Learners, by observing how this occurs, will then be able to develop virtue in their own character. [24] What part do habits play in the expression of a virtuous character? As a part of the character of the virtuous individual, patterns of behaviors or habits will be established. The virtuous individual will develop these habits over time and, as they develop, their practice will become easier. Thus, the truly virtuous person will not have to struggle to be honest in her transactions with others. Honesty will come with the ease of a "second nature." But habits do not come automatically. Rather, they are the result of dispositions and deliberations on the part of individuals. Over time individuals decide how they will practice the virtues and how they will achieve the mean in their actions. These habits prompt agents to actions that will help them achieve the goods which they consider to be proper to human life in general and their own lives in particular. The life of virtue is indispensable for achieving the "good life."   Virtue ethics can be incorporated into other ethical systems. Indeed, it found significant expression as a part of divine command ethics. Within this context, however, it took the form of the pursuit of the "good life" as theologically constructed in a particular historical framework. The mean is to be achieved within the dictates of the divine will. This approach to virtue ethics will work as long as there is a unified worldview to which all individuals subscribe. The breakdown of this unified worldview has caused some to suggest that virtue ethics is impossible. [25] How does the notion of tolerance relate to the notion of virtue ethics? The revival of virtue ethics may have produced just the opposite effect. It is necessary to realize that in a human community there are a variety of ways of practicing the virtues. This was, after all, Aristotle's initial insight in suggesting that the identification of the mean will vary from person to person and from circumstance to circumstance. As our society has become increasingly pluralistic and it becomes less and less obvious that any single set of moral rules or expectations can be shared across the population, the variations in the practice of the virtues and the priorities which order them becomes more apparent. It has become increasingly difficult to impose one's set of virtuous practices on another and expect to achieve a good fit. For this reason, one workable norm is that of tolerance. A wide variety of virtuous practices are tolerated and, when conflict occurs, the parties attempting to interact will simply have to negotiate their differences. We shall return to the matter of negotiation in the last section of this essay. [26] What is the strength of virtue ethics in the business setting? The collapse of a single worldview as an underlying foundation for ethical systems can have profound effects on business practices. It can temper excesses in the business area so that genuine human interests can be promoted rather than relentlessly pursuing the goals of profit and the growth of wealth at extensive costs to human well-being.   One of the main problems of virtue ethics is that it is a very imprecise approach to developing a moral system. It does not have clearly identifiable rules against which to compare specific practices. On the other hand, there are those who would say that the rules formulated by other ethical systems do not truly reflect the variability of human experience and provide only arbitrary stipulations which are not effective in actual application and practice   It may be the case that the imprecision of virtue ethics is precisely its strength. It allows individuals to encounter each other in particular circumstances and look for the peculiar qualities that they bring to the human encounter. While other systems lend themselves to combativeness and power struggles, this system may enrich the corporate system by promoting dialogue and negotiation between the parties involved thereby empowering all the parties in the decisions that need to be made . 5. FEMINIST ETHICS

[27] What is the problem feminist ethics is attempting to address?

Feminist ethics examines the traditional approaches to ethics, particularly the ones outlined above and finds that they are formulated in abstract terms which little acknowledgement of the particular circumstances in a situation. The same can be said for the reliance on ethical principles in decision-making. Proponents of this theory hold that the abstractions and the tendency toward impartiality embodied in traditional ethical systems and principle-based ethics are reflective of the masculine propensity for abstract reasoning and pure rationality. [28] What is the focus of feminist ethics in the business setting? Feminist ethics focuses upon the particularities in a situation such as individualized needs, personal responses to problems, and the dynamics of relationships. Feminist ethics takes the form of an ethics of care. The aim of feminist ethics is to move away from abstract assessments of situations such as an overemphasis on justice and move toward the concrete realities of a situation and emphasize the needs of the individual as embodied in his/her person. It is not unlike the notion of respect for persons which is central to Kantian deontology but concretizes Kant's abstract notion of person which is characterized by rationality and concretizes it by placing persons in a context of needs, emotions, and relationships. [29] How can business ethics be enriched by the approach of feminist ethics?