Q.1O. Write a brief note on resolving an ethical dilemma;
Ans. Resolving an Ethical Dilemma In a business setting mangers are put to test when they face the challenge of resolving an ethical dilemma. Often certain situations do not fall in the ambit of procedures or the official code of conduct and this is when the managers feel the heat.
The problem with
ethical decision making is that a decision in itself cannot be taken in a
vacuum; one single decision affects lots of other decisions and the key is to
strike a balance between them to ensure a win-win situation.
Though there is no golden rule to resolve ethical issues, still managers can take a number of initiatives to resolve ethical issues. A brief description is given below:
- Know the Principles
(a) In ethical decision making there are three basic principles that can be used for resolution of a problem. These three principles are— intuitionism, moral idealism and utilitarianism.
(b) The principl of intuition works on the assumption that the HR person or the manager is competent enough to understand the seriousness of the situation and act accordingly, such that the final decision does not bring any harm to any person involved directly or indirectly.
(c) The principle of moral idealism on the other hand states that there is a clear distinction between good and bad, between what is acceptable and what is not and that the same is true for all situations. It therefore asks to abide by the rule of law without any exception.
(d) Utilitarianism concetns itself with the results or the implications. There is no clear distinction between what is good and what is bad; the focus is on the situation and the outcome. What maybe acceptable in a certain situation can be unacceptable at some other place. It underlines that if the net result of the decision is an increase in the happiness of the organisation, the decision is the right one.
(2) Debate on Moral Choices
(a) Before taking a decision, moral decisions need to be thought upon and not just to be accepted blindly.
(b) It is a good idea to make hypothetical situations, develop case studies and then engage others in brainstorming upon the same.
(c) This also throws some light into the unknown aspects of the problem and widens the horizon of understanding and rational decision making.
(3) Balance Sheet Approach
(a) In balance sheet approach, the manager writes down the pros and cons of the decision.
(b) This helps arrive at a clear picture of things and helps organising things in a better way.
(4) Engage People Up and Down the Hierarchy
(a) One good practice is to announce ones stand on various ethical issues loudly such that a clear message passes to every member of the organisation and to those who are at the greater risk of falling prey to unethical practices.