When attempting an ethical decision making model, the importance of determining principles is paramount. These ethical principles are the barometer for which all future decisions are made. The model I have decided upon follows the principles of honesty, legality, and loyalty. Whenever a decision is to be made, it must be run through these questions:
- Is it honest? (Is it in following with personal and community standards of ethics and morality?)
- Is it legal? (Would any corporate or governmental law be broken as a result of a particular decision?)
- Is it loyal? (Does this action serve the best interests of the company, or does it favor any competition?)
Whenever a problem arises, the solutions are weighed against these three factors. If one can answer ‘yes’ to all three questions, than the decision moves forward and is implemented (provided it is also practical and effective). In the event any of these can be answered ‘no,’ the decision is not put forward for implementation (Trevino, 1986).
However, this ethical model merely seeks to make sure that no ethical, legal or moral rules are broken as a result of the passing of this decision. The feasibility of the decision is decided independently from how “right” or “wrong” it is. These three simple questions, asked in the right way and investigated thoroughly, can address any ethical quandary a company is going through.
Everyone in the company can implement the model, as that allows the entire organization to monitor itself and keep everyone working above the line (PLUS Decision Making Model, 2009). This decision making model is meant to be easy and simple to implement for everyone in all stages of the organization. A consistent level of ethical behavior must be maintained in order to have an efficiently and morally run organization (A Framework for Thinking Ethically, 2011).
A Framework for Thinking Ethically. (2011). Santa Clara University. Retrieved June 25, 2011, from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/framework.html
The PLUS Decision Making Model. (2009, May 29). Ethics Resource Center. Retrieved June 25, 2011, from http://www.ethics.org/resource/plus-decision-making-model
Trevino, L. (1986). Ethical decision making in organizations: a person-situation interactionist model. Academy of Management Review, 11(3), 601-617.