Business Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Decision making, Philosophy Pages: 13 (4055 words) Published: March 31, 2011

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This should provide you an overview/template; be sure to add your own opinion, I have listed several additional sources for you:

1. What makes an ethical decision or issue ethical? How would you explain the differences between ethical/nonethical and ethical/unethical? What ethical issues or dilemmas have you experienced in the workplace?

Decision-making is one of the fundamental keys to the survival of an organization, more so now that economic boundaries between countries crumble, business becomes more complex, and the results of decisions often have global impact. Decisions are made constantly in business; it is the part and parcel of being effective in one's job. Innovation and improvement on a regular basis are required to maintain and improve the ability to make rational decisions, and some psychologists even believe that the ability to make effective decisions is at the core of the individual's success of failure within their organization (Porter, 1998). Managers, in particular, realize that if their organizations are to survive in this dynamic and uncertain environment, they have to make decisions concerning new business opportunities, products, customers, suppliers, markets and technical developments. This clearly indicates that the most important managerial attribute is the ability to make the right decision. The outcomes of the decisions will be used as the benchmark to evaluate whether managers are successful (Drucker, 2001).

However, not all decisions can be made on a relaxed or considered timetable. Most managers would prefer a reflective form of decision making, one in which they had a bit of time to review the options, to do any primary or secondary research, and to glean views and opinions for colleagues. In an ideal situation, this would be possible - but as we know, day-to-day business decisions are not idea. Sometimes expedient decision making must occur, and for that, businesses must rely on the experience, wisdom, and trust that are part of any quality management team (Drucker). Several biases come into play when business decisions are made, often unrealized by the decision-maker. One of the most common is called the "confirmation trap," in which the decision maker seeks out information and references that will support what they believe to be true, while ignoring information that would refute their decision (Bratvold, 2002). Hindsight bias is also common in decision making - individuals overestimating the degree to which they would predict an outcome once they have been informed that the outcome has indeed occurred. New research has now shown that hindsight bias, while negative in some aspects, plays an influential role in the human memory system (Hoffrage, 2000). Additionally, "anchoring" or "focalism" is one of the most common biases in decision making. Essentially, anchoring is the common tendency to rely far too heavily on one trait, piece of information, comment, or personal view when making decisions. Individuals then typically adjust the rest of their view to match that bit, again negating other data ("Anchoring Bias," 2009). Of course, standard human bias also enters in the decision making process - the way the individual perceives reality, illusion of control, personal feelings or background on the subject, or even as simple as not liking the individual or organization on whom the decision is centered (Simon, 1979).

Decision-making can be critical in two very common business scenarios. First, when an organizational change occurs there are numerous risks that can take many forms, and which require new and unique decision making patterns. There is confusion about what the change means, how to manage the change, loss of confidence and moral among staff and stakeholders, and general panic about the new processes of decision making (Drucker). Krispy Kreme, the decades old pastry maker, recently had a severe and rapid change of direction when two events...

References: Delacampagne, C., (2001), A History of Philosophy in the 20th Century, Johns Hopkins
University Press.
MacIntyre, A. (2006), A Short History Of Ethics, Routledge.
Roochnick, D. (2004), Retrieving the Ancients: An Introduction To Greek Philosophy. Wiley.
Saunders, J. (1997), Greek and Roman Philosophy After Aristotle, Free Press.
Scruton, R. (2001), A Short History of Modern Philosophy, Routledge.
Syse, H. (2004), Natural Law, Religion, and Rights, St, Augustine 's Press.
Tompkins, S. (2006). A Short History of Christian Philosophy, Eerdmas.
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