Ethical Decision-Making Process and Assessment
The choice of wrong or right decisions permeates in everyday life at all the life levels. Proper actions and the feeling of responsibility make the whole society morally or ethically upright. Despite the fact that decisions presenting a choice of right and wrong are not easy to make, situations still vary depending on the context at hand. The very first thing in such decisions is provision of the summary of sources of ethical thinking that is then followed by the decision-making framework. Knowing ethical decision-making approaches and their implication to moral uprightness is vital to both individuals and organizations in todays highly technological world.
In the decision-making process in any setup, there are certain common things that need to be taken into account by every person or any organization. When dilemma situations arise, then ethics come in so that control measure could be found. These are the contents of the Kidders checkpoints, the SAD formula and the Nashs questions (Mugerauer & Manzo, 2008). The three contents highlight the procedural concept of decision-making that are common to each other. Based on this, the summary of the concentration of the three approaches are:
- Definition of the situation under which the problem is perpetrated to have occurred.
- Analysis of the situation.
- Decision-making depending on the outcome.
The areas highlighted above pay attention to the consequences of the decisions made. There is the essence of consideration of a decision that is made by the larger majority. The intentions of making the decision and the action to be taken are all considered by the three scenarios. This implies that in the ethical theories of decision-making, character theory, action or behavior theory and consequential theory are considered. These theories form the basis for which the ethical decisions are made within the society.
Steps of Decision-Making
- Problem identification without taking sides
- Determination of the actor (the person involved)
- Gather the relevant information
- Establishment of the wrongs and rights from the facts
- Application of ethical standards in the scenario
- Decision-making process
- Reflections on the decisions made
Ethical Decision-Making in Business
Ethics in business entails acceptable behaviors that are expected to be seen by a company from the employees side. Such decision-making and ethics in business play a key role in the identification of opportunities by the company in the industry where an organization might be operating. This requires organizations to ensure the clearly set ethical standards. According to Taylor and Pattie (2014), such decisions must be tamed through team work, so that all are aligned in one direction with the vision and mission of the organization. Gonzalez and Brazeal (2014) have also noted that any discrimination at workplace can be eliminated by such incorporation of standards of operation. Therefore, Yu (2014) adds that business companies operate under the guidance of mission statement to help bridge the gap and ensure individuals make acceptable decisions.
Types of Ethical Standards
First of all, the utilitarian ethical standard focuses on the good, limiting the likelihood of harm to the stakeholders. Second, the rights and standards consider the moral respect and rights of the people who will be affected by a decision made. In addition to that, Yu (2014) argued that the fair and just standard brings in the essence of equality, while that of the common good lay emphasis on the society, as a whole, in making the decision. Last, the virtue approach focuses on the ideal virtues required to promote people just for the sake of the company. On the one hand, all these work in diverse situations, hence cannot be limited to one particular situation. The application, on the other hand, is situational.
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Functions of Business Ethics
Business ethics have a number of functions that are very important to any business. First, the companies use business ethics to ensure that the directors, managers and other officers act in a way that is responsible to a given situation (Yu, 2014). Such decision-making aims at promoting the company as a unit and not a few individuals. Business ethics thus looks at the corporate responsibility of the whole organization and not just some portions.
However, such ethical environments in business cannot be created within just one day. It takes time and resources in training or promotion to managers and employees, so that this can be achieved (Gonzalez & Brazeal, 2014). For example, there may be instances, where the implementation of the right business ethics may receive an unexpected negative feedback from the companys human resources. Such feedbacks may be difficult to deal with and, thus, may be difficult in the implementation of business ethics. Such dilemmas, according to Taylor and Pattie (2014), can only be eliminated with the help of the set standards and expectations.
Therefore, it is necessary that companies use seminars, consultants and other trainings to offer education to the employees on ethical business decision-making. Through these sources from outside, the company can be helped to review its objectives and operations (Quick & Goolsby, 2013). Despite the fact that external operations might be expensive, it is worth to improve an organization in dealing with situations in a proper way.
Application of Ethical Decision-Making in Business
The analysis is made with the ethical standards in mind, such as utilitarian, rights, fair or just, virtue and common good. As a business professional, having been working with a business company, I may seek to reduce turnover on the side of employees and loyalty to the locals in the area in the following ways:
The Concept of Going Green
Decisions inclined towards this concept play a key role within and out of the organization. Offices in the business promote recycling by reducing the amount of wasted papers, as well as tins and bottles through recycling (Demirtas & Akdogan, 2014). This process will go beyond just the normal recycling, but will include equipment, like computers and batteries. Such a decision will not only reduce the wastes of the company, but also reduce the resource consumption from the environment. The recycled materials can, therefore, be used again, hence the company might be supplying itself through the use of these recycled materials over and over again. In the long run, it is cheaper, as resource use will be minimal, cutting down the operational costs of the organization.
My decisions will bring to board the concept of social responsibility that seeks to improve the condition of the locals economically, offer opportunities to those who are low-income earners and those in need within the society of operation. To achieve this, a given amount of profits will be set apart for charities within the area of operation (Demirtas & Akdogan, 2014). Once this is done, the long-term effect will be an improved disposable income of the people who might be brought back to the company in terms of purchases.
Moreover, ethical decisions regarding the payment and remunerations within the company may increase the turnover and reduce loyalty to the company. To improve the reputation of the company, ethical standards must be adhered to. This will, in the long-run, help improve the company operations, as it relies on the experience of the long-serving employees who have better treatment.
Ethics in business encompasses a wide scope of operation that is ranging from one business to another. Their applicability depends entirely on the industry, location, and nature of the company in question. For that reason, it is important that with all their stakeholders incorporated, companies set ethical values and standards that appertain to their mission statement. This will ensure that all stakeholders understand and own the standards and that work is done towards a common goal by having them uphold the principles or procedures that are helpful to the company. It will, thus, help to improve the working conditions in organizations.