Is your opinion altered by the fact that the scientist quoted above is the neurologist for the Michigan State University football team? So, although utilitarianism is arguably the most reason-based approach to determining right and wrong, it has obvious limitations.  Christie Aschwanden, Football’s Concussion Crisis Is Awash with Pseudoscience, Wired.com, Oct. 2, 2019. If you were a university scientist, how would you decide whether it is ethical for you to buy amber from Myanmar? Utilitarian theory and business ethics Human approach towards anticipation for maximizing of pleasure and elimination of suffering and pain brings about the fundamentals established in the realm of moral philosophies that date back to a distant past (Robertson & Walter, 2007). How about the reverse—why do many people who believe football players should be free to decide what they do with their bodies take decidedly un-libertarian positions on issues such as abortion, marijuana legalization, and assisted suicide?  Ingfei Chen, Exactly How Dangerous Is Football?, The New Yorker, Feb. 1, 2020.  Munro Cullum, Is Football Bad for the Brain? Explain. Do you think that the NFL would make more safety-related changes if white players dominated rosters? Many recent studies point to how dangerous football is to players’ long-term brain health. 1. In business contexts, utilitarianism implies an obligation for businesses to do what they can to act in a way that maximizes happiness and minimizes suffering. Is it always a consideration that buyers should take into account?  At the end of the day, the jury still seems to be out on the question of whether you can go to a football game or watch one on television and still feel good about yourself for supporting a sport that seems to cause irreversible traumatic brain injuries. Over the last ten years, more than one billion dollars in legal revenue has been generated from the mining and sale of amber. Today, having a formalized code of business ethics is more important than ever. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is “brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas.” Repetitive head impacts (RHIs) can cumulatively lead to CTE and early death, even though no single RHI results in a concussion. And the airline benefits, too.  Jacqueline Howard, These High School Sports Have the Highest Concussion Rates, CNN, Oct. 15, 2019, at https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/15/health/concussion-high-school-sports-study/index.html. However, because we cannot predict the future, it’s difficult to know with certainty whether the consequences of our actions will be good or bad. It paid more than $750 million to settle a civil lawsuit by former players. It has been suggested at both the NFL and collegiate level that team physicians are faced with conflicting loyalties.  Peter Benson, Big Football: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Culture and Color of Injury in America’s Most Popular Sport, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 41(4): 307-334 (2017); Daniel Goldberg, What Does the Precautionary Principle Demand of Us?  Steven Senne, Student Athletes Still Reluctant to Report Concussions, Nationwide Children’s Study Finds, Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 24, 2019, at https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191124/student-athletes-still-reluctant-to-report-concussions-nationwide-childrens-study-finds. Utilitarianism would say that an action is right if it results in the happiness of the greatest number of people in a society or a group. Is there a case to be made for “justified harm” in any of these leagues? Ethics â Four Branches (3) Metaethics = The study of ethical terms, statements and judgements. These ethics also can be challenging to maintain in our business culture, where a capitalistic economy often teaches people to focus on themselves at the expense of others.  Other people believe that media discussions have impeded needed change in minimizing sports violence. Act utilitarianism often demonstrates the concept that “the end justifies the means”—or it's worth it. Ethics. They have a duty to preserve the players’ health, but simultaneously feel pressure to get players back out on the field so the team can win.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle.  Daniel Engber, Concussion Lies, Slate, Dec. 21, 2015, at https://slate.com/culture/2015/12/the-truth-about-will-smiths-concussion-and-bennet-omalu.html; Kevin Lomangino, Journalists Drop the Ball on Big Concussion/CTE Story, HEALTHNEWSREVIEW.ORG, Jan. 19, 2018, at https://www.healthnewsreview.org/2018/01/sports-desks-drop-the-ball-on-big-concussion-story/;  Matt Ventresca, The Curious Case of CTE: Mediating Materialities of Traumatic Brain Injury, Communication & Sport, 7(2): 135-156 (2019).  Justin Ehrlich et al., Mortality Risk Factors Among National Football League Players: An Analysis Using Player Career Data, F1000Research 2019, 8:2022. CEO may have his bonus taken away/salary cut during recession As with Benthamâs formulation, utilitarianism in business ethics is primarily concerned with outcomes rather than processes.  Des Bieler, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy Says His Team Needs to Play for Benefit of State Economy,” Washington Post, April 7, 2020, at https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/04/07/oklahoma-states-mike-gundy-says-his-team-needs-play-benefit-state-economy/.  Kevin M. Guskiewicz et al., Recurrent Concussion and Risk of Depression in Retired Professional Football Players, Medicine & Science in Sports & Leisure, 39(6): 903-909 (2007). A policy issue? Applying Utilitarianism in Business.  Dave Bry, American Football is Too Dangerous, and It Should Be Abolished, The Guardian (UK), Jan. 4, 2016.  Professor Goldberg argues that “there is little evidence that such incremental changes [e.g., in tackling techniques] have a substantial risk-reducing effect.”. A 2016 study found no elevated risk of suicide in a population of players with at least five years in the league. We Know Little About the Long-term Effects of Concussions, Statnews, Sept.27, 2019. They’re all in good shape. Although the appropriate amount of regulation and laws will always be a subject of debate, political and economic policies are geared primarily toward fostering as much well-being for as many people as possible, or at least they should be. In this Wireless Philosophy video, Julia Markovits (Cornell University) gives an introduction to the moral theory of utilitarianism. If you took a utilitarian approach to answering this question, what would your reasoning look like? A 2019 study of the brains of 223 football players with CTE and 43 players without CTE found that for each additional 2.6 years of play, the risk of developing CTE doubled. The Advantages of the Utilitarian Philosophy in Business The utilitarian philosophy is more acceptable for the modern business as it can satisfy the needs of the stakeholders, despite the fact that either side may receive less profit. Comments (0) 1685 Words7 Pages. Children between the ages of 9 and 14 make up the largest cohort of football players in the U.S. This favoritism has created ethnic and religious conflicts resulting in government-enforced discrimination.  Everett J. Lehman et al., Suicide Mortality Among Retired National Football League Players Who Played 5 or More Seasons, American Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(10): 2486-2491 (2016). “Football is both notorious and cherished for its unapologetic, brute-force violence.” Players suffer bruises, lacerations, torn muscles, dislocated shoulders, torn knee ligaments, broken bones, internal organ damage, and, occasionally, even paralysis.  Steve Almond, Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2014; Pamela R. Sailors, Personal Foul: An Evaluation of the Moral Status of Football, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 42(2): 269-286 (2015). Many people who are in favor of abolishing football or significantly reforming the way it is played are pro-choice when it comes to abortion, minor drug use, and assisted suicide. Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics, or the ethics that define the morality of actions, as proposed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.  Steve Almond, Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2014. For example, the government has made it difficult for Christian and Islamic groups to gain permission to repair or build new places of worship. High school athletes are reluctant to report concussions. According to research by neuroscientists, “There seems to be greater consequences if you’re getting your head hit when the brain is rapidly developing [below age 12].”. Moreover, utilitarianism is the most common approach to business ethics because of the way that it accounts for costs and benefits. Explain. See also Ann C. McKee et al., The Spectrum of Disease in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, Brain, 136(1)): 43-64 (2013)(study of donated brains of 64 athletes found “the stage of [CTE] correlated with increased duration of football play, survival after football and age at death” for 34 football players). 5. "The greatest good for the greatest number" is a maxim of utilitarianism.  In addition, evidence indicates (and is consistent with the self-serving bias) that industry funding of research often influences results. Ethics, Population Health Policy, and Sports-Related TBI, in Sociolcultural Examinations of Sports Concussions (Matt Ventresca & Mary McDonald eds, 2020). The word total is important here: if you act ethically according to utilitarianism, youâre not maximizing yourhappiness, but the total happiness of the whole human race. Some of the questions they wrestled with include: What constitutes "the greatest amount of good"? This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number. But few would consider it an acceptable course of action, let alone an ethical one. Utilitarianism is a section or a part of the consequentialism theory. As with Bentham's formulation, utilitarianism in business ethics is primarily concerned with outcomes rather than processes.  Bryan R. Cobb et al., Head Impact Exposure in Youth Football: Elementary School Ages 9-12 Years and the Effect of Practice Structure, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 41: 2463-2473 (2013). For example, say a hospital has four people whose lives depend upon receiving organ transplants: a heart, lungs, a kidney, and a liver. The Three Generally Accepted Axioms of Utilitarianism State That, Utilitarianism's Relevance in a Political Economy, Everything You Need to Know About Macroeconomics. , On the other hand, while football helmets can prevent fractured skulls, they will likely never be able to prevent concussions. New Yorker writer Ingfei Chen observed that Fisher-Price had been required to recall a collapsible crib that was associated with 32 infant deaths. In utilitarian ethics, there are no shades of gray—either something is wrong or it is right. " Utilitarianism and business ethics, " in R. E. Frederick, eds, A Companion to Business Ethics. If the outcome leads to the greatest good (or the least harm) for the greatest number of people, then it is assumed the end justifies the means. STEP 7: VRIO Analysis of Utilitarianism And Business Ethics: Vrio analysis for Utilitarianism And Business Ethics case study identified the four main attributes which helps the organization to gain a competitive advantages. Riding a bicycle carries risk and not a whole lot of parents are not letting their kids ride a bike. 8 short videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from Giving Voice to Values by Mary Gentile. Utilitarianism can be used in any business decision that seeks to maximize positive effects (especially morally, but also financially) and minimize negative ones. Others suggest that the uncertainty favors taking actions now rather than waiting until too much damage is done, as happened with tobacco.  Ashwin L. Rao et al., Suicide in National Collegiate Athletic (NCAA) Athletes: a 9-Year Analysis of the NCAA Resolutions Database, Sports Health 7(5): 452-457 (2015). The first theory, utilitarianism, we will consider in this lecture. Advantages and Disadvantages of Utilitarian Ethics in Business. Reducing tackling in practices has reduced overall concussion numbers among high school players, even though the number of concussions in games has risen slightly. Myanmar is a small southeast Asian country that contains about 130 diverse ethnic groups recognized by the government. An example of act utilitarianism could be when pharmaceutical companies release drugs that have been governmentally approved, but with known minor side effects because the drug is able to help more people than are bothered by the side effects. The more expensive upper-class seats help to ease the financial burden that the airline created by making room for economy-class seats. One expert said “It really seems right now that if your [football] practices are highly controlled and reduced as much as possible and you only play four years of high school, your [CTE] risk is probably pretty low.”. John Stuart Mill was a nineteenth-century British philosopher and classical liberal economist who spent his working years with the East India Company.  Other studies have involved skewed samples, including one where all the NFL players’ brains had been donated because of mental declines that the donors had suffered before their deaths.. Therefore, there is no correct way to treat employees. Utilitarianism promotes "the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.". What factors go into each side of the equation? Do you agree? , If only one thing is clear about the current science surrounding sports-related concussions (SRCs) and related brain injuries, it is that very little is clear about the current science.  Nicholas Dixon, Boxing, Paternalism, and Legal Moralism, Social Theory and Practice, 27(2): 323-344 (2001). A 2007 study found that retired NFL players experienced levels of depressive symptoms no worse than those of the general population. At work, you display utilitarianism when you take actions to ensure that the office is a positive environment for your co-workers to be in, and then make it so for yourself. Steve Almond argues that “a civilian leisure class … has created, for its own entertainment, a caste of warriors too big and strong and fast to play a child’s game without grievously injuring one another.”. 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