When formulating ethical steps to take when solving an issue or dilemma it is important to identify exactly what the conflict is. Is it about company values, professional responsibilities or the rights of an individual or policy? Elgood has put together this process to support ethical decision-making.
- Identify the key values and principles that are involved with the issue. What is the meaning or limitation of the competing value for example?
- Rank the ethical principles which you believe to be most relevant to the issue. These will provide the first stages.
- What are the reasons for prioritising them the way in which you have? Build a coherent strategy to reflect these.
- Once the central dilemma has been determined, develop an action plan that is consistent with the ethical principles that you outlined.
- Confer with your colleagues or client about the consequences of any course of action taken to resolve the dilemma. Communication and transparency are often the keys to any problem.
- Can you support and justify the action plan fully based on the values that you have attributed to the issue?
- Then implement the plan using the most appropriate skill set for the issue.
- Employ sensitive communication and skilful negotiation to portray your ethical manner.
- Always reflect on the outcomes of any ethical making process and decisions. Evaluate how they have operated and if they have worked effectively. Would you employ the same tactics again or does the process need to be advised or adjusted accordingly?
At Elgood we use this ethical decision-making process as part of The Ethics Challenge, a business simulation game designed for anyone with responsibility for making decisions which will impact the credibility of their organisation and for ensuring the long-term sustainability of their business through the provision of sufficient profit.