Our Weiss textbook in Chapter 1 offers a brief summary of Kohlberg’s three levels (six stages) of moral development. You may recollect these from your undergraduate psychology courses. The central point for business is that Kohlberg’s work offers a way to observe behavior (level of moral maturity) in our world of business transactions. Recall that developmental theorists equate growth to stages in life and that this movement is not prescribed (having a set timeline) but that movement from one stage to another is sequential (one must travel through stage A to reach stage B and so on). According to Kohlberg, few of us reach Level 3, Stage 6 (acting right according to universal principles of justice and rights). Was Kohlberg right? That is, do you agree with his stages of moral development? And, if few of us can (will) reach Level 3, Stage 6, why is this so?
Kohlberg’s Levels and Stages Of Moral Development
Level 1: Preconventional level (self-orientation)
Stage 1: Punishment avoidance
Stage 2: Reward seeking
Level 2: Conventional level (others orientation)
Stage 3: Good person
Stage 4: Law and order
Level 3: Postconventional, Autonomous, or Principles Level(universal, humankind orientation)
Stage 5: Social contract
Stage 6: Universal ethical principles
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