Personal Ethical Decision Making Framework

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Personal Ethical Decision Making Framework

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 affect people, but what are ethics? The Random House-Webster's 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 (Gibson, 340-352).

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 doesn't always work.

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.

This document is designed as an introduction to thinking ethically. We all have an image of our better selves-of how we are when we act ethically or are "at our best." We probably also have an image of what an ethical community, an ethical business, an ethical government, or an ethical society should be. Ethics really has to do with all these levels-acting ethically as individuals, creating ethical organizations and governments, and making our society as a whole ethical in the way it treats everyone.

Business ethics is the behavior that a business adheres to in its daily dealings with the world. The ethics of a particular business can be diverse ...
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