There are moral philosophies that come in handy when business decisions are made by business people to ensure it falls within the realms of their morals and achieve business goals (Forsyth, 1992). These include teleology, egoism, utilitarianism, relativist, virtue ethics, and justice but this study will elaborate on idealism and relativism. One of the moral philosophies applied in business decision-making include idealism where a decision-maker considers the welfare of others in choosing the decision to make. Highly idealistic individual’s belief in the presence of measures to avoid harming others and will not decide to chose a lesser evil between two evils that will negatively affect other people. Lowly idealistic people belief in the assumption that little harm may be necessary for good to be produced, hence if their decision will harm less people they would chose it among two harmful evils (Forsyth, 1992).
Relativism is the other example of moral philosophy applied in business decision-making where a decision maker uses their selves or the people around them as a basis for defining ethical standards (Ferrell et al., 2013). High relativist individuals make a decision depending on the individuals and that the nature of the situation and circumstances are weighed more than ethical principles. Low relativist individuals base their decisions on ensuring they are consistent with moral principles, norms, and practices.
Moral philosophies influence behavior and decision-making because when a person takes on a given moral philosophy either consciously or unconsciously, the moral philosophy becomes his/her guiding principle. The person carries out the moral philosophy relentlessly through each obstacle in his way.