Ethical decision making model analysis

Topics: Critical thinking, Thought, Ethics Pages: 5 (1416 words) Published: November 29, 2004
Ethical Decision Making Model analysis

What is the ethical decision making model? What is critical thinking? In this paper I will discuss the ethical decision making model and how critical thinking impacts ethical decisions. Personal experiences will be used as examples.

When we are faced with making an ethical decision we are usually faced with an ethical dilemma. To make a good decision we need to use "Logical thinking that draws conclusions from facts and evidence" which according to www.ncrel.com is the definition of critical thinking. Recently I was personally faced with an ethical dilemma that has to do with work and school. I'm currently on a tuition reimbursement program though my company and there are certain criteria that will make my paid education taxable or nontaxable. Of course if my tuition is nontaxable I don't have to pay taxes and I'll be saving lots of money. One of the criteria for making my tuition taxable is if my educational program qualifies me for a new position at work. If I answer no, the tuition is not taxable and I'll save some money but, in my situation the answer would be yes so my tuition should be taxed but, If I answer no, no one will find out and I'll be cheating my company or the government out of some money. I'm now stuck with an ethical dilemma. In the end I choose to answer yes and pay the taxes, following an ethical decision making model helped me do the right thing.

The ethical decision making model I followed and will break down is from the Josephson institute of ethics. The model follows 7 simple steps to finally come to a conclusion and make a decision.

1. STOP AND THINK One of the most important steps to better decisions is the oldest advice in the world: think ahead. To do so it's necessary to first stop the momentum of events long enough to permit calm analysis. Stop and think won't always be used if you are faced with a decision that needs to be made very quickly but, if you're permitted the time to think about the situation you should. In my case I though about what could happen if I were to avoid paying taxes. I could get in trouble with the law and even my company. Would it be worth getting fired? No I don't think so. "Stopping to think provides several benefits. It prevents rash decisions. It prepares us for more thoughtful discernment. And it can allow us to mobilize our discipline" (1).

2. CLARIFY GOALS Before you choose, clarify your short- and long-term aims. Determine which of your many wants and don't-wants affected by the decision are the most important. The big danger is that decisions that fulfill immediate wants and needs can prevent the achievement of our more important life goals. If I were to break the law it would definitely affect my goal of getting my BS in business management. I could also loose my job if I didn't pay taxes and I wouldn't have the resources to pay for school.

3. DETERMINE FACTS Be sure you have adequate information to support an intelligent choice. You can't make good decisions if you don't know the facts. To determine the facts, first resolve what you know and, then, what you need to know. If you don't have enough facts then go find out more about it. Once we know more facts we then see that more decision factors come into play and it's easier to make a decision.

Here are some guidelines provide by Josephson institute:

Consider the reliability and credibility of the people providing the facts.

Consider the basis of the supposed facts. If the person giving you the information says he or she personally heard or saw something, evaluate that person in terms of honesty, accuracy and memory.

Remember that assumptions, gossip and hearsay are not the same as facts.

Consider all perspectives, but be careful to consider whether the source of the information has values different than yours or has a personal interest that could affect perception of the facts.

Where possible seek out the opinions of people whose...

Cited: The seven step path to better decisions
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org/MED/MED-4sevensteppath.htm
Web definitions
www.ncrel.com
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