Ethics and Intentions

Ethics and Intentions

During the Watergate probe, the question continually asked was, “What did President Nixon know and when did he know it?” Our judgment of his behavior depends on the answer to those questions. The more he knew and the earlier he knew it, the worse it was. The Iran-Contra investigation of the decision to sell arms to Iran and use the proceeds …

Virtue

Virtue

Like other terminology of ethics, the term virtue can be used in non-moral and moral senses. Certain positive traits we call virtues such as prudence, cheerfulness, sense of humor, frugality, and cleanliness are prized not because they demonstrate morality but because they tend to lead to personal happiness and success. In the context of ethics, virtue refers to moral excellence …

Fairness

How old were you when you first experienced the sting of injustice? Perhaps you were blamed for something you didn’t do or excluded from a club or team because someone didn’t like you? Perhaps you were given a lower grade than you deserved because the teacher had it in for you. Or did you ever experience frustration and moral indignation …

Twelve Common Rationalizations and Excuses to Avoid

Rationalizations – The Enemy of Integrity: Twelve Common Rationalizations and Excuses to Avoid

Everyone is ethical in their own eyes. Rationalizations are the most potent enemy to integrity. They work like an anesthetic to our consciences allowing us to avoid the pain of guilt when we don’t live up to our values. We want to think well of ourselves so much that we develop strategies to convince ourselves that we are better than …

Six Reasons to Be Ethical in Business

Why be ethical? It’s the smart thing to do.  And it’s the right thing to do. Competitive edge – People prefer to work with those they can trust. Credibility – People believe you when they know you are honest and will keep your promises. Efficiency – Trust makes decision making faster and more economical. Morale – People feel better about …

Ten Benefits of Having an Ethics Code

“The single measure that would most improve corporate governance is the establishment by senior management of an ethical business culture.” – 2003 survey of corporate directors and general counsel Companies should have ethics codes to promote ethical behavior – not to enhance productivity, profits or public relations.  Still, a sound, well-administered code can benefit a company and its stakeholders in …

Decision Making Models: Consequentialism / Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism  holds that we should judge the merit of an act by its foreseeable consequences.  Actions are good when they produce benefit or prevent harm.  There are two divisions: Act Utilitarianism – The ethical merit of an act is judged by the immediate and direct consequences of the action. Rule Utilitarianism – The ethical merit of an act is judged …