Individuals' moral judgments of certain business practices and their decisions to engage in those practices are influenced by their personal moral philosophies: (a) situationists advocate striving for the best consequences possible irrespective of moral maxims; (b) subjectivists reject moral guidelines and base judgments on personal values and practical concerns; (c) absolutists assume that actions are moral, provided they yield positive consequences and conform to moral rules; (d) exceptionists prefer to follow moral dictates but allow for exceptions for practical reasons. These variations, which are based on two fundamental dimensions (concern for principles and concern for promoting human welfare) influence a variety of moral processes and have implications for ethical debates over business practices.
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Donelson R. Forsyth is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. A social psychologist, his three major interests are affective and attributional reactions in interpersonal, education, and clinical settings, individual differences in ethical ideology, and the dynamics of interacting groups. He is the author of numerous journal articles, as well as several books dealing with social psychology, group processes, and health.
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Forsyth, D.R. Judging the morality of business practices: The influence of personal moral philosophies. J Bus Ethics 11, 461–470 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00870557
- Economic Growth
- Practical Reason
- Moral Judgment
- Good Consequence
- Fundamental Dimension