Making an Ethical Decision

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Communication Strategies ・APA ・3 Sources

At some point, I was working in a company with other two participants of our team. However, it came a time they deliberately left me to function a particular task alone. When it got here to being given credit, I was tempted to point out to our boss that I had performed the work alone. I realized that if I single out my team members in a bad way, this could generate resentment. I decided no longer to inform the boss but later talked to my team members, informing them that there is a want for each of us to perform the work equally.

Ethical Theories

One class of ethical theories is virtue ethics, and this is a virtue ethics, and this is a broad term referring to the principles, which emphasize the role of the character, as well as virtues in moral philosophy, instead of emphasizing either carrying out one’s duty or taking action to cause good consequences. In this case, someone who believes in this theory is likely to advise another person to behave in the same way a good individual would act in his or her situation (Athanassoulis, 2012). Based on this theory, I might have behaved as a virtuous person. Despite the fact that my team members had avoided doing the work and left me to carry it out alone, I did not want to expose them for the sake of peaceful coexistence.

On the other hand, utilitarianism puts focus on everyone, making most people happy. The theory postulates that actions are right morally if and only they help in maximizing the good or minimize the bad (Moral Theories, 2017). In this regard, I decided to keep quiet because I understood that this would help to benefit more people. I did not want to create unnecessary enmity with my colleagues and possibly expose them to more punishment from the boss.    

Problem-Solving Methodologies

Several methodologies offer many steps in the problem-solving process. One of such kinds of models or methods was provided during the late 1990s by Corey et al. (1998). In the model, Corey et al. (1998) suggest eight steps to the process of making ethical decisions. The first step involves identifying the problems, and in particular cases, merely realizing a given situation as an ethical one can be the significant initial step. In most companies, sometimes people may feel that it is merely the “way of doing things” and they fail to consider questioning the situation’s ethical nature. The second step involves identifying possible issues involved. In this case, one should ask some questions such as “Which parties could be hurt? What issues could impact people of the company negatively? What worst thing could happen in case no any measures are taken?”

  The third step entails reviewing appropriate ethical guidelines. Here, the question that needs to be asked is the following: “Has the organization put in place relevant procedures and policies to deal with the situation? “  For instance, if a certain customer offers a present, there may be a policy in place to provide guidance on whether to accept such present or gift. The fourth step is knowing relevant regulations and laws. In this case, the question that needs to be asked is as follows: “If the organization does not essentially have a rule against the ethical situation, could it be considered to be illegal?”

The fifth step involves obtaining consultation and in this regard, there is a need to look for support from the colleagues, family, friends, and supervisors. The next step is to consider the probable and possible courses of action, and here, one should ask: “What are the possible solutions to the problems under consideration?” Consequently, there is a need for one to engage in brainstorming and provide solutions as a list of options. The seventh step entails listing the consequences of the potential courses of action. Here, one should look at both the negatives and positives associated with each suggested solutions and the parties that will be affected by the decision. The eighth and final step involves deciding on what tends to be the best action to be taken. Having established the facts and performing an analysis, now the best solution can be chosen. Apparently, there may not often be an “ideal” solution; however, the best solution is the one that tends to bring about the best and the minimal harm.   

Ethical Theories Impacting Personal or Professional Decision-Making

Distinguishing between what is morally right or wrong concerning one’s viewpoint, and a set of procedures and policies linked to the organizational decisions, are some of the factors that impact either the professional or personal decision-making. For instance, if a store worker found a colleague stealing, the professional ethical decision based on procedures and policies, would involve calling the security officers to have the person put under arrest. Conversely, in the same scenario, the store worker would make a decision based on a personal decision-making. In this case, based on emotional or moral thinking, the store employee may consider letting the colleague get away with it without facing any consequences.

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References

Athanassoulis, N. (2012). Virtue Ethics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from, http://www.iep.utm.edu/virtue/

Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, P. (1998). Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions. Toronto: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

Moral Theories. (2017). Seven Pillars Institute. Retrieved from, http://sevenpillarsinstitute.org/morality-101/moral-traditions

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