Operations/Project management – Ethics
Operations/Project management — Ethics.
The rearing of pigs is all geared towards the end result of having it give the pork that can be traded out and money earned. The only contentious issue here is the process that is used to get to the end product.
The Premium Standard Farms of Princeton in Missouri can be said to be adhering to the utilitarianism theory of ethics and morality. This is the view that an action is right in-so-far as it aims at producing pleasure and the elimination of pain. Here an action is considered right if it produces the greatest amount of pleasure and the minimum possible or least pain of any available substitute action. Stuart Mill (1806- 1873) puts it plain that actions are right to the degree that they tend to promote the greatest good for the greatest number. John Stuart Mill is one of the greatest proponents of this theory and argues that “foundations of morals Utility or the Greatest Happiness Principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness it is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.” (Philosophical classics, 2010. P.946). The Premium Standard Farms of Princeton goes further to emphasize that they are happy with their method since les than 1% of the pigs die before the time that they want them dead, hence they are satisfied with the living conditions of the pigs, otherwise the pigs would be dying in large numbers. To them, this is a new innovation and innovations are always meant to make tings better for greater number of people.
On the other hand, the animal Welfare advocates have it that this practice is wrong as it drives the animals crazy. The reasoning of this welfare is in line with the Kant’s Duty theory. This is an ethical theory that ties very closely to the Deontological ethics or deontology. It is an ethics approach that judges human action by their adherence to rules. It argues that the rules bind human beings to their duty. Immanuel Kant argued that the only good thing is the will and not the results, so that if any good results come out of an action done with the wrong will or motive, then the action is wrong anyway. For instance if someone lied in order to help a friend get out of trouble, the whole action is deemed wrong and evil. Thus, it is not the result of the action that determines whether the action was good or evil, but the motive of the doer before one starts doing it (Jane Garret, 2006).
In this respect, the welfare feel that the farm does not care about the health of the animals and the living conditions that the animals. This is already an evil will that precedes the whole project. They argue that the farm is focused on the end rather than the means which disqualifies the end result hat is an increased production. Technically, the welfare would rather have good treatment of the animals as well as a good production from them.
The position that is more applicable to me is the stand taken by the farm of following the utilitarian approach to the production. There is need to keep people in employment and to cope with the stringent economic times. In order to be able to do this, every means must be employed to sustain this pursuit as long as it gives the maximum satisfaction and that the animals have the best health as seen in this case since only 1% die in the process.
Jane Garret, (2006). Kant’s Duty Ethics. Retrieved February 9, 2012 from http://www.wku.edu/~jan.garrett/ethics/kant.htm
Philosophical Classics. (2010). Utilitarianism and Morality essays. Retrieved February 9, 2012 from http://www.*****/viewpaper/27298.html
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