Rachels & Rachels

Discussion: Personal Ethics and Organizational Responsibility



At one time or another, individuals or organizations face an ethical decision in which they are supposed to choose between two opposing sides that are equally important to them. At this point, it is required that the decision which needs to be taken ought to be the best that will have a positive impact onto the individual or organization and thus, can define an individuals career or the direction an organization will take (Badaracco 1998). An ethical situation is usually a conflicting feeling and when in this situation, it is important to reflect and move backwards so as to look at the issue as natural tension of two warring sides and not as a problem. (Badaracco 1998)

Evaluation of Key Arguments from a Scholarly and Practitioner-Oriented View

Ethical dilemmas are classified as defining moments and as managers move up the management ladder, the moments seem to increase and grow in terms of complexity (Badaracco 1998). At the time when a manager is faced with an ethical dilemma or defining moment, they tend to believe that they share their point of view with other people within the organization. However, this is never the case because more than two people cannot have the same line of perception due to their difference in upbringing, religion, education and ethnicity among other factors (Badaracco 1998).

Rachels and Rachels (2010) claim that for one to be able to identify the truth, they need to allow their feelings to be navigated by opposing views. Once the truth is found, one should concentrate their morals on doing the best thing which is supported by the best reasons (Rachels & Rachels 2010). This is because there is a great difference between making a moral judgment and stating ones preference. Thus, morality which encompasses moral reasoning and ethics is a concept which requires managers to make decisions with a consideration of the effects the decision will have on other people (Rachels & Rachels 2010). In making these decisions which are individual choices, a manager is able to create a moral and societal order that others can be able to follow confidently (Gick 2003).

Hayeks theory of cognition explains the reasons as to why individuals make the decisions they make in terms of ethics and morals (Eikeland, 2007). According to Eikeland (2007), most of these decisions are reached upon through the influence of factors outside the mind. This concept which was referred to as individualism is applicable to both organizations and individuals (Eikeland, 2007). Moral rules which govern ethics and morals sometimes clash making it difficult to make an ethical decision which will be morally upright. In such cases, the morality and ethicality of a manager comes under great scrutiny as they are watched and waited on with the decision that they are likely to take. In most cases, weighing between the benefits and impacts is the way out (Rachels & Rachels 2010).

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Critiques Underlying Assumptions Evident in Articles

Morality requires self-enquiry so as to be able to know what is good and what is not. Thus, there are some aspects which include shrewd, persuasive and self confident actions that define the self-enquiry and the subsequent decision (Badaracco 1998). This is true because confidence is one of the key drivers to making an informed decision that will have the expected impact. The persuasiveness comes in when someone is needed to identify themselves with the ethical or moral situation at hand and be able to really know what is needed. This is a show that self identity is vital in making a decision that will be accepted by others who have the same interest.

Before a manager is able to make an ethical decision, the consideration of employees and other people that the decision will influence is crucial (Rachels & Rachels 2010). This fact can be supported to be true as the decision that is to be reached, though individually is not personal or self interests but for the interest of all. Additionally, Rachels & Rachels (2010) claim that a manager should act with a human dignity in mind in spite of who the decision is to impact: self or others. This is because if human dignity is not considered, the decision may not be received well.

Extension of the Thinking and Application of the Review Articles

The theory of cognition as discussed by Gick (2003) is an important aspect and managers and all other individuals should have a hint of it. Cognition and decision making are related and this knowledge of the cognition to know what decision to make and how to reach upon it (Eikeland, 2007). Action research (AR) helps in extending knowledge in all areas and for managers who engage in Action Research, they will be at a better position of improving the impact of their decisions on people and also gaining massive support for them. This is however possible if a leader uses the knowledge obtained from Action Research to reach a decision that aligns to the findings.

Rachels and Rachels (2010) outline Ethical Egoism as the reaching of a decision for own advantages. The authors warn that to make a decision just because it is in the interest of others does not make it right as it can be wrong. Thus, Ethical Egoism is upheld while at the same time warning of its effects and outlining criteria that supports it. For managers, knowing what this concept is and being able to apply the knowledge is a sound idea. Thus, all the four references in this paper have played a role in knowledge extension on management, morality and ethics.

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