Ethics On - The - Job
A Practical Guide For Personal Decision Making
Regardless of how good any organization's Code of Ethics may be, the Code itself is still only a guideline. It cannot actually make ethical decisions for us or serve as a substitute for thinking for ourselves and personal moral responsibility.
The following are steps suggesting a decision-making process to supplement an organization's Code of Ethics. Want to achieve real success in ethics? Try asking yourself these questions before making a decision:
What has actually happened, what is happening, or what may happen in this particular case?
A. Awareness - Am I aware of the ethical problem or obligation on my part?
B. Facts - Do I know all the facts I need to know or am I about to act on rumor? Is this a legal or policy issue and not primarily an ethical issue?
C. Attitude - Am I letting biases or emotions embellish the facts? Or, am I ignoring the facts altogether out of indifference or callousness?
Who is involved, and in what way?
A. Responsibility - Who is responsible for bringing about the ethical issue or causing the ethical problem? Who should be responsible for deciding what to do?
B. Consequences to Self and Others - Who is, or may be, affected by this issue?
C. Decision and Action - Who is responsible for deciding and acting in this case? You by yourself? Or should others be involved as well? If so, who and to what extent?
How do I decide what is the right choice?
A. Choices - What number of choices are open to me or to those of us making a decision? List them all, on paper.
B. Values and Principles - List and rank, in order of priority, the values and principles that you or your group think are most important in guiding your moral choice.
C. Decision - From "A" and "B" above, select the choice and the supporting values and principles that can best justify a decision that could be made public.