The Impact Of Ethics On Decision Making

1485 words - 6 pages

IntroductionSuppose that you are working for a well-known construction company. Your next project is a huge private school in Brooklyn, N.Y. Currently, you and your teammates are gathering the necessary paperwork, communicating with the owners regarding material and working out all the essential details. During one of these production meetings, going over the design and all the calculations, you suddenly realize that this design is very limited, and the school classrooms will only be able to support roughly thirty average-weight kids. Well, you might try to rationalize that this is a private school and the classes will probably never reach that size, but what if one day two teachers, not aware of this dilemma, organize a project that will require that the two classes work in one classroom. The picture in your head begins to stir your conscience. This just may be the best opportunity to evaluate your ethical values.The Impact of Ethics on Decision-MakingDefining the ElementsAn ethically defensible decision is one that has been well thought out and looked at from all possible angles. All possible angles include everyone involved including but not limited to employees, stakeholders, and other organizations. Also, when making ethically sound decisions, it may help to look at possible solutions in terms of what good the decision will bring about, and also what harm may be the outcome.When the ground rules are followed, one should be confident that the best solution has been chosen. One problem is that the ground rules may not necessarily be the same for everyone. This is because each of us has our own set of ethics. What is ethics? Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary defines ethics as "a : a set of moral principles or values b : a theory or system of moral values c plural but singular or plural in construction: the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group d : a guiding philosophy. (Merriam-Webster, 2002)."Put simply, we all live by our own set of values, and incorporate these values into the decisions we make on a daily basis. When someone's ethics are in question, then their decisions may be brought under scrutiny as well. This topic has been looked at on a widespread basis by today's media. Some of the current scandals such as the Enron scandal might not have been a problem if those involved did not have such misguided ethics.Ground RulesWhat should the ground rules be then? I think the ground rules should all be the same regardless of your personal ethics. To make sound decisions the following consensus ground rules should be addressed before a decision is made:1.CREATE AN OPEN AND TRUSTING CLIMATEGroup members should feel free to express differing ideas and opinions without fear of attack or ridicule.2.EXPLORE DIFFERENCE OF OPINIONThis helps members to gain additional information, to clarify issues, and to seek better alternatives.3.SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER'S IDEASGroup members are open to and respect opinions different from their...

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