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3
Ethical

Decision Making
and Action

Chapter Preview

Components of Ethical Behavior

Component 1: Moral Sensitivity (Recognition)
Component 2: Moral Judgment
Component 3: Moral Motivation
Component 4: Moral Character

Decision-Making Formats

Kidder’s Ethical Checkpoints
The Moral Compass
The Five “I” Format

Implications

Application Projects

Chapter End Case:

Scenarios for Analysis

Endnotes

In making and implementing decisions, we put widely accepted ethical prin-ciples, as well our vocation, values, character and spiritual resources, into
practice. This chapter focuses both on the how (processes) and the how to (for-
mats) of moral thinking and action. Our chances of coming up with a sound,
well-reasoned conclusion and executing our plan are greater if we understand
how ethical decisions are made and take a systematic approach to problem
solving.

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Components of Ethical Behavior

Breaking the process down into its component parts enhances understanding
of ethical decision-making and behavior. Moral psychologist James Rest iden-
tifies four elements of ethical action. Rest developed his Four-Component
Model by asking: “What must happen psychologically in order for moral
behavior to take place?” He concluded that ethical action is the product of
these psychological subprocesses: (1) moral sensitivity (recognition); (2) moral
judgment or reasoning; (3) moral motivation; and (4) moral character.1

The first half of the chapter is organized around Rest’s framework. I’ll describe
each factor and then offer some tips for improving your performance on that
element of Rest’s model.

COMPONENT 1: MORAL SENSITIVITY (RECOGNITION)

Moral sensitivity is the recognition that an ethical problem exists. Such
recognition requires being aware of how our behavior impacts others, identi-
fying possible courses of action, and determining the consequences of each
potential strategy. Moral sensitivity is key to transformational ethics. We can’t
solve a moral dilemma unless we know that one is present.

Empathy and perspective skills are essential to identifying and exploring
moral issues. Understanding how others might feel or react can alert us to the
potential negative effects of our choices and makes it easier to predict the likely
outcomes of various options. For example, the central figure in the “Is It Better
to Ask for Permission or to Ask for Forgiveness?” Chapter End Case empathizes
with neighborhood residents and understands their point of view. As a result,
he realizes that he faces an ethical problem.

According to University of Virginia ethics professor Patricia Werhane, many
smart, well-meaning managers stumble because they are victims of tunnel
vision.2 Their ways of thinking or mental models don’t include important eth-
ical considerations. In other words, they lack moral imagination. Take the case
of the Nestlé Company. The European food producer makes a very high qual-
ity infant formula, which the firm successfully marketed in North America,
Europe, and Asia. It seemed to make sense for the company to market formula
in East Africa using the same communication strategies that had worked else-
where. However, Nestlé officials failed to take into account important cultural
differences. Many East African mothers could not read label directions, were so
poor that to make the product last longer they overdiluted it, and used polluted
water to mix it. In a society that honors medicine men, parents felt pressured
to use formula because it was advertised with pictures of men in white coats.
As a result, many poor African mothers wasted money on formula when they

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could have breast-fed their children for free. Thousands of their babies died
after drinking formula mixed with polluted water. Nestlé refused to stop its
marketing campaign despite pressure from the World Health Organization and
only quit after being faced with a major boycott. Company leaders didn’t con-
sider the possible dangers of marketing to third world mothers and failed
to recognize that they were engaged in unethical activities.

To exercise moral imagination, managers and employees step outside their
current frame of reference (disengage themselves) to assess a situation and
evaluate options. They then generate creative solutions. Werhane uses
Chicago’s South Shore Bank as an example of moral imagination at work. In
the early 1970s, a group of investors bought a failing bank in the impoverished
South Shore neighborhood and began loaning money for residential restora-
tion. Few people in the area qualified for traditional bank loans, so South Shore
managers developed a new set of criteria. Loan officers gave credit to individ-
uals of limited means who had good reputations. The bank prospered and,
at the same time, the neighborhood became a desirable place to live. South
Shore’s morally imaginative owners and managers envisioned a profitable
financial institution in a depressed, poverty stricken area. They disproved tra-
ditional “bank logic” by demonstrating that they could make money in a
responsible manner under tough conditions.

Moral muteness, like lack of moral imagination, interferes with the recog-
nition of moral issues. Managers can be reluctant to talk about their actions in
ethical terms. They may want to avoid controversy or believe that keeping
silent will help them appear practical, efficient, powerful, and capable of han-
dling their own problems.3 Describing a situation in moral terms breaks this
ethical code of silence. Such terms as values, justice, immoral, character, right,
and wrong encourage listeners to frame an event as an ethical problem and to
engage in moral reasoning.4

Tips for Enhancing Your Ethical Sensitivity

Engage in active listening and role-playing. The best way to learn about the
potential ethical consequences of choices, as well as the likely response of
others, is through listening closely to what others have to say. (See Chapter 4
for a closer look at the process of active listening.) Role-play can also foster
understanding. Taking the part of another individual or group can provide you
with important insight into how the other party is likely to react.

Challenge mental models or schemas. Recognize the dangers of your current
mental models and try to visualize other perspectives. Distance yourself from
a situation to determine if it does indeed have moral implications. Remember
that you have ethical duties that extend beyond your group or organization.

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Be creative. Look for innovative ways to define and to respond to ethical dilem-
mas; visualize creative opportunities and solutions.

Speak up. Don’t hesitate to discuss problems and your decisions using ethical
terms. Doing so will help frame an argument as an ethical one for you and your
colleagues.

COMPONENT 2: MORAL JUDGMENT

After determining there is an ethical problem, decision makers then
choose among the courses of action identified in Component 1. They make
judgments about what is the right or wrong thing to do in this specific context.

Moral judgment has been studied more than any other element of the Rest
model. There is far too much information to summarize it here. Instead, I’ll
focus on two topics that are particularly important to understanding how
problem solvers determine whether a solution is right or wrong—cognitive
moral development and defective reasoning.

Cognitive Moral Development

Before his death, Harvard psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg was the leading
champion of the idea that individuals progress through a series of moral stages just
as they do physical ones.5 Each stage is more advanced than the one before. As indi-
viduals develop, their reasoning becomes more sophisticated. They become less
self-centered and develop broader definitions of morality (see Box 3.1).

Box 3.1 Stages of Moral Development

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Reasons for Doing Right

Avoidance of
punishment; the
superior power of
authorities.

What Is Right

To avoid breaking rules
backed by punishment,
obedience for its own
sake, and to avoid
physical damage to
persons and property.

Level and Stage

LEVEL I—PRE-
CONVENTIONAL

Stage 1—
Heteronomous
Morality

Content of Stage

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Ethical Decision Making and Action—63

To serve your own needs
or interests in a world
where you have to
recognize that other
people have their interests,
too.

The need to be a good
person in your own eyes
and those of others. Your
caring for others. Belief in
the Golden Rule. A desire
to maintain rules and
authority which support
stereotypical good
behavior.

To keep the institution
going as a whole, to avoid
a breakdown in the system
or to fulfill a sense of
personal obligation

A sense of obligation to
law because of one’s
social contract to make
and abide by laws for the
welfare of all and for the

Following rules only
when it is in your
immediate interest;
acting for your own
interests and needs and
letting others do the
same. Right is also what’s
fair, what’s an equal
exchange, a deal, an
agreement.

Living up to what is
expected by people close
to you or what people
generally expect of
people in your role as
son, brother, friend, etc.
“Being good” is
important and means
having good motives,
showing concern about
others. It also means
keeping mutual
relationships with trust,
loyalty, respect, and
gratitude.

Fulfilling the actual
duties to which you have
agreed. Laws are to be
upheld except in extreme
cases where they conflict
with other fixed social
duties. Right is also
contributing to society,
the group, or institution.

Being aware that people
hold a variety of values
and opinions, that most
values and rules are
relative to your group.

Stage 2—
Individualism,
Instrumental
Purpose, and
Exchange

LEVEL II—
CONVENTIONAL

Stage 3—Mutual
Interpersonal
Expectations,
Relationships,
and Interpersonal
Conformity

Stage 4—Social
System and
Conscience

LEVEL III—POST-
CONVENTIONAL,
PRINCIPLED

Stage 5—Social
Contract or Utility
and Individual
Rights

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Source: Kohlberg, L. A. (1986). A current statement on some theoretical issues. In
S. Modgil & C. Modgil (Eds.), Lawrence Kohlberg: Consensus and controversy
(pp. 485–546). Philadelphia: Falmer Press, pp. 488–489.

64—TRANSFORMING INDIVIDUAL ETHICS IN THE ORGANIZATION

protection of all people’s
rights. A feeling of
contractual commitment,
freely entered upon, to
family, friendship, trust,
and work obligations.
Concern that laws and
duties be based on rational
calculation of overall
utility, “the greatest good
for the greatest number.”

The belief as a rational
person in the validity of
universal moral principles,
and a sense of personal
commitment to them.

These relative rules
should usually be
upheld, in the interest
of impartiality and
because they are the
social contract. Some
nonrelative values and
rights like life and liberty
must be upheld in any
society and regardless of
majority opinion.

Following self-chosen
ethical principles.
Particular laws or social
agreements are usually
valid because they rest
on such principles. When
laws violate these
principles, one acts in
accordance with the
principle. Principles are
universal principles of
justice: the equality of
human rights and respect
for the dignity of human
beings as individual
persons.

Stage 6—
Universal
Ethical Principles

Pre-conventional thinking is the most primitive and is common among
children. Individuals at Level I decide on the basis of direct consequences. In
the first stage they obey to avoid punishment. In the second they follow the
rules in order to meet their own interests. Stage 2 thinkers believe that justice
is giving a fair deal to others—you help me and I’ll help you.

Conventional (Level II) thinkers look to other people for guidance in how
to act. They strive to live up to the expectations of family members and signif-
icant others (Stage 3) or recognize the importance of going along with the laws
of society (Stage 4). Kohlberg found that most adults fall in stages 3 and 4,
which suggests that the typical organizational member looks to work rules,
leaders, and the situation to determine right from wrong.

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Post-conventional or principled (Level III) thinking is the most advanced
type of thinking and relies on universal values and principles. Stage 5 individ-
uals are guided by Utilitarian principles, seeking to do the greatest good for
the greatest number. They recognize that there are a number of value systems
within a democratic society and that regulations may have to be broken to
serve higher moral purposes. Stage 6 thinkers operate according to internal-
ized, universal ethical principles like the Categorical Imperative or Justice as
Fairness. These principles apply in every situation and take precedence over the
laws of any particular society. According to Kohlberg, only about 20 percent of
Americans can be classified as Stage 5 post-conventional moral thinkers. Very
few individuals ever reach Stage 6.

Kohlberg’s model has drawn heavy criticism from philosophers and psy-
chologists alike.6 Some philosophers complain that it draws too heavily from
Rawls’s Theory of Justice and makes deontological ethics superior to other eth-
ical perspectives. They note that the theory applies more to societal issues than
to individual ethical decisions. A number of psychologists have challenged the
notion that people go through a rigid or “hard” series of moral stages. They
argue instead that individuals can engage in many ways of thinking about a
problem, regardless of their age.

Rest (who was a student of Kohlberg’s) responded to these criticisms by
replacing the hard stages with a staircase of developmental schemas. Schemas
refer to a general structures or patterns in our memories. We use these patterns
or structures when we encounter new situations or information. When you
enrolled in college, for example, you probably relied on high school experi-
ences to determine how to act in the university classroom. Rest and his
colleagues contend that decision makers shift upward, adopting more sophis-
ticated moral schemas as they develop. Rest’s group redefined the post-
conventional stage to make it less dependent on one ethical perspective. In
their “neo-Kohlbergian” approach, the most advanced thinkers reason like
moral philosophers.7 Post-conventional individuals look behind societal rules
to determine if they serve moral purposes. These thinkers appeal to a shared
vision of an ideal society. Such a society seeks the greatest good for the entire
community and assures rights and protections for everyone.

Rest developed the Defining Issues Test (DIT) to measure moral develop-
ment. Subjects taking the DIT respond to six scenarios and then choose state-
ments that best reflect how they went about making their choices. The
statements (which correspond to the levels of moral development) are then
scored. In the best-known dilemma, Heinz’s wife is dying of cancer and needs
a drug he cannot afford to buy. He must decide whether or not to steal the drug
to save her life.

Over 800 studies have been conducted using the DIT.8 Among the
findings:

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• Moral reasoning ability generally increases with age.
• The total college experience, both inside and outside the classroom, increases

moral judgment.9

• Those who love learning, taking risks, and meeting challenges generally expe-
rience the greatest moral growth while in college.

• Ethics coursework boosts the positive effects of the college experience, increas-
ing moral judgment still further.

• Older students (those in graduate and professional school) gain a great deal
from moral education programs.

• When education stops, moral development plateaus.
• Moral development is a universal concept, crossing cultural boundaries.
• There are no consistent differences between the moral reasoning of men and

women.
• Principled leaders can improve the moral judgment of the group as a whole,

encouraging members to adopt more sophisticated ethical schemas.

Defective Reasoning

No discussion of moral judgment would be complete without considera-
tion of why this process so often breaks down. Time after time very bright
people make very stupid decisions. Former President Bill Clinton illustrates
this sad fact. By all accounts Clinton was one of the country’s brightest leaders.
Not only was he a Rhodes scholar with a nearly photographic memory, but his
former advisor David Gergen reports that Clinton could hold conversations
with aides and visitors while completing the New York Times crossword puz-
zle.10 Somehow the former chief executive thought he could have sex with an
intern and keep the affair quiet despite being under constant media scrutiny.
Further, he didn’t think he would suffer any serious consequences if word got
out. He was wrong on both counts.11

The moral stupidity of otherwise intelligent people can be explained in
part by the power of their internal enemies. Employees and managers must
always be alert to the presence of the “dark side” of the personality introduced
in Chapter 2. Unless acknowledged and confronted, internal forces can seri-
ously disrupt moral reasoning. Three such factors are particularly damaging:
insecurities, greed, and ego.

1. Insecurities. As we saw in the last chapter, low self-esteem and inner doubts
can drive individuals to use others to meet their own needs, and insecure
people fall into the trap of tying their identities to their roles. Those plagued by
self-doubt are blind to larger ethical considerations and, at the same time, they
are tempted to succeed at any cost.

2. Greed. Greed is more likely than ever to undermine ethical thinking because
we live in a “winner take all” society.12 The market economy benefits the few at

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the expense of the many. Professional sports are a case in point. Superstars like
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal account for the vast majority of the payroll
while others sit on the bench making league minimums. Or consider the
inequity of the salary structure at the Banana Republic clothing chain. The
average employee at a Banana Republic store makes near minimum wage with
no health benefits. Store managers do better, receiving an adequate salary and
benefits. Professionals working at the headquarters of the Gap (the parent of
Banana Republic) make several times the wages of local managers. Those at the
top earn a fortune. Former CEO Millard Drexler engineered a $25 million pay
raise in one year and left the company with $500 million.

A winner-take-all culture encourages widespread cheating because
the payoff is so high. In addition, losers justify their dishonesty by pointing to
the injustice of the system and to the fact that they deserve a larger share of the
benefits. When greed takes over, altruism disappears along with any consider-
ation of serving the greater good.

3. Ego. Even the most humble of us tend to (a) think we are above average,
(b) believe we are more ethical than most of the people we know, (c) give
ourselves the benefit of the doubt, (d) overestimate our control over events,
(e) assume that we are immune from harm, (f ) have all the information we
need, and (g) overstate our value to the organization.13 Such self-serving biases
put us in danger. We can become overconfident, ignore the risks and conse-
quences of our choices, take too much credit when things go well and too
little blame when they don’t, and demand more than our fair share of organi-
zational resources.

Inflated egos become more of a problem at higher levels of the organiza-
tional hierarchy. Top managers are often cut off from customers and employ-
ees. Unlike the rest of us, they don’t have to wait in line for products or services
or for a ride to work. Subordinates tell them what they want to hear and stroke
their egos. All these factors make it easier for executives to excuse their uneth-
ical behavior (outrageous pay packages, diverting company funds to private
use) on the grounds that they are vital to the organization’s success.

Harvard psychologist Robert Sternberg believes that people in positions of
great power, like Bill Clinton, former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers, and for-
mer House majority leader Tom Delay, develop three dispositions that lead to
foolish decisions.14 Their access to so many sources of information tricks them
into thinking that they are all-knowing (the sense of omniscience). Because
they possess great power, top government and business figures mistakenly
believe that they can do anything they want in or outside their organizations
(the sense of omnipotence). Entourages of subservient staff members seduce
these leaders into believing that they will be protected from the consequences
of their actions (the sense of invulnerability).

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The formidable forces of insecurity, greed, and ego become even more
powerful when managers and subordinates adopt a short-term orientation.
Modern workers are under constant time pressures as organizations cut
staffing levels while demanding higher performance in the form of shorter
product development cycles, better customer service, and greater returns on
investment. Employees are sorely tempted to do what is expedient instead of
what is ethical. As ethics expert Laura Nash puts it: “Short-term pressures can
silence moral reasoning by simply giving it no space. The tighter a manager’s
agenda is, the less time for contemplating complex, time-consuming, unprag-
matic issues like ethics.”15

Time pressed managers lose sight of the overall purpose of the organiza-
tion and fail to analyze past conduct. They don’t stop to reflect on their choices
when things are going well. Overconfident, rushed decision makers are only
too willing to move on to the next problem. Eventually they begin to make mis-
takes that catch up with them. In addition, short-term thinkers begin to look
for immediate gratification, which feeds their greedy impulses.

The damage caused by rushing to judgment can be seen in the results of a
study by Ohio State professor Paul Nutt.16 Professor Nutt examined 400 poor
organizational decisions over a period of 20 years, including construction of
Euro Disney, Ford’s failure to recall the Pinto, and NASA’s decision to launch
the Challenger space shuttle. Adopting a short-term perspective helps to
account for many of the decision-making blunders he uncovered. Nearsighted
decision makers (a) overlooked important ethical questions, (b) came to pre-
mature conclusions, (c) failed to consult with important stakeholders,
(d) lacked a clear direction, (e) limited their search for information,
(f ) demonstrated little creativity, and (g) learned little from either their suc-
cesses or their failures.

Tips for Improving Your Moral Judgment

Stay in school. The general college experience (including extracurricular activ-
ities) contributes greatly to moral development. However, you’ll gain more if
you have the right attitude. Focus on learning, not grades; be ready to take on
new challenges.

Be intentional. While the general college experience contributes to moral devel-
opment, focused attention on ethics also helps. Take ethics courses and units,
discuss ethical issues in a group, reflect on the ethical challenges you experience
in internships.

Reject ethical pessimism. Ethical values and thought patterns are not set in
childhood as pessimists claim, but continue to grow and develop through
college and graduate school and beyond.

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Self-Assessment

Take a broader view. Try to consider the needs and positions of others outside
your immediate group; determine what is good for the community as a whole.

Look to underlying moral principles. Since the best ethical thinkers base their
choices on widely accepted ethical guidelines, do the same. Draw upon impor-
tant ethical approaches like Utilitarianism, the Categorical Imperative, and
Justice as Fairness for guidance.

Acknowledge your dark side. Before coming to a conclusion, try to determine if
your decision is shaped by feelings of self-doubt and self-interest as well as
your need to feed your ego. If so, then reconsider.

Step outside yourself. We can’t help but see the world through our own selfish
biases. However, we have a responsibility to check our perceptions against
reality. Consult with others before making a choice, consider the likely per-
spective of other parties (refer back to our earlier discussion of role-taking),
and double-check your assumptions and information.

Keep your ego in check. Stay close to those who will tell you the truth and hold
you accountable. At the same time, don’t punish those who point out your
deficiencies. Use the questions in the Self-Assessment in Box 3.2 as tools for
breaking the ego barrier.

Box 3.2 Ego-Busting Questions

Apply the following questions to an important ethical decision you face.
After you have answered these queries, summarize what this exercise tells
you about the soundness of your moral reasoning.

• What is my intention?
• Have I invited and tolerated dissent?
• Have I rubbed elbows with subordinates? (peers?)
• What have I omitted from my analysis?
• What if I get caught?
• Have I listened to other opinions? Can I tolerate hearing them

directly, or only filtered through company communication channels?
• Did I address the facts? Precisely what value am I creating?
• At whose expense am I creating value?
• Have I articulated factual information in as objective and impartial

a way as possible?

Ethical Decision Making and Action—69

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• Are my decisions or behavior having a negative impact on the
relationships involved?

• Am I rewarding ego-dominant, relationship-destroying attitudes in
others?

• Have I laughed at myself recently?

Source: Nash, L. 1990, Good intentions aside: A manager’s guide to resolving ethi-
cal problems. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, p. 212. Used by permission.

Take a long-term perspective. In an emergency (when lives are immediately at
stake, for example), you may be forced to make a quick decision. In all other
situations, provide space for ethical reflection and deliberation. Resist the
temptation to grab on to the first solution. Take time to consult with others,
gather the necessary data, probe for underlying causes, and set a clear direc-
tion. Adopting a long-term perspective also means putting future benefits
above immediate needs. In most cases, the organization and its clients and
consumers are better served by emphasizing enduring relationships. You may
make an immediate profit by selling low quality products, but customers will
be hurt and refuse to buy again, lowering corporate performance.

COMPONENT 3: MORAL MOTIVATION

After reaching a conclusion about the best course of action, decision mak-
ers must be motivated to follow through on their choices. Moral values often
conflict with other important values like job security, career advancement,
social acceptance, and wealth. Ethical behavior will only result if moral con-
siderations take precedence over competing priorities.

Two factors—rewards and emotions—play an important role in ethical
follow through. It is easier to give priority to ethical values when rewarded for
doing so. Conversely, moral motivation drops when the reward system honors
inappropriate behavior.17 Individuals are much more likely to act ethically
when they are evaluated on how well they adhere to important values and
when they receive raises, bonuses, promotions, and public recognition for
doing so. On the other hand, they are motivated to lie, steal, act abusively, take
bribes, and cheat when offenders prosper. At Merrill Lynch, for instance, bro-
kers generated large commissions by lying to investors. Lynch employees
encouraged clients to buy stocks that they referred to in private as “crap,”
“junk,” and “horrible.”18 (Reward and performance evaluation systems will be
discussed in more detail in Chapter 9.)

Emotional states also influence moral motivation. Research continues, but
so far investigators have found the following:19

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• Positive affect (joy, happiness) makes individuals more optimistic and therefore
more likely to live out their moral choices.

• Jealousy, rage, envy, and feelings of aggression have been linked to a wide
variety of antisocial behaviors in organizations, including stealing, sabotage,
revenge, lying, and unwarranted lawsuits.

• People in positive moods are more likely to help coworkers and others. In other
words, feeling good leads to doing good.

• Helping others maintains positive feelings.
• Depression lowers motivation by lowering self-confidence and energy levels. In

contrast, sadness may motivate individuals to repair their moods by doing what
they believe is right.

• Guilty people are more likely than shamed people to try to rectify what they’ve
done wrong through asking for forgiveness and making restitution.

• Feeling sympathy leads to more prosocial (altruistic) behavior toward both
individuals and groups.

• Experiencing high personal stress reduces prosocial behavior.
• Anger and frustration often lead to aggressive behavior.
• Regulating moods can improve moral motivation. Those who recognize and

modify their feelings increase the likelihood that they will carry through on
their choices. For example, they put themselves in a better frame of mind by
replacing angry thoughts with calmer ones and by engaging in behaviors
(listening to music, reading, walking) that cheer them up.

Tips for Increasing Your Moral Motivation

Seek out ethically rewarding environments. When selecting a job or volunteer
position, consider the reward system before joining the group. Does the
organization evaluate, monitor, and reward ethical behavior? Are rewards
misplaced? Are organizational leaders concerned about how goals are
achieved?

Reward yourself. Sometimes ethical behavior is its own best reward. Helping
others can be extremely fulfilling, for example, as is living up to the image we
have of ourselves as individuals of integrity. Congratulate yourself on follow-
ing through even if others do not.

Monitor your emotions. Some emotions (happiness, optimism, joy, guilt) can
have a positive effect on ethical implementation. Determine if your feelings
(depression, anger, personal distress) are inhibiting your ability to carry out
your ethical choice.

Regulate your emotions. Master your moods to bring them in line with your
goals. Put a brake on destructive feelings; try to shift into a more positive frame
of mind.

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COMPONENT 4: MORAL CHARACTER

Carrying out the fourth and final stage of moral action—executing the
plan—requires character. Moral agents must overcome active opposition, cope
with fatigue, resist distractions, and develop sophisticated strategies for reaching
their goals. In sum, they must persist in a moral task or action despite obstacles.

Persistence can be nurtured like other positive character traits (see
Chapter 2), but it is also related to individual differences. Those with a strong
will, as well as confidence in themselves and their abilities, are more likely to
persist. So are individuals with an internal locus of control.20 Internally ori-
ented people (internals) believe that they have control over their lives and can
determine what happens to them. Externally oriented people (externals)
believe that life events are beyond their control and are the product of luck or
fate. Because internals take personal responsibility for their actions, they are
motivated to do what is right. Externals are more susceptible to situational
pressures. As a consequence, they are less likely to persist in ethical tasks.

Successful implementation demands that persistence be complemented
with competence. A great number of skills can be required to take action,
including, for instance, relationship building, organizing, coalition building,
and public speaking. Pulitzer Prize–winning author and psychiatrist Robert
Coles discovered the importance of ethical competence during the 1960s.21

Coles traveled with a group of physicians who identified widespread malnutri-
tion among children of the Mississippi Delta. They brought their report to
Washington, D.C., convinced that they could persuade federal officials to provide
more food. Their hopes were soon dashed. The secretaries of agriculture and
education largely ignored their pleas and Southern senators resisted attempts to
expand the food surplus program. The physicians were skilled in medicine, but
they didn’t understand the political process. They only got a hearing when New
York Senator Robert Kennedy took up their cause. A highly skilled politician,
Senator Kennedy coached them on how to present their message to the press and
public, arranged special committee meetings to hear their testimony, and trav-
eled with them to the South to draw attention to the plight of poor children.

Tips for Fostering Your Moral Character

Take a look at your track record. How well do you persist in doing the right
thing? How well do you manage obstacles? Consider what steps you might take
to foster the virtue of persistence.

Believe that you can have an impact. Unless you are convinced that you can
shape your own life and surroundings, you are not likely to carry through in
the midst of trials.

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Master the context. Know your organization, its policies, and important players
so you can better respond when needed.

Be good at what you do. Competence will better enable you to put your moral
choice into action. You will also earn the right to be heard.

Decision-Making Formats

Decision-making guidelines can help us make better moral choices. Formats
incorporate elements that enhance ethical performance while helping us avoid
blunders. Step-by-step procedures ensure that we identify and carefully define
ethical issues, resist time pressures, investigate options, think about the impli-
cations of choices, and apply key ethical principles. I’ll introduce three
decision-making formats in this the second half of the chapter. You can test
these guidelines by applying them to the scenarios described in the Chapter
End Case. You’ll probably find one format more interesting and useful than the
others. Which format you prefer is not as important as approaching moral
problems systematically.

KIDDER’S ETHICAL CHECKPOINTS

Ethicist Rushworth Kidder acknowledges that ethical issues can be “dis-
orderly and sometimes downright confusing.”22 They can quickly arise when
least expected, are complex, may lack a clear cause, and generally have unex-
pected consequences. However, Kidder argues that there is an underlying
structure to the ethical decision-making process. Following his nine steps or
checkpoints can help you cut through the confusion and generate a well-
grounded solution.

Checkpoint 1: Recognize that there is a moral issue.

In this step determine if there are ethical considerations in the situation
that demand attention. Sort out genuine ethical issues from those involving
etiquette, personal taste, or custom. I may be irritated at someone who burps
at the next table at my favorite restaurant. However, such behavior is not
morally wrong but is a breach of etiquette or a reflection of cultural differ-
ences. (See Box 3.3 to consider an issue that has been defined as both a viola-
tion of etiquette and a moral dilemma.)

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CASE STUDY

Box 3.3 A Violation of Etiquette or Ethics?1

Sorting out the difference between ethical violations and breaches of etiquette
is not always easy. Take the case of cell phones. Worldwide, cell phones have
become more common than fixed telephones. As their popularity has soared, so
have concerns about their use in public spaces. Common complaints include:

High volume conversations referred to as “cell yell.” Many users yell into
their phones because (a) they don’t receive the type of aural feedback they
get with traditional phones, (b) coverage is spotty and filled with static, or (c)
they don’t trust tiny cell microphones to pick up the sound of their voices.

Irritating rings. Rings are programmed with tunes ranging from the “Star
Spangled Banner” to “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.”

Inappropriate timing. Not only do cell phones ring at inopportune moments
(during films, plays, weddings, funerals, church services, classes), but some
cell users compound the problem by carrying on discussions after they
answer.

Inane conversations. Many cell conversations consist of the kind of talk that
keeps the social wheels turning—reports, brief orders, announcements.
While this type of conversation is vital to everyday life, sharers of public
space are forced to listen to these banal messages.

Forced intimacy. Not all cell conversations are innocuous. Private conversa-
tions in public expose listeners to unwanted details of money problems, rebel-
lious children, and sexual encounters. The problem is greatest when strangers
are stuck in the same enclosed space (train, bus) for a long period of time.

Disregard for immediate others. Cell phone users often seem oblivious to
those sharing the same territory. In their quest to connect with intimates and
business colleagues, they ignore the people around them. Cell abusers may
take offense when confronted with their transgressions.

The public outcry over boorish cell phone behavior apparently has wireless
providers worried.They have begun to publish guidelines for cell phone etiquette on
their Web sites in hopes that users will change their ways before further restrictions
(like the ban on talking and driving in New York State) are put into place. Etiquette
experts like Emily Post and Miss Manners now offer advice on wireless behavior in
their books and columns. Advocates of the etiquette approach believe that societal
norms will soon catch up with wireless technology. Users will modify their behav-
iors once they learn the rules. In fact, treating conflicts over public cell phone behav-
ior as violations of manners may be working. One survey found that the percentage
of cell phone owners using their devices in public places had decreased.2

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Adopting the etiquette approach may not do justice to the issues triggered by
public mobile phone use. Cell phone abuse sparks intense emotional reactions.3

Those victimized by thoughtless callers can feel violated, embarrassed, and angry.
Such strong emotional responses suggest that there are moral issues raised by cell
phone use in public spaces and that these issues ought to be taken seriously.

A number of ethical principles could be applied to the controversy sur-
rounding cell use. For instance, in deciding whether or not to carry on a conver-
sation in public, callers might ask themselves if they would want everyone to do
the same (the Categorical Imperative). Or they might also ask themselves if such
conversations promote the common good (Communitarianism) or concern for
others (altruism). Those pondering how to respond to cell violations could take a
Utilitarian approach, considering what would bring the greatest benefits (to keep
silent? confront the offender quietly? be more assertive?).

DISCUSSION PROBES

1. Is public cell phone abuse a matter of etiquette or ethics or both? Why?

2. How does etiquette differ from ethics?

3. Do you think that cell phone abuse is becoming less or more of a problem? What
evidence can you offer for your conclusion?

4. How do you respond to someone misusing a cell phone in public? Is your
response ethical?

5. What ethical principle would you choose to best explain and prevent cell phone
misuse?

NOTES

1. This case is adapted from Johnson (2003).
2. Research updates America’s view on cell phone etiquette. (2002, September 3).

Business Wire. Retrieved September 8, 2003, from LexisNexis Academic database.
3. Terrell, K., & Hammel, S. (1999, June 14). Call of the riled. U.S. News & World

Report. Retrieved August 12, 2003, from Academic Search Premier database.

SOURCE

Johnson, C. E. (2003, November). Aural space violations and unwanted intimacy: The ethics
of cell phone use. Paper presented at the National Communication Association con-
vention, Miami Beach, FL.

Checkpoint 2: Determine the actor.

Kidder makes a distinction between involvement and responsibility.
Because we’re members of larger communities, we’re involved in any ethical
issue that arises in the group. Yet we are only responsible for dealing with

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problems that we can do something about. I may think that police use exces-
sive force in a neighboring town, but there is little I can do as a nonresident to
address this issue.

Checkpoint 3: Gather the relevant facts.

Become a reporter and gather important information. For example: the
history of the problem, key actors, motives, what was said and who said it, pat-
terns of behavior. Consider the future as well. What will be the likely conse-
quences if the problem continues? The likely outcome of one course of action
or another? The likely future behavior of those involved in the issue?

Checkpoint 4: Test for right-versus-wrong issues.

Determine if there is any wrongdoing in the case. Four tests can be applied
to make this determination. The legal test asks if lawbreaking is involved. If so,
then the problem becomes a legal matter, not a moral one. Resolution will
come through legal proceedings. The stench test relies on intuition. If you have
a vague sense of unease about the decision or course of action, chances are it
involves right-versus-wrong issues. The front-page test asks how you would feel
if your private decision became public by appearing on the front page of
tomorrow’s newspaper. If that thought makes you uncomfortable, then you
had better choose another alternative. The Mom test asks how you would feel
if your mother or some other important role model got wind of your choice.
Once again, if such a thought makes you queasy, you had better revisit your
choice.

Checkpoint 5: Test for right-versus-right paradigms.

If an issue doesn’t involve wrong behavior, then it likely pits two impor-
tant positive values against each other. These right-versus-right dilemmas
generally fall into four categories or paradigms.

Justice versus mercy. Norms of fairness and equality often clash with the desire
to extend mercy and forgiveness. Consider the dilemma of the professor who
catches an honors student cheating on an exam. According to university reg-
ulations, the student should automatically receive a zero on the test that
would cost him his scholarship. The student then appeals to the instructor
for partial credit. The professor wants to be fair to other class members who
didn’t cheat and to mete out the necessary punishment. Nonetheless, she feels
sympathy for the student who appears to be a first-time offender with a great
deal to lose.

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Short term versus long term. Short-term advantages often come at the expense
of long-term benefits. For instance, shifting money from research and devel-
opment into marketing may generate more immediate sales but undermine a
company’s future by cutting off the flow of new products and ideas. Ethical
decision makers balance immediate needs against long-range consequences.
The economic benefits of cutting timber in national forests, for example, must
be weighed against the long-term costs to the environment.

Truth versus loyalty. This ethical tension pits our loyalty to friends, family,
groups, and organizations against our desire to tell the truth. It arises when we
have to determine whether or not to lie to the boss to protect a coworker, to
keep quiet about safety violations at the plant or to go public with our allega-
tions, or to award a contract to a friend or to another supplier with a better bid.

Checkpoint 6: Apply resolution principles.

Once the options or sides are clear based on Checkpoints 4 and 5, apply
the ethical perspectives described in Chapter 2.

Checkpoint 7: Look for a third way
(investigate the “trilemma” option).

Compromise is one way to reveal a new alternative that will resolve the
problem. Both the state and federal governments have used compromise to
deal with the manufacture and marketing of cigarettes and alcohol. Many reli-
gious and public health groups want to ban these products. Yet, they are widely
used by Americans. Government officials have tried to strike a balance, which
recognizes the dangers of smoking and drinking while allowing citizens to
engage in these activities. Tobacco and alcoholic beverages can’t be sold to
minors and there are limits to where they can be consumed.

The third way can also be the product of moral imagination. Setting up
“pay for play” online music libraries is one such innovative concept. The
music industry and millions of consumers have been locked in a legal and
ethical battle over downloading copyrighted tunes for free. Now listeners can
get just the songs they want without violating copyright laws. Record pro-
ducers, who have seen a steady decline in CD sales, are enjoying a new source
of revenue.

Checkpoint 8: Make the decision.

Exhausted by wrestling with the problem, we may overlook this step. Yet
no decision, no matter how well grounded, is useful unless it is put into action.

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Kidder argues that this step requires moral courage. Such courage, along with
our ability to reason, sets us apart from the animal kingdom.

Checkpoint 9: Revisit and reflect on the decision.

Return to the decision later, after the issue has been resolved, to debrief.
Reflect on the lessons to be learned. In some instances, the problem can be
shaped into a case or example that can be used in ethics teaching and training.

THE MORAL COMPASS

Harvard ethics professor Lynn Paine offers a four-part “moral compass”
for guiding managerial decision making.23 The goal of the compass is to ensure
that ethical considerations are factored into every organizational decision.
Paine believes that we can focus our attention (and that of the rest of the
group) on the moral dimension of even routine decisions by engaging in the
following four frames of analysis. Each frame or lens highlights certain ele-
ments of the situation so that they can be carefully examined and addressed.
Taken together, the lenses increase moral sensitivity, making it easier for orga-
nizational members to recognize and discuss moral issues.

Lens 1: Purpose—Will this action serve a worthwhile purpose?

The first frame examines end results. Proposed courses of action need to
serve worthy goals. To come up with the answer to the question of purpose, we
need to gather data as well as make judgments. Important subsidiary questions
include:

• What are we trying to accomplish? What are our short- and long-term goals?
• Are these goals worthwhile? How do they contribute to people’s lives?
• Will the course of action we are examining contribute to achieving these goals?
• Compared to the possible alternatives, how effectively and efficiently will it

do so?
• If this is not the most effective and efficient course, do we have a sound basis

for pursuing the proposed path?

Lens 2: Principle—Is this action consistent with
relevant principles?

This mode of analysis applies ethical standards to the problem at hand.
These guidelines can be general ethical principles, norms of good business
practice, codes of conduct, legal requirements, and personal ideals and aspira-
tions. We need to determine:

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• What norms of conduct are relevant to this situation?
• What are our duties under these standards?
• What are the best practices under these standards?
• Does the proposed action honor the applicable standards?
• If not, do we have a sound basis for departing from these standards?
• Is the proposed action consistent with our own espoused standards and ideals?

Lens 3: People—Does this action respect the
legitimate claims of the people likely to be affected?

The third frame highlights the likely impacts of decisions. Identifying pos-
sible harm to stakeholder groups can help us take steps to prevent damage.
Such analysis requires understanding the perspectives of others as well as care-
ful reasoning.

• Who is likely to be affected, both directly and indirectly, by the proposed
action?

• How will these parties be affected?
• What are these parties’ rights, interests, expectations, and concerns?
• Does our plan respect the legitimate claims of the affected parties?
• If not, what are we doing to compensate for this infringement?
• Have we mitigated unnecessary harms?
• Are there alternatives that would be less harmful or more beneficial on balance?
• Have we taken full advantage of opportunities for mutual benefit?

Lens 4: Power—Do we have the power to take this action?

The final lens directs attention to the exercise of power and influence.
Answers to the first three sets of questions mean little unless we have the legit-
imate authority to act and the ability to do so. Subsidiary questions of power
include:

• What is the scope of our legitimate authority in view of relevant laws, agree-
ments, understandings, and stakeholder expectations?

• Are we within our rights to pursue the proposed course of action?
• If not, have we secured the necessary approvals?
• Do we have the resources, including the knowledge and skills as well as tangi-

ble resources, required to carry out the proposed action?
• If not, do we have the ability to marshal the needed resources?

Paine uses the example of a failed product introduction to illustrate what
can happen when organizational decision makers fail to take moral issues into
account. In the early 1990s, Lotus Development and Equifax teamed up to cre-
ate a product called Lotus Marketplace: Households. This compact disc and
software package was designed to help small businesses create targeted mailing

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lists from their desktop computers. For $695, purchasers could draw from a
database of 80 million households (created from credit information collected
by Equifax) instead of buying one-time mailing lists from list brokers.
Businesses could then tailor their mailings based on income, gender, age, mar-
ital status, and lifestyle.

Criticism began as soon as the product was announced to the public.
Many consumers didn’t want to be included in the database due to privacy
concerns and asked if they could opt out. Others worried that criminals might
misuse the information by, for instance, identifying and then targeting upper
income single women. The system didn’t take into account that information
would soon be outdated and that data could be stolen. The two firms tried to
address these issues by allowing individuals to remove their names from the
list, strengthening privacy controls, and improving security. Lotus and Equifax
failed to sway the public and the project was scuttled. Equifax subsequently
stopped selling credit information to marketers.

THE FIVE “I” FORMAT

Remembering all of Kidder’s checkpoints or Paine’s subsidiary questions
would be difficult without referring to a book or a handout. Sometimes we
need to make decisions without access to our notes. For that reason, I offer the
easily memorized Five “I” Format as a guide. This approach incorporates
elements of the first two models into the following sequence.

Identify the problem. Identification involves recognizing there is an ethical
problem to be solved and setting goals. Describe what you seek as the outcome
of your deliberations. Will you be taking action yourself or on behalf of the
group or organization? Developing recommendations for others? Dealing with
an immediate issue or setting a long-term policy?

Investigate the problem. Investigation involves two subprocesses: problem
analysis and data collection. “Drill down” to develop a better understanding of
the problem. Determine important stakeholders as well as conflicting loyal-
ties, values, and duties. Develop a set of criteria or standards for evaluating
solutions. This is the time to introduce important ethical perspectives. You
may decide that your decision should put a high value on justice or altruism,
for instance. In addition to analyzing the issue, gather more information.
Knowing why an employee has been verbally abusive, for example, can make
it easier to determine how much mercy to extend to that individual. You will
likely be more forgiving if the outburst appears to be the product of family
stress (divorce, illness, rebellious children). There may be times when you

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can’t gather more data or when good information is not available. In those
cases, you’ll need to make reasonable assumptions based on your current
knowledge.

Innovate by generating a variety of solutions. Resist the temptation to reach
quick decisions. Instead, continue to look for a third way by generating possi-
ble options or alternative courses of action that could reach your goals and
meet your criteria.

Isolate a solution. Settle on a solution using what you uncovered during the
investigation stage. Evaluate your data, weigh loyalties and duties, consider
the likely impact on stakeholders, and match the solution to your ethical crite-
ria. The choice may be obvious or you may have to choose between equally
attractive or equally unattractive alternatives. When it comes to decisions
involving truth and loyalty, for instance, there is no easy way out. Lying for a
friend preserves the relationship at the expense of personal integrity; refusing
to lie for a friend preserves the truth but endangers the relationship. Remember
that you are not looking for the perfect solution, but a well reasoned, carefully
considered one.

Implement the solution. Determine how you will follow through on your choice.
If you are deciding alone, develop an action plan. If you are deciding in a group,
make sure that every team member knows her or his future responsibilities.

Implications

• Moral behavior is the product of moral sensitivity, moral judgment, moral
motivation, and moral character. You’ll need to master each of these compo-
nents in order to make and then implement wise ethical decisions.

• You can enhance your ethical sensitivity through active listening, challenging
your current ways of thinking, looking for innovative ways to solve problems,
and discussing decisions in moral terms.

• Your moral judgment can be impaired if you only look to others for guidance
or blindly follow the rules of your organization. Try to incorporate universal
ethical principles into your decision-making process.

• Beware of major contributors to defective decision making: insecurities, greed,
ego, and a short-term orientation.

• You will be more likely to put ethical values first if you are rewarded for doing
so and monitor and regulate your emotions to create a positive frame of mind.

• To succeed at implementing your moral choice, you’ll need to be both persis-
tent and competent. Believe in your own ability to influence events, master the
organizational context, and develop the necessary implementation skills.

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• Decision-making formats can help you make better moral choices. Which
format you use is not as important as approaching moral problems systemati-
cally. Kidder’s Ethical Checkpoints can help you cut through the disorder and
confusion surrounding ethical issues, the Moral Compass factors ethical con-
siderations into every organizational decision, and the Five “I” Format offers
a shorthand approach which incorporates elements of the first two sets of
guidelines.

Application Projects

1. Use the suggestions in the chapter to develop an action plan for improving
your moral sensitivity, judgment, motivation, and character.

2. Describe how your college experience has influenced your moral development.
What experiences have had the greatest impact?

3. Apply one of the decision-making formats to an ethical dilemma found at the
end of the chapter or to another one that you select. Keep a record of your
deliberations and your final choice. Then evaluate the format and the decision.
Did following a system help you come to a better conclusion? Why or why not?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the format you selected? Would it be
a useful tool for solving the ethical problems you face at school and work?
Write up your findings.

4. Using the material presented in the chapter, analyze what you consider to be a
poor ethical decision. What went wrong? Why? Present your conclusions in a
paper or in a presentation to the rest of the class.

5. Develop your own set of guidelines for ethical decision making. Describe and
explain your model.

CHAPTER END CASE

Scenarios for Analysis

IS IT BETTER TO ASK FOR PERMISSION
OR TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS?*

Anselmo Escobar is the owner of Stately Homes, a small residential con-
tractor. Stately Vistas is the company’s biggest project yet. Escobar is anxious to
begin building this new subdivision after a series of costly delays caused by a
backlog in the city zoning office. He plans to remove nearly all the mature

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trees in the area so that he can build more homes and recoup his losses.
However, the contractor knows this move will be unpopular with current
residents who believe that the trees enhance the neighborhood and improve
property values.

Escobar is under no legal obligation to consult with the neighborhood asso-
ciation about his plans. Further, he fears that notifying neighbors might lead to
additional delays. A successful protest could force Anselmo to retain some of the
trees scheduled for removal. Yet, the builder feels uneasy about moving ahead
without talking to neighborhood representatives. Taking unilateral action could
generate negative publicity and increase opposition to future Stately Homes
developments. More importantly, Escobar wonders about his responsibility to
current residents. He knows that he would be upset if another contractor removed
trees in his neighborhood without notifying anyone.

As he ponders what to do, Anselmo is reminded of the old saying, “It is eas-
ier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” He is torn between consult-
ing with the neighbors before removing the trees (asking for permission) and
removing the trees and then dealing with the fall out (asking for forgiveness).

What should Escobar do?

Note

*Not based on actual people or events.

GAMING THE SYSTEM

Alice Hamilton is a primary care physician at a large health maintenance
organization (HMO). She enjoys the practice of medicine but feels caught
between the needs of her patients and loyalty to her employer. Determined to
keep medical costs down, Dr. Hamilton’s managed care group routinely denies
needed treatments to subscribers. Many of Alice’s colleagues lie to ensure that
patients get the care they deserve, a practice the doctors at her facility and else-
where refer to as “gaming the system.” Exaggerating symptoms makes it easier for
subscribers to see specialists, receive further testing, and stay in the hospital
longer. Physicians who game the system claim that doing so is the only way to
properly do their jobs under current rules and regulations. At times, however,
their cheating is a way to pacify patients who demand unneeded tests and
treatments.

Should Dr. Hamilton game the system like many of her fellow professionals?
Why or why not?

Source

Callahan, D. (2004). The cheating culture. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.

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WHEN THE GOOD NEWS IS BAD NEWS*

Employees and administrators at Kentucky College were excited to hear that
the incoming freshman class was the largest in the small private school’s history.
Years of slumping enrollment had left the college, which depended heavily upon
tuition dollars, strapped for cash. Now the school’s leadership could add new
staff, increase faculty salaries, and improve facilities.

Unfortunately, what was good news for the Kentucky College as a whole was
bad news for some freshmen. There weren’t enough rooms available to house
everyone. New students were placed in study rooms and in double rooms that
were converted to “triples” by adding an extra bunk bed. All students paid the
same price for room and board regardless of their housing arrangements. A few
freshmen complained, arguing that they should pay less because their living
arrangements weren’t equal to those of other students. The housing director
refused their request. Less revenue would mean fewer repairs to dorms and apart-
ments. In addition, he believed that conceding to such demands could set a bad
precedent. Some dorms are older and more run down than others. Residents liv-
ing in these facilities might also claim that they should pay less.

Was Kentucky College wrong to admit more students than it could house
comfortably?

Was the housing director justified in refusing to reduce fees for those students
forced to live in substandard conditions?

Note
*Not based on actual people or events.

MERCY FOR MARGARET?*

Receptionist Margaret Simpson was one of the first employees hired at T Rex
Manufacturing when the company opened 20 years ago. The first 2 years of opera-
tions were difficult ones and Simpson accepted late paychecks on more than one
occasion to help keep the company afloat. For two decades she has been the face of
the company to visitors and a friendly voice on the phone for suppliers and employ-
ees alike. Company president Gregg Smith often praises Margaret at employee meet-
ings, citing her as an example of what the “T Rex family” is all about.

Sadly, Margaret’s job performance has begun to slip. Over the past few
months she has often been late to work and has become cold and distant.
Outsiders and coworkers alike complain about how difficult the new Margaret is
to deal with. They resent her rude comments and brusque manner. Earlier this
month president Smith took the receptionist aside to confront her about her poor
performance but to no avail. If anything, she is more unpleasant than ever. Smith
did discover, however, that Simpson plans to retire in 3 years but that the value
of her retirement savings plan has declined dramatically.

Smith knows that he must come to a decision about Margaret soon. In fact,
she would have been fired earlier if she had been most any other employee.

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However, the T Rex executive knows that the choice is a difficult one given
Margaret’s loyal service, her age and lack of retirement savings, and his desire to
foster a family-like atmosphere at the plant.

What action should Smith take?

Note
*Not based on actual people or events.
Endnotes

1. Rest, J. R. (1994). Background: Theory and research. In J. R. Rest & D. Narvaez
(Eds.), Moral development in the professions: Psychology and applied ethics, (pp. 1–25).
Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; Rest, J. R. (1986). Moral development: Advances in
research and theory. New York: Praeger.

2. Werhane, P. H. (1999). Moral imagination and management decision-making.
New York: Oxford University Press.

3. Bird, F. B. (1996). The muted conscience: Moral silence and the practice of ethics
in business. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

4. Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2004). Managing business ethics: Straight talk
about how to do it right (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.

5. Kohlberg, L. A. (1984). The psychology of moral development: The nature and
validity of moral stages (Vol. 2). San Francisco: Harper & Row; Kohlberg, L. A. (1986). A
current statement on some theoretical issues. In S. Modgil & C. Modgil (Eds.), Lawrence
Kohlberg: Consensus and controversy (pp. 485–546). Philadephia: Falmer Press.

6. Rest, J. R., Narvaez, D., Bebeau, M. J., & Thoma, S. J. (1999). Postconventional
moral thinking: A neo-Kohlbergian approach. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; Trevino,
L. K., & Weaver, G. R. (2003). Managing ethics in business organizations: Social scientific
perspectives. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, chap. 7.

7. Rest, Narvaez, Bebeau, & Thoma (1999).
8. See, for example: Rest, J. R., & Narvaez, D. (1991). The college experience and

moral development. In W. M. Kurtines & J. L. Gewirtz (Eds.), Handbook of moral behav-
ior and development. Vol. 2: Research (pp. 229–245). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum;
Rest, J. R. (1979). Development in judging moral issues. Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press; Trevino & Weaver (2003).

9. Not all studies reveal a relationship between education and moral reasoning.
See: Loe, T. W., Ferrell, L., & Mansfield, P. (2000). A review of empirical studies assess-
ing ethical decision making in business. Journal of Business Ethics, 25, 185–204.

10. Gergen, D. (2000). Eyewitness to power: The essence of leadership. New York:
Simon & Schuster.

11. Sternberg, R. J. (2002). Smart people are not stupid, but they sure can be fool-
ish. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Why smart people can be so stupid (pp. 232–242). New
Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

12. Examples of the “winner take all” society come from: Callahan, D. (2004). The
cheating culture. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.

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13. Messick, D. M., & Bazerman, M. H. (1996, Winter). Ethical leadership and the
psychology of decision making. Sloan Management Review, pp. 9–23.

14. Sternberg (2002).
15. Nash, L. (1990). Good intentions aside: A manager’s guide to resolving ethical

problems. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, p. 166.
16. Nutt, P. (2002). Why decisions fail. San Francisco: Berritt-Koehler.
17. James, H. S. (2000). Reinforcing ethical decision making through organiza-

tional structure. Journal of Business Ethics, 28, 43–58.
18. Benjamin, M. (2002, April 22). Honest opinions. U.S. News & World Report,

p. 47.
19. Eisenberg, N. (2000). Emotion, regulation, and moral development. Annual

Review of Psychology, 51, 665–697; Gaudine, A., & Thorne, L. (2001). Emotion and eth-
ical decision-making in organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 31, 175–187; Salovey,
P., Hsee, C. K., & Mayer, J. D. (1993). Emotional intelligence and the self-regulation
of affect. In D. M. Wegner & J. W. Pennebaker (Eds.), Handbook of mental control
(pp. 258–277). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall; Giacalone, R. A., & Greenbergh, J.
(Eds.), (1997). Antisocial behavior in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

20. Trevino & Weaver (2003), chap. 7.
21. Coles, R. (2001). Lives of moral leadership. New York: Random House.
22. Kidder, R. M. (1995). How good people make tough choices. New York: Simon

& Schuster. For an example of how Kidder’s model can be applied to ethical problems
in one industry, see: Baker, S. (1997). Applying Kidder’s ethical decision-making check-
list to media ethics. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 12(4), 197–210.

23. Paine, L. S. (2003). Values shift: Why companies must merge social and financial
imperatives to achieve superior performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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