How Kantian Ethics can guide ethical decision making in business, resolve moral and ethical dilemmas, and provide a principled framework for entrepreneurs.

By Product Dragon—Nonprofit helping ethical product innovators

Ethics in business and entrepreneurship is a big topic that’s rarely discussed openly. But any entrepreneur who opens so much as a lemonade stand will immediately face ethical issues and moral dilemmas, whether they choose to consider them or not.

Immanuel Kant’s ethical theory, Kantian ethics, postulates that the highest moral principle is the unconditional respect for the dignity of all humans as rational beings. According to Kant, the moral worth of an action is determined not by its consequences or the motives behind it, but by the intrinsic nature of the action itself.

Kantian ethics addresses such questions as, “do the ends justify the means?” and “is it okay to bend the rules if there is no apparent harm done?”