Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ethical decision-making

Everyone likes to think they act ethically. People aren't inherently evil, they just find ways to justify their actions to themselves. This makes the matter of ethics confusing, whether referring to it on a personal level or on an organizational level.

There is push these days for organizations to act ethically, but what defines ethical decision-making is not black and white nor cut and dry. It is instead a sliding scale, ranging from not-for-profits whose entire reason for existence is for the greater good, to organizations that participate in corporate social responsibility to appease consumers and to try and give back to the community, to organizations that push every limit and act fraudulently and corruptly to make as much profit for shareholders as possible, and everything in between. There is no answer to ethical decision-making, but it is important to remember that the closer we get to unethical decision-making, the easier it is to justify to ourselves taking it one step further.

This is a visual representation that I made for a business case dealing with ethical decision-making. It is important to remember that all of our decisions exist on an ethical sliding scale, and that we must ensure that our decisions do not begin sliding to the unethical direction. We must also value ethical decision-making as a high standard for organizations as consumers. By being aware of how ethical our actions are, we can make the world a better place.


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