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List two basic questions belonging to the field of morality.

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Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The student question is categorized as “business,” so the following discussion of morality occurs within the context of what is often called “business ethics.”

The words ethics and morality refer to the manner in which an individual or organization conducts itself both internally, with respect to codes of conduct guiding behavior within the office, and externally, meaning the manner in which an organization or individual interacts with clients, suppliers, etc. Business ethics or morality is a broad topic with numerous examples, such as honesty in describing a product or in billing practices and the way managers interact with subordinates and individuals of equal rank or stature interact with each other. Providing two questions “belonging to the field of morality” within the context of business ethics, therefore, is not particularly difficult.

One possible question that can be posed pertaining to morality in the business world could be as follows: “how should a retailer describe a product he or she hopes to sell to a customer when that retailer knows of flaws or shortcomings in how the product was designed and/or produced?”

The above question can be applied to many manufacturers and sales departments. So-called “lemon laws” regarding honesty in the sale of used cars were passed in direct response to the practice common in the used car business of concealing from potential customers mechanical problems of which the salesperson is aware. Honesty in revealing a product’s flaws is a basic issue of ethics or morality.

A second question that can be posed could be, “should the ownership or management of a business treat all employees equally with regard to displays of respect and the way in which salaries are determined?”

This second question seems like a “no-brainer,” insofar as it seems obvious that everyone should be treated with respect and fairness. In practice, however, there are regular deviations from that premise. Personality conflicts between managers and subordinates and among individuals of equal status within an organization routinely exist and are manifested in the way such people interact. A manager who dislikes a particular subordinate, despite the latter’s satisfactory job performance, is acting immorally if he or she denies the subordinate promotions or salary increases based solely on personality differences. The “glass ceiling” above which women have historically been prevented by virtue of gender from surpassing is a classic example of a shortage of morality in the conduct of business.

As noted, there are many possible questions regarding morality in the business world that can be posed. Above are two examples.

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