Workplace Ethics and Attitudinal Change

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Business ethics Pages: 12 (4083 words) Published: November 8, 2009
Learning objectives
At the end of the presentation, participants should be able to; - Understand what work ethics is all about and be able to classify decision as ethical or unethical. - Appreciates the categories of ethical questions

- Analyses ethical reasoning based on the tools of ethics - Grasp some of the actions which may be breaching the boundary of ethical practices at workplaces. - Learn some of the ways ethics in the workplace can be managed - Understands attitudes and attitudinal change and the three different parts which together create an evaluation of the attitude object. - Recognizes some of the top strategies for changing attitudes. - Be able to translate what is learnt into action.

Workplace Ethics is a subject that we have all heard of. In fact, the subject of Ethics in general is something that most people are familiar with. And, what is commonly understood about ethics is there are ethics and then there are workplace ethics. What most people don’t realize, however, is that there is no such thing as workplace ethics; ethics are the same, (or, should be) whether in the workplace or in personal life. Ethics – What it’s about

Ethics are about making choices that may not always feel good or seem like they benefit you but are the “right” choices to make. They are the choices that are examples of “model citizens” and examples of the golden rules. We’ve all heard the golden rules: Don’t hurt, don’t steal, don’t lie, or one of the most famous: “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” These are not just catchy phrases; these are words of wisdom that any productive member of society should strive to live by. Ethics are moral principles or beliefs about what is right or wrong. These belief guide individuals in their dealings with other individuals and groups (stakeholders) and provide a basis for deciding whether behavior is right and proper. Ethics help people determine moral responses to situations in which the best course of action is unclear. Ethics help managers in their decisions about what to do in various situations. Ethics also help managers decide how best to respond to the interests of various organizational stakeholders. Ethical vs. Unethical decisions

Philosophers have debated for centuries about specific criteria that should be used to determine whether decisions are ethical or unethical. In theory, there are three models and complementary ways of determining whether decisions are ethical or unethical. These models are; Utilitarian, Moral rights and Justice Models.

Utilitarian Model: an ethical decision is a decision that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Therefore, managers should compare and contrast alternative course of action based on the benefits and costs of those alternatives for different organizational stakeholders group.

Moral Rights Model: an ethical decision that best maintains and protects the fundamental rights and privileges of the people affected by it. For example, ethical decisions protect people’s rights to freedom, life and safety, privacy, free speech, and freedom of conscience. Thus, managers should compare and contrast alternative course of action based on the effect of those alternatives on stakeholder’s right.

Justice Model: an ethical decision is a decision that distributes benefits and harms among stakeholders in a fair, equitable, or impartial way. In this case, managers should compare and contrast alternatives course of action based on the degree to which the action will promote a fair distribution of outcomes.

Ethical issues, however, are seldom clear-cut, and the interests of different stakeholders often conflict, so frequently it is extremely difficult for a decision maker to use these models to ascertain the most ethical course of action. For this reason many experts on ethics propose this practical guide to determine whether a...
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