Ethical decision making is the process of evaluating possible options and suggestions before arriving at the satisfactory possible decision in a manner that is line with moral notions. Ethical considerations involved in choice making include honesty, truthfulness and accuracy as necessary in selection making communication (Ford, Robert and Woodrow).
Ethical decision making calls for the recognize and reviewing of other communicators suggestions, endorses freedom of expression, tolerance of dissent and prospective range to achieve the informed and accountable decision making ultimate in a civil society. Ethical verbal exchange promotes mutual understandings which promote unique characteristics of person suggestions (Ford, Robert and Woodrow).
An ethical decision making should always do good, must be fair, should be just by law and avoid taking advantage of others. In a general perspective, ethical decisions should respect the autonomy of others, should be true and have a concern for all parties involved (Ford, Robert and Woodrow).
The case study on my essay will be on Greg and Natalie. They are in the same group discussion and are working on a final project before graduation. Natalie participates in the group discussion but shows no effective effort in contributing to the success of the project. The professor, in the end, asks Natalie to give group members evaluation as per their contribution to the project. When Greg comes to Natalie’s part, she is faced with a dilemma on whether to give her an honest review which could fail her or just give her a good review that will see her graduate (Wilson).
Five Sources of Ethical Standards
The Utilitarian Approach
Ethicists assert that ethical actions provide less harm and do much good. Ethical corporate action, therefore, is one that benefits the customers, employees, shareholders, the environment and the general community at large. Utilitarian approach is aimed at seeing that less or no harm is done on involved parties (Iphofen). In the case of Greg, she should embrace this approach and ensure that the decision she makes does less harm to Natasha. For this case, she should just give her a positive review and warn her of such behaviours.
The Rights Approach
Ethicists say that the best ethical practices are those that respect moral practices of the parties involved. The rights approach is based on the belief that humans have a sense of dignity that should be considered in making decisions. By this principle, humans have a right to choose their ways, to be told the truth, be given privacy. This right also includes the duty to respect people’s human rights (Iphofen).
In the case study above, Greg should approach Natasha in private and tell him of the consequences of his behaviour, Greg should also highlight the importance of respecting other people’s rights in the context of participating actively in decision making as required of her.
Fairness or Justice Approach
Great philosophers such as Aristotle have argued that all people should be treated equally. Equality is essential in ethical decision making to give each one a platform in airing their views and possible solutions. The fairness approach ensures that decisions made consider all parties involved (Iphofen). Natasha should have embraced this value and participate in the project discussion to make the platform fair.
Common Good Approach
Common good approach is aimed at contributing actions which help make the society a better place. Common good approach suggests that social relations are the basis of ethical reasoning. The approach also addresses that common conditions important to everybody’s welfare should be upheld, i.e. healthcare and education (Iphofen). In the case study, participation was a welfare and Natasha should have embraced it for the groups common good.
Virtue ethical approach aims at being consistent with ideal issues that cater for full human development. The virtue approach contains values that enable us to act in the highest character potential. These virtues include courage, generosity, love and compassion. The virtue approach upholds other approaches such as the common good approach (Iphofen).
In conclusion, it is evident that to arrive at an ethical decision; all the approaches above have to blend. Ethical decision making offers a good platform for making healthy decisions as all solutions are considered. Furthermore, ethical decision making provides a sense of togetherness (Ford, Robert and Woodrow).
Ford, Robert C., and Woodrow D. Richardson. “Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature.” Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics. Springer Netherlands, 2013. 19-44.
Iphofen, Ron. Ethical decision making in social research: A practical guide. Springer, 2016.
Wilson, C. (2013, May 11). Picking up the slack. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from https://www.scu.edu/the-big-q/the-big-q-blog/picking-up-the-slack.html