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Introduction

Ethical Situations Introduction

This chapter concerns people‘s responses to ethical situations introduction issues at work. Responses include what people say, how they say it and how they behave. There are two main cognitive processes involved in choosing responses; categorization and particularization.
We will use a matrix to describe the categories . There are two dimensions: degree of ethical integrity and dialectic of ethical purpose.
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•Degree of ethical integrity: the position at the extreme left of the horizontal axis represents clarity and certainty about values. A person at this point on the scale sees moral issues in a straightforward way, which helps them to know what should be done in a situation or how an issue should be analyzed and resolved. A person at the extreme right is more likely to be confused. A person in this condition will find the plurality of views on an issues difficult to reconcile and they will often change their minds.
•Dialectic of ethical purpose: the vertical dimension represents stages in the dialectical development of a personal and conscious view of right and wrong. It models a developing personal responsibility for recognizing the presence of ethical issues at work and addressing them. Four stages:
Self-consciousness: a person sees their moral universe as a personal one. They accept responsibility for themselves but wish to remain apart from ethical issues in the wider world. They show this unwillingness to accept a moral responsibility by turning a blind eye.
The obligation of duty: people at this stage take a stand and, without much critical reflection, do what their backgrounds and their consciences tell them is their duty. o Achieving the common good: people try to reconcile competing ethical demands by using such notions as organizational values and mission statements, economic utility or public interest. It involves difficult debates about values and priorities (to create a consensus).
Developing principles: through self-analysis and debate, people create their own set of moral precepts and values. People are aware of the plurality and fragmentation of the moral world and make choices about how to respond to it.