Deontological code of ethics depends on the path one takes to an action instead of the consequence. It lays more emphasis on the role of an individual. On the other hand, it differs from consequentialism that entirely focusses on the outcome. Deontological ethics has several differences in philosophies: 1) Divine command theory they connect the will to act in the right way to the path of God. 2) Non-absolutists or moral absolutism: these type of people strictly center on a certain path while non-absolutists have certain protective measures in situations where following a bad path leads one to a good outcome. 3) Divine command theory it connects the intentions of doing good to the path of God. Deontological ethics has found numerous use in the modern world where it has been used to inspire people to do the right thing (Hooker, 2012). With many people doing the right thing, it is highly likely that there will occur a favorable outcome; however, it is evident that when deontological ethics is practiced entirely on its own, it eventually leads to the bad outcome. To this end, it is always important to balance it with consequentialism.
The act of creating codes of conduct using the duty-based approach is normally linked to the philosopher Immanuel Kant. Despite the fact that it has significant precursors in past non-consequentialist, normally explicitly religious, where one was supposed to think of people like Saint Augustine of Hippo who lay a lot of emphasis on the importance of individual will and good will to ethical decision making (Mizzoni, 2010). In his argument, Kant stated that doing good is not dependent on consequences of our actions, but concerns having the good intention in conducting the action. Duty, therefore, informs the need to take an ethical action, that is, it is done entirely because one is obligated to conduct the action. Since all ethical obligations are similar to all logical creatures, knowledge of what is entailed by these ethical obligations is reached by unearthing rules of behavior, which are not juxtaposed by reason. The formula that Kant used to unearth the ethical duty of human beings is referred to as the categorical imperative. It has several dissimilar versions; however, he still had the belief that they all equated to one imperative. The most fundamental form of imperative that guided him is acting solely in accordance with the maxim by which one can simultaneously have the will power that it needs to become a global law.
In my view, deontological code of ethics are at times insignificant or over-emphasizes immaterial points, therefore, requires a balance with consequentialism. To prove that there is a need for balance between deontological and consequentialism, we offer an example of an ill patient admitted to a hospital. Although his condition is critical, the doctor may decide to hide the truth and instead lie to him or her that he or she is going to recover within the shortest time possible. It is common knowledge that a patient has a right to be informed of his condition; however, the physician, in this case, is forced to lie to avoid the chances of the patient developing pressure or tension, that are by far more critical to the patient. So, how is the doctor supposed to act in this situation, take a strict path of deontology (NO), nonetheless deontologists would propose that a deontological approach is taken as it would cause an improvement in his or her life. Moreover, in a real-life situation, there are easy, hard, as well as tragic choices. Since morality, concerns making choices, every human being at one point or another has to make certain choices. Some choices are easy to make. For instance, friends do not consciously opt to offer a shoulder to lean on to a best friend who is going through tough times in life, they just do. In other cases, individuals are faced with hard choices. For instance, a high school girl would be faced with tough choices whether to have an abortion or keep the pregnancy. In other cases, a person who has a sick father in the hospital may be torn between disclosing to him that his sick sister just died or not. In other situations, one may be faced with tragic choices.
Concerning the issue of favoritism, deontological code of ethics cannot entirely work in all situations. For instance, if one is a manager and has a qualified relative, he or she is not supposed to hire this relative irrespective of whether he or she merits the job. According to deontological ethical codes of conduct, an action should be guided by the will of doing good. It is common knowledge that favoritism is a vice, therefore, should not be tolerated. However, the deontological codes of conduct make it impossible for one to hire a relative or close friend even if they are best fitted for this job and their presence would bring a positive turnaround to the company. To this end, these are some of the critical areas or reasons that necessitate the deontological codes of conduct to be revised in order to interplay with consequentialism. Moreover, a manager may decide to pile pressure on his juniors to meet a certain deadline or achieve a specified objective. This act may be interpreted by many as an act of bullying. Although the intention that guides this action may be good, it may also be perceived as being negative and therefore negate the earlier intention. It is not in all cases that one can be guided by a deontological code of conduct to carry out his or her duties in that a strict adherence to its requirements means that one may keep off completely from doing certain things. All acts that are known to be bad (according to deontologists) will be avoided despite there being an assurance that it will result in a positive outcome. Moreover, one will be forced to do something regardless of whether the outcome may be negative. For instance, if a pregnant high school or college girl is to be guided by a deontological code of conduct, she will be obligated to keep the pregnancy despite the boyfriend being financially incapacitated to support the upbringing of the child. She will also be forced to give birth despite the fact that her parents may threaten to chase her from their home. Therefore, although the chances of her completing her education may dim if she kept the pregnancy, she would have no other option but to keep it and face the consequences. It is in such situations that I think the deontological code of conduct requires some revision as it is sometimes insignificant or over-emphasizes immaterial points.
As far as I am concerned, I would have a problem adhering to all standards that negate my belief in doing a thing for the common good of majority or all people. For instance, I would find problems adhering to insubordination requirements. Insubordination is any intentional act of disobedience to carry out a legitimate directive from a superior. It can be divided into two categories: reluctance to carry out a certain directive from a superior and disrespectful attitude and behavior towards superiors. The former may take the form of a verbal or non-verbal refusal, or unreasonable stalling when it comes to completing assigned work. Sometimes bosses come up with rush decisions that require a member of staff to complete a certain task within specified timeline. For instance, one may be told to finish an assignment within two weeks; however, the boss may hit an about turn and decide that the work be submitted within three days. In such a case, I would not tolerate such as act since I already had my plans on how to execute the assigned work. Moreover, I would not shy from telling my boss off in such a situation, clear my mind that I cannot deliver the assigned task on the said deadline because I have other tasks at hand. In other situations, a boss may decide to overstep his or her mandate. For instance, some male bosses may instruct their company drivers to do personal related activities like taking his or her children from school or taking them out for a picnic. Although it is stipulated that bosses may go outside the job description and assign some tasks to junior staff. If I encountered such a situation, I would not adhere to a deontological code of conduct, as I would vehemently refuse to do any duty that is outside my job description. In other situations, junior staff have been accused of insubordination simply because they refused to cooperate with their bosses in making certain fraudulent activities. They will instruct their junior staff to sign off some paperwork or recruit their relatives to certain positions. If one refuses to follow these instructions, it would still be seen viewed as insubordination. These among others are some of the reasons why I would not adhere to a deontological code of conducts.
In particular, the professional code of ethics adequately deals with favoritism, insubordination, and workplace bullying (Shaw, 2013). This is because it is not at all times can one apply the deontological code of conduct in avoiding or dealing with these situations. For instance, as we mentioned earlier, piling a lot of pressure to junior workers may be deemed as workplace bullying whereas the manager's intention to pile this kind of pressure was to increase the turnover of the corporation. Moreover, favoritism is bad under the deontological code of conduct; however, in some situations, it may be a proper conduct. For instance, a person may at times be forced to hire a about some positions. For instance, many people feel comfortable when they have friends or relatives doing some jobs or helping them do certain things. For instance, most managers will be comfortable if they have a driver who is also their relative. This way, the boss will be comfortable because he or she has full trust in the driver and would be out with him at any time of the night. Also, I have detailed other situations where insubordination also has good outcomes. However, this is not to mean that workplace bullying, insubordination, or favoritism is bad. In most cases, it is used negatively and causes harm to those who becomes victims.
In my opinion, the best way to deal with workplace bullying is by reporting it. Most organizations have processes for dealing with complaints and resolving disputes (Dastmalchian, 2014). Actions taken may include warnings, mediation processes, and taking disciplinary action against the bullies. However, before an action is deemed as insubordination, it has to be properly investigated to assess the situation that inspired the culprit to act in the said manner. This way the root of the problem will be known and those who occupy senior positions will not abuse their positions to intimidate their juniors. For instance, a senior officer may instruct a junior staff to act in a fraudulent manner, and when the junior refuses, he or she is accused of insubordination. These are the types of actions that, in my opinion, require to be thoroughly investigated before one is subjected to disciplinary actions. Moreover, the same treatment should be accorded to the issues of favoritism and bullying. I think the organization needs to develop policies or guidelines that are not rigid to the deontological code of conduct. For instance, an organization can change their policy to provide a window for favoritism. For example, a senior manager may hire his or her about a certain position on condition that the recruitment process is competitive and the candidate has been chosen based on merit. Concisely, deontological code of conduct cannot entirely work in isolation and has to be balanced with consequentialism.
Dastmalchian, A., Blyton, P., & Adamson, R. (2014). The Climate of Workplace Relations (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.
Hooker, B. (2012). Developing deontology: New essays in ethical theory. Malden, MA: Wiley, Blackwell.Mizzoni,...
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