Introspection on Ethical Decision Making

  • Uncategorized

Introspectionon Ethical Decision Making

Introspectionon Ethical Decision Making

Decisionmaking is a critical process that affects human life on a dailybasis. The main purpose of basing decision making on theories andprinciples is to resolve dilemmas. However, the application ofethical theories does not lead to choices that can satisfy the needsof all people (Temitayo, 2012). Decision makers are encouraged toconsider the net benefit of using each of the theories in order toensure that their choices address the interest of the majority of thepeople who are affected by their actions. In this paper, I will focuson my personal ethics and decision making skills that affect myprofessionals as well as personal life. This reflection will beaccomplished using the framework discussed in class. The frameworkhas four major stages, including moral awareness alternatives andjudgments decisions and actions and reflection.

Stage1: Moral Awareness

Moralawareness makes it easy to identify ethical issues, parties with astake in a given action, and options that are available (Sher, 2016).However, there are three factors that block my ability to recognizeethical issues in professional as well as personal life. First, amyopic moral perception limits my ability to consider all dimensionsof certain situations. In most cases, the low moral perceptionresults from rationalization and unwillingness to focus on theunderlying issues, which reduces my ability to see it clearly.

Secondly,self-serving bias affects the way I interpret different viewed insituations that require the determination of ethical wrongness orrightness. This weakness is associated with the fact that people tendto search for information that is likely to support their preexistingviews. Ethical theories can lead to different actions. This impliesthat the alternatives selected by the decision maker regarding asingle ethical issue can lead to different actions (Lincoln &ampHolmes, 2011). In such as a case, I am tempted to take alternativesthat support my personal views.

Third,morally inattentive formal codes develop the background ofexpectations that can distort my ethical considerations presenting ina given situation. For example, policies that are developed with theobjective of maximizing the company’s profits can result in failureto recognize some ethical issues (such as honesty) when pursuing theformal policies (Sher, 2016).

Measuresthat I will take to recognize the moral issues

Theissue of low moral perception will be addressed by being alert to theeffect of actions on different stakeholders. This alertness will helpme understand the perceptions of different stakeholders regarding thesituations. I will overcome the weaknesses of self-bias by lookingfor alternative ways of interpreting the same scenario. Theconsideration of all available alternatives before making the finaldecision will help me recognize ethical issues, thus reducing therisk of bias. In addition, I will consciously strive to enhance thepractical applicability of norms in order to ensure that all ethicalissues are taken into account.

Stage2: Alternatives and Judgments


Peopleare guided by moral philosophies or principles when making decisions.In my case, I am guided by consequential and non-consequentialtheories when making decisions. The type of theory that I chose toapply depends on the underlying ethical issue. The theory of egoismis relevant when discussing the issue of abortion. This theory holdsthat actions are considered to be moral when the decision makers areguided by their personal interests (Driver, 2013). In the case ofabortion, it can be argued that it affects the expectant mothers themost. Consequently, women should consider their health and financialcapacity when deciding to abort or bring the pregnancy to term.

Thetheory of utilitarianism may not have a lot of relevance in adiscussion involving the issue of abortion. This theory wouldencourage the affected mothers to consider decisions that are likelyto enhance the happiness of the majority, instead of addressing theimpact of the pregnancy on their personal as well as professionallives (Choe &amp Min, 2011). For example, an abortion would enhancethe well-being of the mother while reducing the happiness of thecommunity and the infant. Therefore, the application ofutilitarianism could disregard the concerns of the expectant mothers.

Theapplication of the theory of natural law would allow the stakeholdersto allow abortion under certain circumstances. This theory supportsthe idea of the right to life (George, 2014). Therefore, abortioncould be allowed when the life of the expectant mother in danger.

Inmy view, I would not apply the Kant’s theory when discussingabortion since there is no universal rule that can be used todetermine whether women should be allowed to terminate pregnancy.There are conditions (such as poor health) that can make abortion thebest alternative.


Theapplication of the ethical theories can also be illustrated using theissue of bribery. Bribery increases the financial well-being of a fewindividuals while hurting the members of the public through a declinein the economic development and an increase in the cost of living(Marques, 2015). Therefore, the utilitarianism opposes corruption.The theory of egoism would be irrelevant because it encouragesindividuals to pursue their personal interests. Therefore, a corruptperson would consider the benefits of giving or taking the bribe,instead of taking the interests of the majority into account (Sims,2007). The theory of natural law is quite relevant because itconsiders bribe as a breach of the human good. Therefore, the naturallaws encourage decision makers to consider the interests of otherhuman beings. Moreover, Kant`s theory of categorical imperative isrelevant since being honest is an unconditional value that can beapplied in all circumstances (Marques, 2015).

Extensiveuse of pesticides

Thereare three theories that can be used to analyze the issue of theapplication of pesticides. The utilitarian theory supports anargument that pesticides affect the health of the members of thepublic while benefiting individual farmers. Therefore, excessive useof pesticides should be prohibited since it minimizes the happinessof the majority. Similarly, the application of the natural theoryleads to an argument that pesticides violate the principle of naturalgood as well as the right to life (United for Human Rights, 2016).They put the lives of the consumers of agricultural products at risk.Kant’s theory can also be applied to support an argument thatfarmers have a duty to protect their consumers by ensuring that theydo not supply them with products that can harm them. However, thetheory of egoism is irrelevant since it would encourage farmers touse excess chemicals as long as their actions help them earn moremoney.

Integrationof the mentally ill into the society

Thereare three theories that can be used to support the integration of thementally ill persons into the society. The modern world hasrecognized the need to avoid the discrimination of individuals on thebasis of their social as well as demographic characteristics.Therefore, the utilitarian theory would support the integration ofthe mentally ill persons since such an action would make more peoplehappy. Similarly, the theory of natural law will support theirintegration because any form of discrimination violates the generalrights of the affected population. All people have a duty to respectthe rights of others, which imply that the Kant’s theory would alsosupport the integration of the mental ill. However, the applicationof the theory of egoism would be irrelevant since the decision makerwould consider personal interests.

Legalizationof prostitution

Legalizationof prostitution would minimize the happiness of the majority byincreasing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases anddegradation of the morals of the society. Therefore, theutilitarianism opposes its legalization. Prostitution is a viceagainst nature. The application of natural law would encourage thestakeholders to avoid its legalization. All people have the duty tomanage their sexuality and preserve morals that are upheld by thesociety. Consequently, decision makers who apply Kant’s theorywould argue against the legalization of prostitution. However, egoismis irrelevant since the decision would depend on the personalinterest of individuals. Prostitutes would support its legalization,while, the members of the society are likely to oppose it.

Stage3: Decision and Action

Thefour theories considered in this paper can influence the decisionmaking processes and actions in different ways. By using the exampleof the issue of abortion, it is evident that the theories usedifferent rationale to oppose or support its practice in the society(Robert, 2013). The utilitarian theory would influence the decisionmaker to consider the number of people who are pleased by abortionand compare it with those who are hurt. The decision marker shouldthen take an action that brings a net happiness. Abortion is likelyto hurt the members of the public, the infant, and relatives of theexpectant mothers who terminate the pregnancy (Marques, 2015). It isonly likely to enhance the happiness of the mother who chooses toabort. Therefore, I agree with utilitarianism because it opposes thepractice of abortion.

Egoistsbase their arguments on their personal interests (Aidaros, Mohd &ampAdris, 2013). Expectant mothers who wish to terminate the pregnancycan apply the theory of egoism to argue that they have the autonomyto determine what happens in their bodies. They can also apply thetheory to argue that abortion will improve their health and give themthe opportunity to advance their career. I disagree with the egoismtheory since it encourages selfishness in the society. In addition,abortion does not affect the expectant mothers only. Therefore, itwould be unfair to consider the interests of the mothers only whendeciding whether to abort or not.

Kant’stheory is based on the duty of the decision maker (Guthrie, 2013).Its application would support actions leading to the protection ofthe infants. Infants are helpless individuals, which imply thatmothers have a duty to protect their lives. Mothers also have a dutyto protect the morals that are advanced by their respectivecommunities. Personally, I agree with the Kant’s theory because allhuman beings have a duty to maintain sanity and nurture desirablebehaviors in the society.

Thetheory of natural law supports decisions that lead to the protectionof the life of the people who are affected by certain actions.Abortion can be permitted when the life of the mother is at risk.Similarly, the theory discourages abortion when no life is in danger.The life of the mother and the infant should be protected. Thisargument is based on the fact that the right to life is considered asinherent under the natural theory (George, 2014). I agree with thetheory because it supports abortion depending on the underlyingconditions.

Stage4: Conclusion and Reflection

Ethicaltheories provide guidelines that can be used to address dilemmas.Reflection is significant in the EDM because it ensures thatdifferent choices are implemented with the best attention and greatcare in order to take account of the concerns of all people who areaffected by a given action. The process of reflection ensures thatdecisions are not biased and all stakeholders are treated fairly. Thedesire to include the perspectives as well as the interests of allstakeholders creates dilemmas, but ethical theories ensure that thealternative that is selected is justifiable. In most cases, decisionsare based on theories that focus on the outcome of actions and thosethat encourage people to make choices depending on the duty of anindividual. Decisions that are based on these theories can bejustified using at least one ethical principle.


Aidaros,A., Mohd, F. &amp Adris, K. (2013). Ethics and ethical theories froman Islamic perspective. InternationalJournal of Islamic Thought,4, 1-13.

Choe,S. &amp Min, K. (2011). Who makes utilitarianism judgments? Theinfluences of emotions on utilitarian judgments. Judgmentand Decision Making,6 (7), 580-592.

Driver,J. (2013). Ethics:The fundamentals.Hoboken: John Wiley &amp Sons.

George,P. (2014). Natural law. HarvardJournal of Law and Public Policy,31, 172-196.

GlionInstitute of Higher Education (n.d.). Relativism.Glion-sur-Montreux: Glion Institute of Higher Education.

Guthrie,L. (2013). Immanuel Kant and the categorical imperative. TheExamined Life on-Line Philosophy Journal,2 (7), 1-9.

Kurtz,P. &amp Burr, L. (2014). Ethicsand Health.Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Publisher, LLC.

Lincoln,S. &amp Holmes, K. (2011). Ethical decision making: A processinfluenced by moral intensity. Journalof Health Care, Science, and the Humanities,1 (1), 55-69.

Marques,J. (2015). Universalism and utilitarianism: An evaluation of twopopular moral theories in business decision making. TheJournal of Values-based Leadership,8 (2), 1-12.

Robert,D. (2013). Autonomy, conscience, and professional obligation. AMAJournal of Ethics,15 (3), 244-248.

Sher,S. (2016). Obstacles to good ethical decision making and behavior,and some things you do to overcome them. Universityof South California.Retrieved October 16, 2016, from

Shuster,E. (1997). Fifty years later: The significance of the Nuremberg Code.TheNew England Journal of Medicine,13, 1436-1440.

Sims,G. (2007, May 15). 2 former Siemens officials convicted for bribery.TheNew York Times.Retrieved October 16, from

Temitayo,M. (2012). Theories and strategies of good decision making.International Journalof Scientific and Technology Research,1 (10), 51-54.

Unitedfor Human Rights (2016). Universal declaration of human rights.Unitedfor Human Rights.Retrieved October 16, 2016, from


Introspection on Ethical Decision Making

  • Uncategorized


Introspectionon Ethical Decision Making

Introspectionon Ethical Decision Making

Humanbeings encounter various ethics that guide their day to day lives.Life could not be meaningful without these ethics as they act as aguideline of what is expected of them. Ethics are heavily determinedby various factors such as the culture and the society in which oneis brought up in. The following are examples of ethics that oneencounters and practices in life.

Takingmyself as the study specimen, I believe in relying on myselfespecially now that am old enough. I find it pretty difficult to relyon what others provide for survival(Ferrell, &amp Fraedrich, 2015).It is hence my obligation to make sure that I get every need tosatisfy my everyday demands. Depending on others is not part of myconsideration.

Ialso like achieving results in all that I do. This is covered in theaspect of being productive. Every job that is at my disposal gives methe motivation to work on it to my level best. Productivenessdetermines the success or failure of the activities that I engage in.

Idon’t believe in telling lies to people. This has gotten me in therule of always telling the truth. Being honest is my way of life. Ibelieve in fair dealings in all the activities that I get involvedin. In business, all the dealings that I carry out are based onhonesty with respect to the quantity as well as the charge that isinvolved there in.

Ilike treating other people with equality. This enables me todisregard the origin or the status of a person in determining how todeal with him or her. I distance myself with dealings in which Iwould treat one person unfairly at the expense of the other. In caseI decide to punish a person for certain wrong committed, evidencemust be present before allowing any action to be taken against suchan individual.

Maintainingself-respect is one of my priorities. I believe that self-respect isthe key to earning me the respect from other parties. Self-respectguides me in practicing all other virtues that I consider key to mylife. Such virtues are the maintenance of a cordial relation withpeople as well as working hard on every opportunity that shows up.

Allthe above ethics of life guides the way I lead my life. This is interms of what I decided to do, take, or even not do. Ethics bringsabout more pressure to do something than any other influence.

IndividualProject Tutorial

Theissues that have been taken into account in the discussion are mostlybased on the writer’s culture as well as the religion. The decisionmaking process is hence subjected to what is taken to be right orwrong in the community of the writer. The process of determining thedecision to make takes into account what the culture teaches and whatthe religion basically provides for in relation to the respectiveissues (Thiel,et al. 2012).To single out one of the ethical issues, the decision making processof the gay rights considers what Christianity teaches as well as whatthe culture considers upright to engage in.

Stage1: Moral Awareness

Thereare various issues that could block the recognition of ethics. Theinfluence that one experiences from the peers is one of the majorblockages. The people who are around one’s life determine how he orshe will approach an issue. This is a major problem as one will tendto take up the character of the people surrounding him or her.

Lackof a necessity in life will also block one’s ability to recognizeethics that are useful. Such may include lack of basic needs such asfood and shelter. Even though one upholds integrity, he will betempted to cheat and breach the ethic of honesty in order to get thenecessity.

Havinga family that does not supportive is another problem that would blockthe recognition of ethics. In this case, such a family may not beuseful in making one realize the need to uphold ethics(Buchanan, 2012).A family with parents and other members who are opposed to ethicssuch as integrity or do not uphold the same may make it difficult torecognize ethics or even practice them.

Legalchallenges will also contribute to the blockage of the recognition ofethics by a person. This includes the legislation of issues that maynot be viewed as ethical in the eyes of the society. However, by thefact that they are legal to practice, one may feel that it isethically in order to do them. Legislation contributes to a highdegree of failure to recognize the ethics.

Othercultures may also make one not to recognize ethics. Importation ofculture tunes the way one views life. If one takes in andaccommodates a culture that is disrespectful, he may never appreciatethe aspect of respect. The culture will then blind him or her intothe ways of life appreciated in such a culture.

Stage2: Alternatives and Judgments

Inthe issue of refugees, the principle of fairness in ethics comes in.The treatment of the refugees ought to be fair on them and theirchildren, irrespective of the region they hail from. The variousalternatives that exist on how the refugees need to be handled arewell summarized by the fairness that is taken into place(Hartman, et al. 2014).The principle of justice also comes in in the plight of refugees.This comes in as the rights of the refugees may be interfered withduring investigative operations. The justice solves the challenge ofhow the refugees ought to be handled by operatives.

Legalizationof marijuana also comes in the alternatives that are present and thejudgments that ought to be made. As it has been seen in the studies,the principle of non- maleficence counts much in the ethicsconsideration. This ensures that the legalization of the marijuana asa drug will cause no harm to the users as well as the society(Lauesen, 2012).The alternative decisions that may be possible are hence summarizedin that the decision to be taken shouldn’t be harmful to health andthe security.

Gayrights are the other issue faced with alternative decisionpossibilities. However, the principle of fairness is not appropriatein this type of decision making(Loe, et al. 2013).The principle of fairness will allow as many as possible people toinvolve in immoral activities in the name of being fair in theadministration of rights. The principle of justice is also notappropriate in the case of such rights as thi9s may lead to immoraldecisions. The best principle to apply is beneficence, whichadvocates for doing good in the society.

Gunrights issue is also subject to various decision alternatives. Suchmay include whether to allow as many people as possible to own gunsor not. It could also include the issue of what age is best to allowone to own a gun. The principle of non- maleficence is the bestprinciple to apply in the case of gun rights(Markham, et al. 2012).This principle is best in that it advocates for the act of doing noharm. The alternatives that are present in the gun rights menace canhence be limited to the decisions that will cause no harm. Ifallowing young people to own guns will threaten the security of thecountry, then a decision of allowing only the elder people can bethought of to limit the potential harm to the people.

Racialequality issue is also one ethical aspect that is subject to thealternative decisions that need to be made. This means that thegovernment finds itself in a dilemma, once in a while, while tryingto determine which decision is the best to take in relation to thedifferent races in the country and the various races that live in thecountry. The principle that is best to apply in this kind of an issueis the principle of justice(Mintz, 2016).If treating one race better than another proves to be unjust, thenthe government could settle on an alternative that will enhancejustice to all race. Fairness principle ought to be also consideredto ensure that all the races in the country are represented well inall the opportunities that arise.

Stage3: Decisions and Action

Thedecision that is made in each of the issues at hand depends on thealternatives that were present and the principle applied to arrive atthe decision. In the case of the refugees, the government may decideto have the refugees deported to their countries. This means that thegovernment will have to apply the decision based on the respect forautonomy(Shapiro, &amp Stefkovich, 2016).If the government feels that the refugees are not respecting thesovereignty of the country, they might decide to take the action ofreturning them to their countries of origin.

Thelegalization of marijuana will depend on also the various impactsthat are anticipated by those decisions. With the application of theprinciple of non- maleficence, the legislators may decide to settleon the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. This kind ofdecision will make it not possible for the citizens to use the drugto tamper with their personal health and that of the society.

Inthe case of the gun rights, the various alternatives will guide thedecision to be made alongside the principle of non-maleficence(Singhapakdi, et al. 2013).The decision of imposing an age limit of those allowed to own gunswill prevent the young generation to misuse the guns to harm thesociety.

Onthe case of gay rights, the legislators may decide to apply thebeneficence principle to curb the introduction of the gay rights intothe society. This will single out the possible decisions byfinalizing on the illegalizing of the act by considering the moralityof the society.

Onthe issue of racial equality, the decision arrived at depends on thealternatives present and the principle applied in arriving at thedecision. In this case, the government, as well as a person, may makea decision of treating all the races fairly in terms of theopportunities that arise, as well as treating them with dignity(Thiel, et al. 2012).This kind of a decision is brought about by the application offairness principle. Fairness requires that a person shall treat theothers with no prejudice irrespective of the skin color as well astheir origin.

Stage4: Reflection

Asseen in the studies, this stage comes way after alternatives havebeen evaluated and the decision has already been made. This hencemarks the ending of the process as well as the beginning of a newcycle of better decision making. Upon the making of the abovedecisions, an individual ought to consider in this stage, the impactthat the decisions have. In this discussion, an individual willconsider if the refugee deportation meets that aim of attainingrespect for autonomy if the legalization of marijuana causes no harm(Thome, &amp Ferrell, 2015).He also checks if the gun rights decision achieves the non- harmingintention, if the non-legalization of gay rights achieves the societymorals and if the treatment of all races in a similar way achievesthe intended fairness and justice.

Asdiscussed above, it is evident that ethical decision making is aprocess that flows in a synchronized manner. This means that eachstage is crucial to the overall decision to be made at the end. Thedecision made will automatically reflect some results, either as ithad been desired by the decision maker or contrary to that(Yeager, 2015).This will then subject the decision maker to a new process ofattaining the best ethical decision.


Buchanan,E. (2012). Ethical decision-making and internet research.

Craft,J. L. (2013). A review of the empirical ethical decision-makingliterature: 2004–2011. Journalof Business Ethics,117(2),221-259.

Crossan,M., Mazutis, D., &amp Seijts, G. (2013). In search of virtue: Therole of virtues, values and character strengths in ethical decisionmaking. Journalof Business Ethics,113(4),567-581.

Delgado,A. B. H. S. A. (2013). Ethical Decision Making. AdvancedPractice Nursing: An Integrative Approach,328.

Ferrell,O. C., &amp Fraedrich, J. (2015). Businessethics: Ethical decision making &amp cases.Nelson Education.

Hartman,L. P., DesJardins, J. R., &amp MacDonald, C. (2014). Businessethics: Decision making for personal integrity and socialresponsibility.McGraw-Hill.

Lauesen,L. M. (2012). Ethical Decision Making. MultidisciplinaryJournal for Applied Ethics.

Loe,T. W., Ferrell, L., &amp Mansfield, P. (2013). A review of empiricalstudies assessing ethical decision making in business. In CitationClassics from the Journal of Business Ethics(pp. 279-301). Springer Netherlands.

Markham,A., Buchanan, E., &amp AoIR Ethics Working Committee. (2012).Ethical decision-making and Internet research: Version 2.0.Associationof Internet Researchers.

Mintz,S. (2016). Ethicalobligations and decision-making in accounting: text and cases.McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Shapiro,J. P., &amp Stefkovich, J. A. (2016). Ethicalleadership and decision making in education: Applying theoreticalperspectives to complex dilemmas.Routledge.

Singhapakdi,A., Vitell, S. J., Lee, D. J., Nisius, A. M., &amp Grace, B. Y.(2013). The influence of love of money and religiosity on ethicaldecision-making in marketing. Journalof Business Ethics,114(1),183-191.

Thiel,C. E., Bagdasarov, Z., Harkrider, L., Johnson, J. F., &amp Mumford,M. D. (2012). Leader ethical decision-making in organizations:Strategies for sensemaking. Journalof Business Ethics,107(1),49-64.

Thome,D. M., &amp Ferrell, O. C. (2015). Antecedents of Ethical DecisionMaking in Sales Organizations. In Proceedingsof the 1992 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference(pp. 356-360). Springer International Publishing.

Yeager,A. L. (2015). Ethical decision making. TheJournal of the American Dental Association,146(8),568-569.

Close Menu