Principled Reasoning: Using the Six Pillars of Character as a Filter for Decision Making

 

 Is the conduct I’m considering consistent with my obligations to be trustworthy? Am I prepared to be truthful, sincere and candid? Is it consistent with what I believe and what I say? Have I made any promises I will have to break? Am I being disloyal to anyone? Will I be treating everyone with appropriate respect? Is my conduct courteous …

Business Case #8: Headhunting and Job-Shopping

 

 You are contacted by an executive recruiter and told about another job with an excellent company that has an immediate need.  You occupy a key position in your present company, and you are presently involved with a major long-term project (it will take at least a month to complete) that will be seriously damaged and may have to be abandoned …

Business Case #6: Silver-Plating and Cyanide

 

 The G.R. Bronson Company is a large publicly-owned conglomerate whose holdings are primarily in the retail sale of jewelry. Several years ago, it purchased for $10 million a plant that puts silver and gold plate on jewelry.  The seller, Hedda Wilson, stayed on to manage the company until last year. Behind the plating facility there are three underground tanks.  One …

Decision-Making Models: The Golden Rule

 

 This most basic and useful ethical theory, sometimes called the “Rule of Reciprocity,” has a long history: Confucius (500 B.C.): “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” Aristotle (325 B.C.): “We should behave to others as we wish them to behave to us.” From the Mahabharata (200 B.C.): “Do nothing to thy neighbor which …

Decision Making Models: Kant’s Categorical Imperative

 

 According to Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the moral character of an action depends solely on the principle behind it – not upon the consequences it produces.  Ethical obligations are “higher truths,” which we must obey regardless of the results. According to Kant, moral obligations are absolute and do not allow for exceptions or extenuating circumstances.  A major virtue of Kant’s duty …