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Ethics
moral principle and values applied to social behavior
business ethics
ethics in a business context; a consensus of what constitutes right or wrong behoavior in the world of business an dthe application of moral principles to situations that arise in a business setting.
categorical imperative
a concept developoed by the philosopher Immanuel Kant as an ethical guideline for behavior.  In deciding whether an action is right or worng, or desirable or undesirable, a person should evalutate the action in terms of what would happen if everybody else in the same situation, or category, acted the same way.
principle of rights
the principle that human beings have cerrtain fundamental rights.  those who adhere to this "rights theory" believe that key factor in determining whether a businiess decidsoin is ethical is how that decidoisn affects teh rights of others.
Utilitarianism
an approach to ethical reasning in which ethically correct behavior is not related to any absolute ehtical or moral values but to an evealutioan of the consequences of a given caction on those who will be affected by it.  In utilitarian reasoning, a "good" decision is one that results in the greatest good for the greatest number of people affected by the decision.
Cost-benefit analysis
decision making technique that involves weighting the costs of a given action against the benefits of the action.
moral minimum
minimum degree of ethical behavior expected of a business firm, which is usually defined as compliance w/ the law.
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