Ethical reasoning is a person‘s rational, of rationalized, analysis of what they think should be done in relation to an incident or issue.
The demands and expectations of others
From the perspective of the demands and expectations of others a person undertakes a mini
stakeholder analysis‘. It is focused on what the person thinks the other involved in the story are thinking and why.
Analysis of an ethical issue:
•What does R think is wrong about the issue?
•What R thinks should be said and done in the given circumstances
•What are the expectations of other stakeholders?
•Options for action
Conflicts between perspectives
When people experience conflict because they adopt contradictory stances a some or all of the four perspective points they may experience a number of states. Six types of conflict have been identified:
•Type 1: Conflict occurs when conscience and ethical reasoning are at odds and this produces feelings of anxiety.
•Type 2: The respondent took a position of neutrality on an issue her conscience told her was wrong and this might be expected to produce feelings of guilt, shame or remorse.
•Type 3: There is a disagreement between what the respondent thought should be done and the position of those conducting the selection process. Conflict, disagreement and lack of trust.
•Type 4: Disdain or disapprobation
•Type 5: The respondent blamed the others for behaving wrongly.
•Type 6: A person acts contrary to their ethical reasoning, and will damage people‘s sense of integrity because they cannot consider their thoughts and actions to be of a piece.
Festinger‘s theory of cognitive dissonance: the consequences of holding conflicting ideas in our heads were so unpleasant that we jerk our attitudes and actions into line so that they all fit comfortably together. It only become an issue if an external opponent makes a public criticism of them.
Melancholic acceptance: the conscience had sympathy for the views expressed by the members of staff but the ethical reasoning did not. So the actions (in sympathy with the reasoning rather than with the conscience) contradicted what she thought the staff was telling her.