Ethical Theory


Ethics deals with morality principles as well as the standards of establishing rights from wrong. These standards mould the conducts of humans regarding society benefits, rules, rights, fairness, and obligations among others. According to philosophers, ethical theories are divided into three distinct areas applied ethics, metaethics, and normative ethics.


Deontology will be the subject of discussion; it emphasizes on the morality of an action based on whether the deed can be considered right or wrong under set rules rather than consequences of an action. Deontologists check situations which bring about reactions to judge whether actions committed are bad or good. Conformity to societal norms makes an action right therefore, takes a priority (Darwall, 2003). The theory forms its basis around a philosopher known as Immanuel Kant who believed universal morals state that individuals ought not to cheat, lie or steal.

According to philosophers, if the government decides to kill civilians living in a region which does not support agriculture in effort to avoid a starving world, it would be regarded as a bad state of affairs due to reasons behind the action. Different philosophers have varied stands on the principle. According to Immanuel, it is wrong to hand directions to a stranger regardless of whether the location given is of a potential murder victim. However, W.D. Ross differs with this as he holds the opinion that some actions such as lying may be the right path of action due to the consequences which follow.

Kantology has several advantages, firstly being it perfectly suits human intuition; thus can easily establish the right from wrong (Darwall, 2003). Additionally, it helps avoid consequentialism as an individual will have a clear mind. According to Nancy-Ann Davis, ethics of duty can be best described as moral breathing room for individuals who practice it. However, it does have disadvantages one being a reduction of morality as it simply entails avoiding bad actions. Moreover, there exist several moral duties which conflict each other in situations where two different ethical duties contradict each other. Peter Singer states that Kant removed emotions and sympathy from ethics therefore ensuring lack of moral worth.

A survey carried on more than 300 companies in the year 2015 intended on establishing how organizations applied various policies (Rusconi, 2017). According to the results, majority of the institutions do have ethical policies in place (Rusconi, 2017). However, application and enforcement of these set strategies are either at a minimal or non-existent. Intel serves as an exquisite example of ethical principles applied in business premises. The organization practices unusual human resource tactics allowing rotation of employees through a maximum of 5 departments over a period of sixteen to twenty four months. The main motive of this initiative is to be good to all the employees moreover, ensure they remain content. The organization bares no direct benefits by practicing this rotation of staff members. However, they achieve their ethical duty establishing conducive working environment.

According to ethical scenario D, regarding David’s conflict of interest at work, David has been tasked with an impossible task of choosing between doing what is right and earn an insufficient salary, or lying to a client and in order to make sizable earnings from commissions. The company has setup two products which serve different purposes. The first product is a combination of life and saving insurance. However, the rate paid is only 1% implying the client’s family would not be fully catered for in the event of a premature death of the customer. This product benefits David as a sales person since the commission earned would be amazing. Furthermore, Tepid stands to benefit more as the client’s beneficiaries would be getting little funds. However, the client and his family would hurt from the purchase of this product even though it is one which is normally being forced on clients.

The second product gives more saving interests and gives a better life cover. This benefits the client and his family; however, Tepid Company does not benefit from clients the selling of this policy. Therefore, employees such as David are discouraged from selling the plan to all potential clients. Additionally, if David sells the plan to his clients, the commission he will earn would be a quarter of the one earned were he to sell the first product. This makes the managers discourage workers from selling the plan as it offers the company little returns though ensures clients are happy and willing to commit for longer durations.

The organization could opt to develop a plan which would favor the institution, employees, and clients. However, majority of companies set policies which would only favor them not the clients. This places all staff members with a tough decision regarding how to sell their products; thus some will be honest while others will not open up to their clients in order to get a great commission. As an alternative, the employees could face the management and request for the commission plans for both of the products are revised. This will enhance trust between all clients and their sales persons due to honesty. Increasing honesty will make the clients send new people to be served by the institution therefore increasing profits.

Moreover, David as a sales person could encourage other agents to be open with clients. This will imply that they will gain minimal profits but will have a clear conscience that they have done nothing wrong. It will make them satisfied each day they are seeing clients as they would not be lying. Finally, David may opt to follow W.D. Ross’s ideology, sell the first product and earn a good commission; thus manage to support his family efficiently. The best direction of action for David would be sincerity with all his clients. Though he would not earn a lot of commission from sales but he will be trusted by many people due to his honesty.

The courses of action taken ought to be governed by principles of kantology. When facing management, the employees can adopt Immanuel Kant’s theory stating lying, cheating, and stealing are wrong (Neta, 2015). Therefore, they can urge the management to practice honesty. The management lies to its clients and gives them a raw deal. This makes the beneficiaries of the savings suffer despite the funds invested in saving for future disasters. Sincerity will save the organization much needed funds which would have otherwise been spent in the court in defense from lawsuits.

 Additionally, the organization uses its staff to cheat potential clients on benefits of schemes which would not be handed out in the eventuality of a calamity. This paints a bad image on the humanity of the staff members who are also forced to do so thus gain sufficient commission to sustain their families. Sales people try their best to earn a living which in this scenario forces them to lie to individuals. The employees apply the law o the jungle stating survival for the fittest as they steal. Moreover, the company steals from both its clients and employees. On selecting the first product, clients would not be able to enjoy the full benefits of their savings. The staff members on the other hand, suffer limited commissions when selling the second product.

Nancy-Ann Davis states that doing good deeds gives individuals a moral breathing room. This can be applied by staff members David included to guide clients to the right choice. Although it would entail earning less commission, David would have a clear conscience and avoid regretting his actions.  It will enable him gain trust from all the clients he serves which may in turn lead to referral clients.

On the other hand, W.D. Ross was of the opinion that actions can be considered to be right depending on the consequences that follow. Based on this fact, David can freely lead clients to select the first option since he is seeking lively hood for his family. According to Ross, this justifies his actions as his family also has to feed. Legally, David has not stolen therefore the client choosing the first option would be on his own choice despite being persuaded thus David can freely lead the client to the option.


In conclusion, David ought to implement Nancy-Ann Davis’s perspective and de sincere with the clients. He should ensure that he has a moral breathing room. Immanuel Kant also supports this theory as he states people should not cheat, steal or lie. David should learn to practice what is morally right despite not being satisfactory. The practice of leaving smiles on people faces without any monetary gain helps individuals gain inner peace. This inner piece coincides with Nancy-Ann’s perspective that people deserve to have a moral breathing room; thus allowing David to work happily.