Ethics in making decisions. Speaks of managing.

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Master'sA+, April 1996

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Written Assignment #2

Challenger Case #1

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 effect people, but what are ethics? The Random House-Webster¹s Dictionary of Modern English defines ethics as: The branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of actions and the goodness and badness of motives and ends. This paints a pretty clear picture of what it means to make ethical decisions.

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.

The text offers 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 doesn¹t apply. There was no standard operating procedure here for unreliable O-rings. This was not an assembly line where one flaw will shut down an entire days work. This was a space craft with people in it and the only profit to be made here was the advancement of science. As stated in the text when we begin to get into Nonprogrammed decisions we can see that as situations become random and illstructured they seek the advise of upper levels of...