Deciding on the organization
Employees are increasingly involved in the development of their organization. We used to have the work council for this, but now more and more employee participation is being used. It is of course very desirable to shape your own organization yourself, but in some areas that is difficult because you make decisions not only for yourself but also for other employees.
As ethically as possible
Because a decision with regard to the development of the organization can have a great impact on certain target groups or on long-term developments of the organization, it is useful to have the tools to make the most ethical decision possible.
Ask yourself 7 questions
We have formulated 7 questions you can ask yourself about the dilemma you face. After asking these questions (which you of course answer honestly) you are more likely to make an ethical decision. Answering these questions creates insight and this insight brings the responsibility to make the right decision.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Within which framework can we operate? (Which rules / agreements / norms and values must be included)
- Who is affected by the decision? (which groups should I take into account)
- What are my personal norms and values with this theme?
- What is my interest?
- Which decision would positively influence most people?
- Which decision would have the most negative impact on which group?
What is the long-term impact of the decision to be made?
Practicing with an issue: Should we fire the manager?
If you want to practice with these questions, then address the issue below (with your colleagues). Use your own work environment when answering the questions:
A small group of colleagues have indicated that they do not feel safe to express themselves and that they feel oppressed. They go to work with fear. They designate the manager as the cause. You and most of your colleagues do not experience this insecurity.
Does this supervisor has to look for another job? After all, nobody has to go to work with fear, but this does cause unrest in the department and a decrease in productivity because a new manager has to be found. Or should an arrangement be found for this small group of employees? So that the larger group can continue to work as they do not experience any hindrance in their work?
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What is ethics?
By watching the following video, you understand the basic elements of ethics:
Ethics is the study that is mainly concerned with the choice between good and bad. It is a practical study that tries to find ways to answer the question: what is the right thing to do?
How can I analyze an ethical dilemma?
By watching this video, you learn to analyze an ethical dilemma:
People have a unique ability to reflect on the choices they make and to reflect on how their choices affect others. We have morality. To make an ethical decision, we must break our choices into small pieces and find out in which of the moral boxes it can be placed: good or bad?
The choice is not always obvious. Sometimes you encounter an ethical dilemma, then ask yourself: which decision is the most fair / has the most benefits for all people involved?
Why is ethics so important in organizations?
By watching this video, you understand the importance of ethics within your organization:
The importance of ethics in organizations is often underestimated. It is reflected in almost every decision you make; how do I build my team? How are new people recruited? What are the values of an organization? Ethics affect you, whether you are aware of it or not, every day of your life and that is why its importance should be highlighted in every organization.
How do I make a proper balance between my own interest and the group interest?
By watching this video, you understand the different ways in which you can ethically assess a problem.
Two approaches to making an ethical decision are discussed; the individualistic and the common approach. According to the individualistic approach, each person is responsible for her / his own ability to make decisions and you must especially consider how you yourself are influenced by the outcome of that decision.
According to the common approach, each member of a community is partly responsible for the decisions that other members of that community make and you must therefore look at how everyone in that community is influenced when making a decision.
Each ethical dilemma is different, so you will sometimes have to take a more individualistic approach and sometimes a more common approach, but the most difficult thing is to find one that reflects on the consequences of both the individual and the community.
How do managers make ethical decisions?
By watching this video you understand the different perspectives to approach ethical issues.
Most ethical issues involve a conflict between the need of an individual versus the need of an organization or the need of an organization versus the need of society.
A number of perspectives are discussed to address these ethical issues:
- The utilitarian approach. The ethical choice is the choice that brings the most benefits to most people.
The individualistic approach. The ethical choice is the choice, which in the long term has the most benefits for the individual making the choice. When everyone prioritises his / her own long-term interests, this ultimately creates the most positive outcome for most people.
Moral rights approach. The ethical choice is the choice that takes into account the fundamental rights of everyone involved in that choice. According to this approach, managers are therefore not allowed to interfere with the fundamental rights of their employees, such as the right to privacy or freedom of expression.
The justice approach. The ethical choice must be based on justice, fairness and impartiality.
The practical approach. The ethical choice discusses: what is right, good and just? And bases his decision on the prevailing norms that apply within society.
For the curious who want to know everything about ethics:
This is Harvard’s college series “What is the right thing to do?”
Discusses various ethical dilemmas and elaborates on moral principles and two major trends in moral reasoning; utilism, founded by David Hume and Jeremy Bentham, and the ethics of duty of Immanuel Kant.
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