Ethical Decision Making

One confusing process that everyone encounters everyday is ethical decision making. People may not notice this but it is constantly being used.

Any discipline is greatly affected by how people utilize decision making and how they incorporate ethics in that process.

Businesses, medical issues, political issues are only some of the genres where this could apply. But what does it take for a decision to be ethical?

Experts say that if a decision is morally and legally accepted by the larger community, then that decision is ethical. The questionable term in that definition is the word ‘legally’.

There are some ethical decisions that might not conform to the rules and regulations of the government but may still be classified as morally and ethically correct. The term ethics is used to describe a set of standards and principles which dictate how a person acts and behaves.

All persons with strong characters live with their own code of ethics. People make decisions every single day. These decisions might differ from each other but most decisions are chosen to do what is right.

A person’s set of principles may differ from another person’s views. This is because of the influence that the person acquired while growing up. Family is one very great source of principles. Culture and religion may also dictate a person’s set of standards. Experience is one of the best ways to learn about ethics too. Through experience, people will realize the effect of a decision to themselves and to other people as well.

Professionally speaking, a formal code of ethics is usually rolled out by companies to assist employees in their decision making dilemmas. These codes are created by the company to make sure that everybody is treated equally and employees respect each other’s rights. Since ethical decision making is very helpful in the business level, it is imperative for companies to create an ethics team who will formulate a code of ethics.


There are also ways on how to effectively make an ethical decision. The very first thing to do is to identify if there is an actual problem. This is important so that you will be aware that this problem needs your attention. Then identify if it is an ethical issue or not. Relevant and accurate information must be gathered carefully. Remember, jumping into conclusions because of personal intuition is not what ethical decision making is all about. Evaluate all of the alternatives based on the information that has been gathered.

Personal Ethical Decision Making

Making ethical decisions does not only apply in corporate levels but in personal levels as well. Each and every person has his or her own set of ethical principles and people can base their decisions. If you engage in personal ethical decision making, you have to be very careful about the outcome of your decision especially because you do not have other people to assess your decision plan. Unlike in companies where you can consult other members of the ethical More...

Right vs Virtue

Morality and ethics help people in making good choices and decisions. Various codes of ethics provide different standards for categorizing and resolving issues on morality. Ethical ideals usually come from famous ancient and modern philosophers, religious figures, scholars and even from personal beliefs. Although these philosophies about ethics are different, every ethical code type has vital core values that serve a guide in ethical decision making. Morals and ethics guides any decision making as well as control the way people More...

Importance of Ethical Decision

Ethics refers to the set of standards on how a person should behave. Every person having strong character makes the code of ethics his guide in living. When you have ethics you make sure the things you do should be accomplished. When we act honorably, we sometimes sacrifice those things that we want to do which do not conform to ethical decision making. Ethics is indeed about self control. Ethics is also about knowing what is right and wrong. It More...

Compromise in Ethical Decision Making

If you work in an office with thousands of employees or even in a small business, there will always be issues about decisions made within the company. This is the reason why all companies should have an ethical decision framework to pattern their processes in handling problems. One of the main goals of ethical decision making is to create an outcome where most people will be benefited from. Unfortunately, it is not always a win- win situation since there are More...

Guidelines in Ethical Decision Making

When managers and leaders exercise ethical decision making, they need to be guided correctly to know how to go about with the decision making process. Choosing which choice is ethical from the unethical option can be a very difficult and confusing task not only for the manager but also for the other people involved in the situation. The first guideline when making ethical decisions is autonomy. Autonomy is the ability to exercise your decision making power without the scrutiny and More...

Influences in Ethical Decision Making

Making an ethical decision requires the person’s ability to differentiate what is wrong from what is right. But the idea of right and wrong is not uniform across all the individuals and this makes it interconnected to personal standards. As the person makes an ethical decision, he or she will employ the ethical standards that they know. A person’s standards of ethics can dictate how they make ethical decisions. And these standards are influenced by a lot of things. Ethical More...

Ethical Decision Making Framework

Just like any processes, ethical decision making will be better executed if the person or the organization will follow a framework. The ethical framework will serve as a guide as to how the person should act when given a scenario that is confusing to their own set of morals and standards. The framework consists of 5 essential steps. These are recognition, assessment, plan of action, testing, and execution. The first part which is recognition is when an individual or a More...

Different approaches like Rights Based approach, Utilitarian approach, Common Good approach, Virtue approach and Fairness or Justice Approach can be used. After thorough thinking, make the decision. The process of thinking may take some time but making the actual decision should not be delayed. Longer periods of evaluating the problem will just lead to mental exhaustion which will hinder a person from thinking correctly. After the decision has been made, examine the effects of the choice that you have made. Reflect on the lessons that you have learned from the experience and apply it to the next challenges.

Also, think about how your decision would affect the other parties. Before choosing which decision to make, examine who will benefit and harm from this action. Always make sure that the final decision will end up reducing harm. Check your core values for accuracy. Are you sure that what you thought was right and wrong are correct? Do not be afraid to ask for help from a third party who is not involved in the process. A good test if you were successful in ethical decision making is the Golden Rule. The effect of your decision to others will also affect their decisions on you.

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