Ethics in the Workplace


Ethicsin the Workplace

Deontologicalethics refers to actions that are motivated by a good will.Philosophers are supporting deontological ethical theory assert thatan action can only be legitimate if it is based on a maxim of a goodwill. One can know that an action is ethical if its implementationdoes not make a situation worse, or if the action can be used as auniversal law.

Iam a Captain the United States’ military in charge of the logisticsdepartment. As a result, I often engage in business practices whengiving tenders and inspecting the quality of supplies. Last year, Iwas informed to advertise a tender for a contractor with thecapability of supplying the US Army with weapons, food and battlegear in Afghanistan for a one-year period. The tender was worthbillions of dollars. As usual, I received hundreds of thousands oftenders from renowned and newly established companies. I was in aposition to influence the person who could win the tender because Ihave absolute control of the department. Some of the contractorsapplying for the tender understood so. Three weeks before the closureof the deadline, I received a phone call from a colleague inviting mefor drinks in a local restaurant. Upon arrival, I found that he wasin the company of his colleagues. However, I learned that they werebusiness gurus in international trade. After a few drinks, mycolleague claimed that they had called me for because they had abusiness proposal. My colleague’s friends informed me that they hadapplied for the tender to supply weapons, food and military gear inAfghanistan. However, they were willing to reward me with one hundredmillion dollar if I could approve their proposal. The offer wastempting because I am worth less than a million USD. This was asuitable situation to become rich overnight for just approving aqualified contractor for the job. Nevertheless, I declined the offerbecause I only act on maxims that can become a universal law. Iblacklisted the contractors that that had attempted to bribe mebecause I believe a duty to choose intrinsically good objectives(Altman, 2011).

Deontologicalethics determines the morality of an action by establishing whetherit adheres to the stipulated rules and regulations. The tenderpolicies required contractors to provide quotes to send tenders tothe Department of Defense (DOD) with the estimated cost they wouldcharge to supply the weapons. The contractors that had proposed tocompensate me for a 100 million dollar had an established companythat focused on important and exporting products. However, if I couldhave accepted the offer, I could have violated the deontologicalethics that states that an action is moral if it is influenced bypersonal obligation or duty. Disqualifying the contractors was thebest action as they had violated the set rules and regulations.Besides, I also had to disqualify my colleague from the panelresponsible for selecting qualified contractors, as he was vulnerableto engaging in corruption deals that could earn him bribe (Altman,2011). The tendering process could only qualify as ethical if thewinner were chosen depending on the proposal delivered, instead ofbribing the officials.

Kant`sCategorical Imperative is relevant to my chosen business issuebecause he proposes that a person’s action can only be ethical ifthe highest benefit is itself appropriate by default. The action ofdisqualifying my colleague from the tendering board, as well asblacklisting the company that had promised to make me rich overnight,was born out of my personal goodwill (Altman, 2011). Kantian ethicsproposes that humans should treat everyone equally, which means thatI also had a duty to ensure that all the companies that had appliedfor the tender were equally eligible for the task.


Altman,M. C. (2011). Kantand applied ethics: The uses and limits of Kant`s practicalphilosophy.Chichester [etc.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Tännsjö,T. (2013). Understandingethics: An introduction to moral theory.