The Impact of Ethics on Decision Making

Essay by Katherine CruzUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Suppose 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-Making

Defining the Elements

An 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...