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Ethical Decision Making Essay

1117 words - 5 pages

Ethical Decision-MakingEthics can be defined as standards that indicate how one should behave based on moral duties and virtues. As a practical matter, ethics is about how we meet the challenge of doing the right thing when that will cost more than we want to pay. One must have the ability to discern right from wrong and good from evil, and then commit to do what is right or good. Most people have convictions about what is right and wrong based on religious beliefs, cultural roots, family background, personal experiences, laws, professional norms and political habits. These are not the best values to make ethical decisions by, not because they are unimportant, but because they are not ...view middle of the document...

In addition, making ethical choices are complex because in many situations there are competing interests and values. The ethical person is concerned with what is right to do, not with what she has a right to do. When faced with an ethical problem, first ask yourself, is it right? Is it fair? Who gets hurt in the end? Would you be comfortable if the details of your decision were reported on the front page of your newspaper? Today leaders in all occupations and professions have the duty to help people form their ethical standards on the job. At the same time, we live in a world that presents more and more ethical gray areas. Circumstances attract us every day urging us to take the easy way out or to twist something just a little. The distinction between what is legal and what is unethical has become blurred.There are so many instances in life where ethics play a major role in decisions that we, as humans, make. Ethical decision making processes take place mostly when conclusions are reached that directly affect people, but what are ethics? This sounds like if you just follow your conscience then it would be fairly easy to come up with the right verdict. There is only one flaw in respect to this hypothesis; it doesn¹t always work. A prime example of this is the space shuttle Challenger accident that took place on 28 January 1986. This accident, that affected many lives beyond those of the crew, was a direct result of managerial breakdown. There are two paths which managers can take when formatting decisions. The first of these are programmed decisions which are routine, repetitive, well structured situations through the use of predetermined decision rules. If we clearly analyze the Challenger Case we can see that this set of principles does not apply. There was no standard operating procedure here for unreliable O-rings. This was not an assembly line where one flaw would shut down an entire day of work. This was a space craft with people in it and the only profit to be made here was the advancement of science. We can see that as situations become random and ill structured they seek the advice of upper...

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