The Price of Doing Good: Consequences of Ethical Decision Making Shekels Pits Walden University Abstract understanding the process in which individuals; particularly leaders, engage in ethical decision making and factors that are involved. The purpose of this paper is to examine ethical decision making and the price and consequences leaders face for doing good. In addition an example of a leader within an organization that faces and ethical dilemma that ended with a positive outcome and the actions taken during and after making the decision to do right, will be pointed out within this study.
Also, it is discussed within the paper the ethical framework that the leaders demonstrate when making the decision. The price of Doing Good: Consequences of Ethical Decision Making Ethics is not an easy subject. It goes into what type of people we are. Ethics also deals with the things we do and do not do; and how and why we decide what we should and should not do (Levin & Books, 2014; Morehouse, 201 3; Seller & Johannes, 2011). There are no easy answers to ethics, unless the issues dealing with the decisions are clear-cut.
However, this does not mean that ethics have no value, what this means is that they are part of what guides s in our actions (Levin & Books, 2014; Morehouse, 201 3; Seller & Johannes, 201 1). Ethics is about human behavior; the customs conduct and character. Ethics deals with the values and morals of an individual and what they or society deems appropriate (Morehouse, 2013). Having good ethics is about making choices during times of dilemmas and grey areas, and then doing what is right.
Leaders face ethical dilemmas on a constant basis (Seller & Johannes, 2011 Leaders face making ethical decisions constantly, but it is what the does and who the leaders are that help them to form those sections (Morehouse, 2013). As a leader, understanding what ethics is begins with an analysis of both individual values and the values of the organization. Effective leaders must be aware of their values, morals, and systems of ethics and ethical decision-making (Morehouse, 2013). Leaders must consider everything and explore the situation and issues carefully when making ethical decisions.
Consideration must be taken for the actions involved, its consequences and the circumstance for which the action took place (Seller & Johannes, 2011). Once this has happened and all things clarified, it is then hat those personal values and morals that the leader possesses start to guide in the final decision. It is then that one would hope that doing what is right out weights position of power. The power that comes with being a leader can be used for both good and evil and when we assume the benefits of leadership; we assume the burden of ethics (Pities & Stefan, 2013).
For years, corporate America has been tarnished with unethical decision making and behaviors that have had widespread scandals attached to them such as Enron’s fraudulent account schemes (Attestations, 2011 Although unethical behavior is constantly seen in the media, there are leaders who seek to do the right thing. Positive Example of Ethical Decision Making Leaders are looked upon as ethics officers within their organization. Leaders influence their followers through the process of social learning and by building a positive ethical environment (Levin & Books, 2014; Morehouse, 201 3; Seller & Johannes, 2011).
It is not to say that a leader will always make the best decision because despite their best efforts to clear up situations; there may be laws, policies or guidelines that are unclear, making it hard to cake a sound decision (Levin & Books, 2014; Morehouse, 201 3; Seller & Johannes, 201 1 For situations such as that and the decision that need is urgent, the leaders can only do their best. As long as doing their best is what was done, it is safe to charge the mistake if one was made, as a judgment error.
In 201 1 FLAB was faced with an ethical dilemma which required immediate action and although some questioned the decision; the results were positive (www. Repetitiousness. Com). FLAB In March 2011, Flab a large insurance corporation found itself facing an ethical dilemma (www. Repetitiousness. Mom). Flab’s voice of its famous duck icon; comedian Gilbert Gottfried was the center and cause of this dilemma. Gottfried јdated several offensive remarks in regards to the devastating 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami incidents (vow. Representational. Com).
Not only did this go against Flab ethics policies, but also it had the making of destroying the company’s reputation. Due to the seriousness and outright disregard to human suffering by Gottfried, Flab made a quick decision to cut ties with Gottfried Quick action, returned positive results. It could have been just as easy for he company to apologize on behalf Gottfried, but instead they decided to fire him. According to an interview with Laura Kane; Flab’s vice president of corporate communications, they did not spend a lot of time deliberating on whether or not an apology from Gottfried was acceptable (www. Photoluminescence. Com). Ultimately, the decision turned in the companies favor. As a result of how the company handled the issue, Flab’s saw a rise in its reputation score and has been listed as one of the world’s most ethical companies by Deciphers Institute; an international think tank (maw. Forbes. Com; vow. Repetitiousness. Mom). Possible consequences of decision. Although the outcome of the decision was good, the decision to fire Gottfried did not come without scrutiny.
There were several talks questioning the company’s decision to dismiss Gottfried, but they continued stand by their decision. Despite the immediacy of the decision, the company did take into consideration both the monetary and reputation risks (www. Representational. Com). The decision could have easily taken an opposite turn and caused huge controversy with the stakeholders and the customers. The company continued to put forth efforts to communicate with he media and its key stakeholders to demonstrate its willingness to mitigate the incident (www. Representational. Mom). Ethical Framework As stated earlier, leadership is a process in which they influence others to reach a common goal (Morehouse, 2013). Therefore, leaders have the ability to have an impact on the lives of others. In this, leaders have the ethical responsibility to treat its followers with dignity and respect and should require the same from their followers (Morehouse). Ethics cannot be left out of leadership and leaders are responsible for helping to establish and enforce organizational values (Cross, Mastitis, Sexists & Agenda, 2013; Morehouse, 2013).
Flab’s Ethical Framework The leaders quick decision to fire Gilbert Gottfried for posting upsetting and offensive remarks about the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami incidents, demonstrated the deontological theory of ethics. The deontological theory comes from the Greek word does, which means duty (Morehouse, 2013). With this theory, the leader is not only concerned with the consequences of the ethical decision but also if the action taken is of good standards.
The decision to fire Gottfried not only turned out to have positive uniqueness for the company, but the company made its decision based on the ethics and values of the company (whom. Repetitiousness. Com). Conclusion Ethics deals with what type of people we are. Ethics also deals with the things we do and do not do; how and why we decide what we should and should not do (Levin & Books, 2014; Morehouse, 2013; Seller & Johannes, 201 1). Ethical behavior is the responsibility of a leader. Ethics must be practiced and demonstrated by leaders in order for followers to emulate.