A Business Encyclopedia

Teleological Ethical Theories

Definition: The Teleological Ethical Theories are concerned with the consequences of actions which means the basic standards for our actions being morally right or wrong depends on the good or evil generated.

Types of Teleological Ethical Theories

Teleological theories

  1. Ethical Egoism: The ethical egoism is a teleological theory that posits, an action is good if it produces or is likely to produce results that maximize the person’s self-interest as defined by him, even at the expense of others. It is based on the notion that it is always moral to promote one’s own good, but at times avoiding the personal interest could be a moral action too. This makes the ethical egoism different from the psychological egoism which holds that people are self-centered and self-motivated and perform actions only with the intention to maximize their personal interest without helping others, thereby denying the reality of true altruism (sacrificing one’s personal interest in the welfare of others).
  2. Utilitarianism: The Utilitarianism theory holds that an action is good if it results in maximum satisfaction for a large number of people who are likely to get affected by the action. Suppose a manager creates an annual employee vacation schedule after soliciting the vacation time preferences from all the employees and honor their preferences, then he would be acting in a way that shall maximize the pleasure of all the employees.
  3. Eudaimonism: Eudaimonism is a teleological theory which posits, that an action is good if it results in the fulfillment of goals along with the welfare of the human beings. In other words, the actions are said to be fruitful if it promotes or tends to promote the fulfillment of goals constitutive of human nature and its happiness. Suppose manager enforce employee training and knowledge standards at work, which are natural components of human happiness.

Thus, a moral theory that maintains that the rightness or wrongness of actions solely depends on their consequences is called as a teleological theory.

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