NTUST MBA Forum
How to Thinking &
Making Decision Ethically
Through Pragmatic & Systematic Approach
Professor Andrew B.C. Huang
National Taiwan University of Science And Technology
huang porf@gmail com
• Even we’re not prisoners, b t th same dil
E ’ t i but the dilemmas h happen when situations
h it ti
having two or more values, rights, or obligations in conflict, and we’re
frequently had to choose between or among equally unpleasant alternatives.
• Prisoner's Dilemma shows that we even as a rational person, but when
facing a unknown decision of others, will be confused to choose not the best
and rational alternatives.
• There’s no doubt that you’ll meet ethical dilemmas—every employee
probably meets hundreds of times during a career—the only thing in doubt
• How could we do to this conflicts? The more informed you are, the more
effective you’ll be in managing the ethical problems.
• We will discuss a pragmatic approach and p
p g pp practical decision-making tools
that you can use to the ethical dilemmas.
• The fundamental problems in identifying the ethical
• Th questions f examining th ethics of a b i
The ti for i i the thi f business
• The pragmatic and practical approaches and decision
• Three Examples of Application.
• Understand ethics as a practical and useful tool
for making decision;
• Assess the ethics of a business using the
influential frameworks of famous scholars;
• Know how to Manage and make the business
A problem in game theory
• In its quot;classicalquot; form the prisoner s
classical form, prisoner's
dilemma (PD) is presented as follows:
– Two suspects are arrested by the
police. The police have insufficient
evidence for a conviction, and, having
, , g
separated both prisoners,
– visit each of them to offer the same
– If one testifies (quot;defectsquot;) for the
prosecution against the other and the
other remains silent, the betrayer goes
free and the silent accomplice receives
the full 10-year sentence.
– If both remain silent, both prisoners are Prose- Cooperate Defect
sentenced t only six months i j il f
t d to l i th in jail for
a minor charge. cution Prisoner A Prisoner A
– If each betrays the other, each receives
a five-year sentence. Cooperate Sentence Sentence
– Each prisoner must choose to betray Prisoner B 3.3.
3 3 years 0.10
the other or to remain silent. Each one
is assured that the other would not Defect
know about the betrayal before the end Sentence Sentence
of the investigation. How should the Prisoner B 10.0 10.10
Trust & Information is the Key
Why individual Rationality Fail
• If we assume that each player prefers shorter sentences to longer ones,
th t h l f h t t t l
and that each gets no utility out of lowering the other player's sentence, and
that there are no reputation effects from a player's decision, then the
prisoner's dilemma forms a non ero s m game in which t o pla ers ma
non-zero-sum hich two players may
each quot;cooperatequot; with or quot;defectquot; from (i.e., betray) the other player.
• In this game, as in all game theory, the only concern of each individual
player (quot; i
l (quot;prisonerquot;) is maximizing hi /h own payoff, without any concern f
quot;) i i i i his/her ff ith t for
the other player's payoff.
• The unique equilibrium for this game is a Pareto-suboptimal solution—that
i rational choice l d the two players to b h play d f t even though
l h i leads h l both l defect h h
each player's individual reward would be greater if they both played
• One experiment based on the simple dilemma found that
approximately 40% of participants played quot;cooperatequot;
What Does Ethics Mean to You
Sociologist Raymond Baumhart asked business people quot;What does
ethics mean to you?quot; Among their replies were the following:
• quot;Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.quot;
• quot;Ethi h t d with my religious b li f quot;
quot;Ethics has to do ith li i beliefs.quot;
• quot;Being ethical is doing what the law requires.quot;
• quot;Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts.quot;
• quot;I don't know what the word means.quot;
These replies might be typical of our own. The meaning of quot;ethicsquot; is
hard to pin down, and the views many people have about ethics are
p , yp p
(Developed by Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre Thomas Shanks,
Velasquez Andre, Shanks
S.J., and Michael J. Meyer )
Professor Gardner’s Argument
on the Ethical Mind
• The Harvard Business Review of March 2007 contains an interview worth reading
with Harvard Graduate School Professor of Cognition and Education Howard Gardner.
Gardner became well known by his 1983 book , in which he argued that people don't
have one, but multiple intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-
kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence.
Likewise, Gardner now proposes to distinguish between :
• The Disciplined Mind - What we gain through applying ourselves in a disciplined
p g g pp y g p
way in school.
• The Synthesizing Mind - Surveys a wide range of sources, decides what is
important and is worth paying attention to.
• The Creating Mind - Looks for new ideas and practices, innovates, takes chances,
g p , , ,
• The Respectful Mind - The kind of open mind that tries to understand and form
relationships with other human beings.
• The Ethical Mind - Broadens the respect for others (see 4) into something more
abstract. Asks: quot;What kind of a person, worker, and citizen do I want to be?quot;
The Ethical Mind
More difficult for businessmen to adhere to an ethical mind
• The Ethi l Mi d
Th Ethical Mind grows at home and in the surrounding community. B d b h i of others can
th d i th di it Bad behavior f th
• Gardner mentions cheating MBA students as an example of this undermining, and thinks that it is
more difficult for businesspeople to adhere to an ethical mind than it is for other professionals,
because business is strictly not a profession, has no guild-structure, no professional model, no
standards and no penalties for bad behavior. The only requirement is to make money and not run
afoul of the law.
• In order to stay on the right track, Gardner advises business leaders to:
• Believe doing so is essential for the good of the organization, especially during difficult
• Take the time to step back and reflect about the nature of their work.
• Undergo quot;positive periodic inoc lationsquot; being forced to rethink what you're doing
quot;positi e inoculationsquot;, hat o 're doing.
• Use consultants, which should include a trusted advisor within organization, the council of
someone completely outside the organization (an old friend), a genuine independent board.
See also the related website The Good Work Project, an quot;effort to identify individuals and institutions that exemplify good work— that is excellent in
quality, socially responsible, and meaningful to its practitioners—and to determine how best to increase the incidence of good work in our society
Identifying Ethical Standards
It’s Hard Or Easy?
• There are two fundamental problems in identifying the ethical
Th t f d t l bl i id tif i th thi l
1. On what do we base our ethical standards?
2 If our ethics are not based on feelings religion, law accepted
feelings, religion law,
social practice, or science, what are they based on?
3. How do those standards get applied to specific situations we face?
• Many philosophers and ethicists have helped us answer this critical
• They have suggested at least five different sources of ethical
standards we should use. But it is still hare to identify.
3 Approaches of Evaluating Ethic
A h Factors
C di i Limitation
Li i i
Utilitarian Comparative Net benefit > Quiet hard to measure the social cost
功利理論 cost and net cost and minority benefit always not been
benefit 淨收入>淨成本 treated well enough
Rights and Human rights common Hard to balance the conflict of rights
Duty 尊重權利 human rights The ethical action is the one that most dutifully
respects the rights of all affected.
Justice and Fairness and Fairness of Cost Hard to measure the cost and benefit, and
share benefit, and short of the mutual understanding about
Fairness fairness. 難以掌握對公平分配的共識
公正 公平分配 The ethical action is the one that embodies the
habits and values of humans at their best.
Differences Between Utilitarian & Justice
One Total Whole, and One Each of Whole
A a whole, in one group of the affected parties, totally, the
Utilitarian net benefits >the net harms or net profits>net costs
Each one of the affected parties, especially for an individual,
Justice whose last share is fair, comparing the benefits and costs.
Justice Theory: The Fairness of Sharing
• E l
Employees: A th salary of each f i with reasonable diff
Are the l f h fair ith bl difference??
• Consumers: Are the prices of products they bought fair without unendurable
• Taxes: Is each individual fair with no difference in one affected group?
Preferred Ethics and Interests
• Source from Preferred Freedoms(優位自由) of laws, it happens when the freedoms in
conflict, and then which one will be preferred than the others.
• In law, the freedoms include:
1. Equality and Democracy: non-discrimination;
2. Freedom of Contract: Bargaining position’s unfairness due to its originality of power.
Antitrust and restrictive trade practices; Standard-form Contract.
3. The Right of Property;
4. The Right of Association; Public order Act;
g ; ;
5. Freedom of Labor:
6. Freedom from Want and Social Security;
7. Freedom of Speech and of the Press; Limit of Tolerance忍耐極限，民主政府對於某
些特定團体挑撥不滿情緒時所能忍受之最大程度。The privacy of information source. source
8. Freedom of Religion;
9. Personal Freedom;人身自由包括任意旅行、納拒聘僱與擇地而居的自由。
10. The Rule of Law;法冶指 due process of law (法律正當程序)，包括司法獨立與任何
人除非觸犯適當公佈的特定法律 否則不受刑事處罰 公平與迅速審判 警察獲取口
Making Good Decisions
A Framework by Markkula Center
M ki good ethical d i i
d hi l decisions requires a trained sensitivity to ethical
i i d ii i hi l
issues and a practiced method for exploring the ethical aspects of a
decision and weighing the considerations that should impact our
choice of a course of action.
• Having a method for ethical decision making is absolutely essential.
When practiced regularly the method becomes so familiar that we
work through it automatically without consulting the specific steps.
This framework for thinking and working ethically is the product of dialogue and
debate at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
Primary contributors include Manuel Velasquez, Dennis Moberg, Michael J. Meyer,
Thomas Shanks, Margaret R. McLean, David DeCosse, Claire André, and Kirk O.
Hanson. This article appeared originally in Issues in Ethics, V. 1, N. 2 (Winter 1988).
Putting Approaches Together
• Each of the approaches helps us determine what standards of
behavior can be considered ethical. There are still problems to be
• The first problem is that we may not agree on the content of some of
these specific approaches. We may not all agree to the same set of
human and civil rights.
• We may not agree on what constitutes the common g
y g good. We mayy
not even agree on what is a good and what is a harm.
• The second problem is that the different approaches may not all
answer the question quot;What is ethical?quot; in the same way.
• Nonetheless, each approach gives us important information with
which to determine what is ethical in a particular circumstance. And
much more often than not, the different approaches do lead to
Ethical Decision Could Be
A Rational and Logical Process—Down to Up
Evaluate the Action Plan
Make the Decision
(Select the Action Plan)
Explain the Results
(How Should I Do?)
Predict the Possible Results
(What Will Happen?)
Propose the Tactics
(What Can I Do?)
Get the Facts
Collect Relevant Information
(Identify the Truth)
Source: Steven L. Wartick & Donna T. Wood, International Business
and Society 2002
Recognize an Ethical Issue
1. Is there something wrong personally, interpersonally, or
socially? Could the conflict, the situation, or the decision
be damaging to people or to the community?
2. Does the issue go beyond legal or institutional concerns?
What does it do to people, who have dignity rights and
people dignity, rights,
hopes for a better life together?
Get the Facts
3 Wh t are th relevant f t of the case? What facts are
the l t facts f th ? Wh t f t
4 What individuals and groups have an important stake in
the outcome? Do some have a greater stake because
they have a special need or because we have special
obligations t th ?
bli ti to them?
5. What are the options for acting? Have all the relevant
persons and groups been consulted? If you showed your
list of options to someone you respect, what would that
Evaluate Alternative Actions
From Various Ethical Perspectives
6. Which option will produce the most good
and do the least harm?
The ethical action will produce the greatest benefits over harms
7. Even if not everyone gets all they want,
will everyone's rights and dignity still be
y g g y
Cost-Benefit Analysis: Institutional decision-making
processes can powerfully influence the decisions that
are made by individuals or groups.
The ethical action is the most dutifully
respects the rights of all affected
8 Which option is fair to all stakeholders?
Fairness or Justice Approach:
The ethical action is the one that treats people equally, or if unequally,
that treats people proportionately and fairly.
• 9. Which option would help all participate
more fully in the life we share as a family,
Common Good Approach:
The thi l ti
Th ethical action is the one that contributes most to
i th th t t ib t tt
the achievement of a quality common life together.
10. Would you want to become the sort of person
who acts this way (e.g., a person of courage or
Make a Decision and Test It
11. Considering all these perspectives,
which of the options is the right or best
thing to do?
12 If you told someone you respect why you
chose this option, what would that person
say? If you had to explain your decision on
television, would you be comfortable doing
Act, Then Reflect on the
13. Implement your decision.
How did it turn out for all concerned?
If you had it to do over again, what would you do
No One Is Perfect In Every Situation
We don’t have a perfect solution. We certainly won’t resolve the academic
controversies over the best philosophical approaches, even they will suggest
important factors to keep in mind in making b i
i t tf t t k i i di ki business ethics d i i
Eight Steps to Sound Ethical Decision Making
Ethical decision making is often not liner. But it will be helpful
to recover all of these points even if not in this sequence
Source: Kinda K. Trevino, Katherine A. Nelson,
Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How
To Do It Right The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania, 1995
Eight Steps to Sound Ethical
Decision Making In Business
8.Check Your Gut 2.Define the
7.Think Creatively 3.Identify the
about Potential Actions Affected Parties
6.Consider Your 4.Identify the
Character and Integrity Consequences
The Layoff: An Easy Job
e ayo asy Job?
Your Painful Decision Last to Come
• Your boss j t t ld you i complete confidence that the company will
Y b just told in l t fid th t th ill
have to layoff 200 workers.
• Luckily, your job won’t be affected.
• But, a rumor is now circulating in the plant and one of your workers
(an old friend) asks you “Is the plant closing? Am I going to lose job?
What will you say?
• This is a true ethical dilemma, because two values are in conflict.
Two “right” values that can create the significant conflicts are “truth
• Telling the truth to your friend means that you have to break your
promise to be loyal to the company that has treated you so well.
Steps of Evaluating Ethical Dilemmas
Theories can be Applied in the Layoff
• Focus on Consequences (Consequentialist Theories):
Utilitarianism is probably the best know consequentialist theory. According to the principle of utility,
an ethical decision should maximize the benefits to society and minimize harms.
What matters is the net balance of good consequences over bad. What will be the consequences
(societal harms and benefits) of my telling/not sharing what I know about the layoff?
) y g g y
• Focus on Duties, Obligations, and Principles (Deontological Theories):
The word “deontological” comes from the Greek deno or duty, rather than focus on consequences,
it approaches would ask,quot; what's right on broad, abstract universal principles such as honesty,
promise keeping, fairness, rights, justices and respect to persons and property.
This model of thinking asks whether the rationale for you actions (telling/not telling) is suitable to
become a universal law or principle for every to follow.
• Focus on Integrity (Virtue Ethics):
A Virtue ethics perspective considers primarily the actor’s character, motivations, intentions, and
actor’s character and integrit as well. And character is very much defined b ones’ comm nit
integrity ell er m ch by community.
Therefore, it’s important to think about the community and communities within which business
What matters is are you a person of integrity? What if the community has not done this type of
thinking? What’s the relevant community standards?
Eight Steps To Sound
Ethical Decision Making In Layoff
1 Gather th F t
G th the Facts:
• Asking yourself, “How did the situation occur?
• Are there historical facts that I should know?
• Are there facts concerning the current situation that I should know
such as legal requirements on informing workers about layoff?”
Even fact gathering is often easier than done. Many ethical choices are
particularly difficult because of the uncertainty involved in them.
Facts may simply be unavailable. In this layoff, Pat may not have good information about
legal requirements on informing workers about layoff; Also may not have enough information to
determine how long it will take these 200 workers to find new jobs.
But, recognizing these limitation, you still should attempt to assemble the
facts that are available to you before proceeding.
y p g
What’s Legal be Ethical?
Legal is society’s minimum conduct
• What is legal may be
• L i off th
Laying ff thousands of
d f Ethics
employees in the name of
M&A/downsizing is legal
• But it is widely viewed as Law
u e ca
(Source: S. Puffer & D.McCarthy, 1995, If we think of the law as reflecting society’s
Finding the common ground in minimum norms and standards of business
conduct, we can see that there is a great deal
Russian ad American business ethics;; of overlap between what’s legal and what’s
what s what s
B. Victor & C. Stephens, 1994, The ethical. But there are many standards of
dark side of the new organizational conduct agreed upon by society that are not
forms.) codified in law.
2. Define the Ethical Issues
Truth VS Loyalty, Right VS duty
• Don’t jump to solutions without first identifying the issues or points of conflicts
in the dilemma.
• It’s not so easy as “Pat should keep promise to her boss and protect her job, or she
should tell the truth to her friend.”
• The issues often go back to such as deontological 權利理論 (focus on rights and
duties of human nature),功利理論 Utilitarianism,( focus on total benefit>total harm) ,
or公正理論virtue Ethics (Integrity) theories ,focus on fairness and justice. .
• In layoff one issues has to do with the workers’ right to know about the plant closing
in advance. How much advance notice is appropriate? What does the law say?
• Another issue has to do with the company’s right to keep the information private.
What is the company’s obligation to its workers in this regard? Is it more important to
be honest with a f i d or t k
b h t ith friend to keep a promise t one’s b
i to ’ boss? ?
• What’s more, you may miss some other important issues. To present your dilemma to
co-workers, to your spouse or to your friends you respect is a good way.
3. Identify the Affected Parties
Shareholder VS Stakeholder
• Once stakeholders are identifies role playing can help you to see the
issues from different stakeholders perspectives.
• The consequentialist will want to identify all those who will experience
harms and benefits.決策者要考量所有可能取得的利益(如公司營業效率及利益是否
• The deontologist might want to know whose rights are involved and who
has a duty to act in the layoff.
• Being able to see the situation through others’ eyes is a key moral
reasoning skill. One question you could ask yourself is, how could this or
that stakeholder react if this decision were made public?
• It often helps to begin with the i di id l i th case who are i
ft h l t b i ith th individuals in the h immediately
di t l
affected (Pat, the worker, Pat’s boss);
• An then to progressively broaden your thinking to incorporate larger
groups( th other workers, th local community, th rest of th company,
( the th k the l l it the t f the
and society in general.拫據公正理論：決策者必須考量收益分配(公司及投資荐)以
4. Identify the Consequences
positive and negative: long-term vs. short-term
• After identifying the affected parties think about the
potential (positive and negative), (long-term vs. short-term)
consequences for each of the parties.
• It isn’t necessary to identify every possible consequence.
• But, you should try to indentify consequences that have a
relatively high possibility of occurring and those that would
have particularly consequences if they did occur.
• And Who will be harmed by a particular decision or action? In the layoff case telling
the truth to the worker might cause Pat to lose her job, which will have negative
consequences for her entire family. However, it will give her workers the benefit of
more time to look for new job, perhaps saving many families from negative financial
• Can you determine which solution would accomplish the most net good (the greatest
good for the greatest number of people? Would telling a lie to your friend benefit the
most people? Or would it be better for all affected parties if you tell the truth?
• And evaluate which decision or action will produce the greatest good for the greatest
number of people.
5. Identify the Obligations
If You’re Pat, How Could You Do?
• Identify the obligations involved and the reasons for each In layoff
for instance, consider Pat’s obligation toward the affected parties,
and be sure to state the reasons why she has this duty and
• Think in terms of values, principles, character, or outcomes.
• For example, if you consider Pat’s obligation to keep her promise to
her boss, since promising-keeping and trust are important values in
, p g p g p
• Obligations may very depending on the p p involved
g y y p g people
• and the roles they play. For example, since the truth of
• financial report and scientific date is core, so, the auditor
• and the scientist have a particularly strong obligation to
• tell the truth.
6. Consider Character and Integrity
If uncomfortable to tell your family, Rethink it
• You have to begin by identifying the relevant community. Then, you
have to determine how community members will evaluate the
decision you’re considering
you re considering.
• A method that can help you with this process is know as “the
• It asks whether you will fell comfortable if your activities were
disclosed in the light of day in a public forum and news medium.
• If you will be embarrassed to have someone read about your
activities in newspaper—or if you will be uncomfortable telling y
p p y g your
parents, children, spouse, or clergy about your decision—you
probably should rethink it.
Being ethical is not the same as
doing quot;whatever society accepts.quot;
• St d d t which most citizens subscribe. B t l
Standards to hi h t iti b ib But laws,
like feelings, can deviate from what is ethical.
• Our own pre-Civil War slavery laws and the apartheid
laws of present-day South Africa are grotesquely
obvious examples of laws that deviate from what is
• Finally, being ethical is not the same as doing quot;whatever
society accepts quot; In any society, most people accept
standards that are, in fact, ethical. But standards of
behavior in society can deviate from what is ethical. An
entire society can become ethically corrupt. Nazi
ti i t b thi ll t N i
Germany is a good example of a morally corrupt society.
Being e ca is not the sa e as
e g ethical s o e same
doing quot;whatever society accepts.quot;
Moreover, if being ethical were d i quot; h t
b i thi l doing quot;whatever society
accepts,quot; then to find out what is ethical, one would have
to find out what society accepts. To decide what I should
think about abortion,
• Further, the lack of social consensus on many issues
makes it i
k impossible t equate ethics with whatever
ibl to t thi ith h t
society accepts. Some people accept abortion but many
others do not.
• If being ethical were doing whatever society accepts,
one would have to find an agreement on issues which
does not, i f t exist.
d t in fact, i t
7. Think Creatively Potential Actions
Is there another answer?
• Before making a final decision, be sure that you haven’t
unnecessarily forced yourself into a corner.
• If you have only two choices, either “A” or “B”, it’s important to look
for other creative alternatives.
• For example, will you receive an extravagant gift from a foreign
supplier. Should I accept the gift (
li Sh ld t th ift (against company policy), or refuse
i t li ) f
it (slap in the face). The “C” solution was to accept the it as the
company gift that will be displayed in the headquarters entrance.
How about in this layoff? Do you have another “C”?
8. Check Your Gut
Intuition is gaining credibility
• Intuition is gaining credibility as a source for good business decision
• In ethical choices, If your gut is bothering you, it probably means
that something is not right Pay attention to your gut but don’t let
right. gut, but, don t
your gut make your decision for you.
• Your gut is your internal warning system. The gut never lies. When
your g tells y something’s wrong, consider it a warning siren.
gut you g g, g
The emphasis in these steps has been on a highly rational fact
gathering and evaluation p
g process once y know that y
you you’re faced
with an ethical dilemma.
But don’t forget your gut. It might be your only clue that you’re facing
an ethical dilemma to begin with and it can be a source of empathy
f those affected by a decision or action.
ff t d b d i i ti
How to Manage The Grey Area
Vedan’s Application in Vietnam
Is the action legal? Is it comfortable to be disclosed?
• Mutual Benefits:
Do the counterparts know the project’s advantages and disadvantages?
Show the figures and truths (examples)
• Why we have to do that :
Communicate with workable tactics and sincere mind.
• Look for the long run:
Don’t take the short medicine ( those you can not control and manage)
• Catch the hand of knife by yourself: 100 % Shares
• With workable master plan and promises: First Mover Strategy
The Ethics Quick Test
Keep asking IS THE ACTION
until you get an answer LEGAL ?
Does it comply with your best
If you’re not sure, ask.
’ t k understanding of
d t di f
our value and principles?
If you know it’s wrong, If you do it,
Don’t do it, period!
,p Will you fell bad?
How will it look
In the newspaper
oay e a o a
Is it the truth?
Will it be beneficial
Is it fair to all concerned?
to all concerned To All
Will it build good will
and better relationships?
Practical Preventive Medicine
In Ethical Decision
Source: Linda K. Trevino, Katherine A. Nelson,
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
There is no doubt that you’ll encounter ethical dilemma—
every employee probably encounters hundreds of them
during a career—the only thing in doubt is when.
Your mission is to be as prepared as possible before you run
into a problem. The more informed you are, the more
effective you ll be in protecting yourself and your employer.
Doing Your Homework
When You Have Ethical Dilemma
First Read Your Company’s Code of Ethics and Policy Manual. Manual
The best way to be effective in ethical decision is to learn the rules of your
organization and your profession, and to develop relationships that can help
you if and when the need arises.
• Second, ask questions.
Managers, executives, and peers will admire your initiative when you ask
what they think is “important around here” since many organizational
standards are unwritten and they differ from company to company
• Finally, develop relationships with people who are outside of your
chain of command.
Get to know people in human resources or p
p p personnel, legal, audit, and in
, g , ,
other departments who might be able to provide information, help you raise
an issue or determine if something even is an issue, or vouch for your
credibility in a crisis.
Suggestion: After you’ve done your homework, and if you learned that your,
your employer’s, and your company’s standards and values are in
substantial conflict, you may have to look for work in another organization.
When You’re Asked to
e ou e s ed o
Make a Snap Decision
• Obviously, making d i i
Ob i l ki decisions quickly can b d
i kl be dangerous.
• Assume you have some time to devote to the decision, consider the
following guidelines when a quick decision seems called for:
1. Don’t underestimate the importance of a hunch (presentiment, rather think)
to alert you that you’re facing an ethical dilemma.
2. Ask for time to think it over. Say something like, “let me think about it and
y g ,
I’ll get right back to you.” “Bargaining for time is a smart way to give yourself
3.Find out quickly if y
q y your organization has a p
g policy that applies to y
y pp your
4. Ask your manager or your peers for advise. Regardless of your level within
the organization, you should never hesitate to ask for another opinion.
5. Use The New York Times test. If you’d be embarrassed to have your
decision disclosed in the media or to your family, don’t do it.
To Be, or Not To Be
It’s really a headache to your ethical decision
1.You’re upgrading your department’s data processing capabilities and have just
placed an order for 4 personal computers and 2 laser printers with a computer
2. When you mention that you wish you had a printer at home like the ones you just
ordered, the representative tells you that because of your larger order, she can give
you a 50% discount on a printer for your home. However, all items must be ordered
3. You fell that this is t it i ht but
3 Y f ll th t thi i not quite right, b t you’re not sure why.
’ t h
• Questions and Doubts:
1.He could have real doubt about whether or not to accept a 50% discount on a printer
for his home. Even though, he feels funny about the offer, he might be thinking that
he does a lot of work at home, so accepting a personal printer could be justified.
2. And, since the computer representative made the offer after the order was placed,
there’s not conflict of interest—his decision to purchase wasn’t influenced by the offer
of a discount.
3. If it was you, what and how you can do?
The Prescriptive Approaches
You may be able to take
Step Actions to Take
Don’t underestimate the Listen to the gut. When your gut tells you something is wrong and
Importance doubt, consider it a warning.
Ask the time to think it Stall the company representative by telling her, he will get back to
over her later in the day or tomorrow
Read Company Policy Find out what’s the company’s saying about making purchase.
Does company allow personal discounts?
Ask your manager or your Ask for another opinion
peers for advice
Use The New York Times Ask yourself how would the public react to this decision? Someone
test might believe that the order was influenced by the discount, if it’s not
absolutely true, but hard to convince other.
The Bottom Line If you think that your decision could be misinterpreted or if someone
could think the objectivity of your decision has been compromised.
Rethink The Decision If you ever feel that accepting a favor from a vendor will place you
under an obligation to the vendor, be very careful.
Twelve Questions for Examining
the Ethics of a Business Decision
Laura L. Nash, Harvard Business School Professor
• Have you defined the problem accurately?
• How would you define the problem if you stood on the other side of the
• How did this situation occur in the first place?
• To whom and to what do you give your loyalties as a person and as a
member of the corporation?
• What does this intention compare with they likely results?
• Whom could your decision or action injure?
• Can you engage the affected parties in a discussion of the problem before
you make your decision?
• Are you confident that your position will be as valid over a long period of
time as it seems now?
• Could you disclose without qualm your decision or action to your boss, your
CEO, the board of directors, your family, or society as a whole?
y y y
• What is the symbolic potential of your action if understood, if misunderstood?
• Under what conditions would you allow exceptions to your stand?
The Topic We Will Discuss
• The N
Th New Business Ethics And Today’s Mangers: Th Ethical Skills
B i E hi A d T d ’ M The E hi l Skill
of the New Information Society.
• Changing is the reality of business world; nevertheless, the ethics
g g y ; ,
even the content in depth might be varied somehow, but the values
still remain the unchangeable.
• See you next Monday