02 November 2012
Conflicting Values and Business Protocols: Where Do I Go For Help?
When you have a moral dilemma in the workplace, what do you do? Do you stand up for what you believe? Do you go against your moral fiber? Do you question the ethics of your superiors? This question has plagued many throughout time. Scott (2002) explains how Aristotle believed, “a morally virtuous action requires an individual to be able to choose how to respond to his or her own thoughts and feelings” (para. 8). As human beings, we will face uncomfortable situations, and we will decide whether to be courageous and follow our hearts or do nothing. Kidder et al. (2005) suggests, “The ultimate goal of morally courageous behavior is to put ethical principles into action and protect ethical values perceived to be at risk” (as cited in Murray, 2010, para. 5).
Courage in the workplace might sound rather strange. However, when one has to face adversity when everyone is going along with the crowd it will be hard. When you enter a situation, the workplace, where there are many different people coming together from many different backgrounds, people will have different values. Kim (2012) states that, “it is important to note that individuals who are similar in age, gender and race can and do differ in their values, attitudes and personalities” (para. 4). Understanding this, individuals that take a moral stand, could be ostracized from their coworkers or employers. Everyone’s moral compass is different, so quite possibly you could be taking a stand alone. This will take courage. Do not give in to your doubts. Stand up for what you believe. “Moral courage” (Murray, 2010) is a characteristic that rates high with not only employers but in society itself.
Murray’s (2010) study on Moral Courage goes on to say the following:
Moral courage is...