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The Ethical Cycle and Rationalizing Unethical Behavior

Essay by   •  May 13, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,073 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,705 Views

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Running Head: THE ETHICAL CYCLE AND RATIONALIZING UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR

The Ethical Cycle and Rationalizing Unethical Behavior

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Review of the ethical cycle

The ethical cycle is a five step systematic approach to solving ethical problems. In the first step, there is the identification of the moral problem and making a moral statement where there are two or more positive moral values that cannot be realized at the same time. The problem needs to be clearly stated with the actors identified and why it is a moral problem. For example, in my workplace which is military, I have an individual who works for me who is a single-mother. Because of the rotating 24 hour shift schedule of the job, she is not able to find proper daycare. Being in the military however, she is required to fulfill her duty to work there.

In the second step, a problem analysis is done on the ethic problem with key elements of the problem described. The key elements are the stakeholders affected, the relevant moral values, and other relevant facts that need to be acknowledged in order to be able to properly analyze a problem. The main stakeholder in this situation is the person involved. She does not have proper daycare. This will cause issues for her to make it to work, along with the stress of having to suffer the repercussions of not being able to fulfill her duties. Other stakeholders are those that work with her. They will be burdened to have to pick up her duties if she is not able to make it to work. Another stakeholder is the mission and how it will be affected if manning is not provided. In the third step, possible alternatives to solve the problem are generated. Decision makers must understand how each alternative can impact relevant stakeholders and how creativity must play a part in the decision-making process. All ideas must be considered as initially viable until they are discussed in further detail. In this situation, pulling members from another work station to cover her shift has been suggested, while placing her on a day schedule that provides optimal day care options. The most unfavorable solution, based on the needs and policies of the military, is to take the administrative steps necessary to find her unfit for military duty because she is unable to fulfill her obligations. This is the last option and would serve the least interest of all parties involved. .

In the fourth step, ethical evaluations of different options should be carried out using ethical frameworks to evaluate their moral acceptability. From the teleological point of view, the end result of each possible action and their effect on stakeholders can be evaluated. In addition, these frameworks under this view focus on the ramifications, both positive and negative, resulting from the actions and conduct of individuals. Pulling members from other work stations to cover this individual's duty may resolve her work and daycare issues, but it may in turn put burden on someone else. This may also cause discontent with that person and affect work morale, which would affect work productivity and ultimately the mission. Taking into account the last solution, considering this person for discontinuation of service could cause greater harm than good. Not only would a single mother be left without employment or security, the military and mission is left with a gap.

From the deontological point of view, there is a focus on a person's will influencing their courses of action and mainly encompasses the universal code of ethics. While teleological frameworks focus on whether the results are favorable or not, deontological frameworks focus on the duty or obligation in determining whether the actions are right or wrong. In most organizations, the universal code of ethics is usually embedded within the ethics system of the organization. In this case scenario, using the company's, the military, code of ethics to solve the matter is very beneficial. The military is based on duty and obligation. However, not only does the military focus on a member's obligation to service and mission, it places great value on obligation and duty to the member. Based on the military code of ethics, they have an obligation to service, while serving in the best interest of the military member.

A reflection is necessary to understand the outcome of previous steps and to understand the outcomes of various ethical frameworks before finally arriving at a morally acceptable action. I have reflected on the outcomes of the ethical frameworks in order to arrive at the right decision. Though teleological frameworks are reasonable approaches to evaluating the result of choices especially with regard to ethical matters, its problem is that it only looks at the end result and not how a person gets there. This theory stresses on the wrongness or rightness of the results of decisions made rather than the value of the decisions made. It does not look at the intrinsic qualities of the courses of action.

The deontologist framework, for me, works best in this situation. This situation is not black and white, and there is no clear wrongness or rightness. In addition, the code of ethics of the organization involved plays a great role in the end result of the decision to be made. Most importantly, the organization has an obligation to do what is best for this individual while having the least impact of all stakeholders involved. The course of action that has been taken in this situation has been to pull someone from another work station to cover the individual and placing her on a day schedule to accompany her day care needs. While someone else has to take on the burden of covering this person's duties, the extra load placed on this person has been minimal, with little change to the work schedule. Furthermore, the ultimate outcome has served as a greater benefit to everyone.

Decision made in the workplace

I once faced an ethical dilemma in my place of interning that was very had to resolve

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