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A Model to Assess the Ethics of Benefits Distribution

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Abstract

Many difficult ethical issues in business are associated with benefits distribution and they present a challenge to those who are confronted with such issues. This article presents a model that allows determination of the ethical implications of benefit-distribution practices or policies by using three simple tests. The tests ensure that distributive justice is considered when allocation decisions are made. The first test ensures that the most vulnerable recipient group is treated justly by other dominant groups. The second test prevents the interests of one group from being promoted at the expense of other groups. Through a mental exercise, the third test encourages unbiased consideration of the interests of all directly affected groups. To illustrate the model’s applicability, it is used to determine the distributive fairness of two controversial practices. The model is relatively easy to use but there are limits to its effectiveness.

Alan Wong and Uric Dufrene, "A Model to Assess the Ethics of Benefit Distribution," Journal of Markets & Morality 4, no. 1 (Spring 2001):73-82


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