Ethical Decision Making.

Essay by Ben500University, Bachelor'sF, November 2003

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Ethical Decision Making

MGT 350: Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making


What is ethics and what place does it have in decision-making? Ethics means different things to each of us. We develop our ethics from our culture, ethnic background, religious beliefs and all that make us unique as humans. Knowing this does not help when we are asked as administrators or managers to make decisions that are jam-packed with ethical dilemmas. Acting as Faith Community Hospital (FCH) administrator I turned to the Santa Clara University website, article "A Framework for Ethical Decision Making". This article gives five steps that I will use to address the problems FCH face. They are: Recognize a moral issue, Get the facts, Evaluate the alternative actions from various moral perspectives, Make a decision, Act, then reflect on the decision later.

Ethical Decision Making

Trying to determine the meaning of ethics is, to say the least, a challenge.

My search for that meaning took me to the Santa Clara University website. There I found discussions that I agreed with. Sociologist Raymond Baumhart found that replies to the question "What does ethics mean to you?" was as diverse as those he asked. The answers varied from personal feelings to what is socially acceptable, from religion to legality.

So then, what does it mean to be ethical in your decision-making? Shanks tell us "because we have the ability to be critical of our interpersonal behavior . . . . . we have the ability to develop codes and norms to guide that behavior. Those moral norms and codes, plus a set of virtuous character traits, are what we mean when we talk about ethics." He also tells us that while we all endeavor to make ethical decisions we run into "stumbling blocks" inhibiting our...