TheArmy Professional Military Ethics
Howhave you observed or experienced moral disengagement in your career?
Themoral disengagement theory seeks to critically analyze the means bywhich career professionals rationalize their unjust and unethicalactions. In my career, I have seen moral disengagement encroach theworkplace through various mechanisms like euphemistic labeling, moraljustification, and attribution to blame or advantageous competition.However, moral justification is the more common form of moraldisengagement that I have repeatedly observed in my career. Oftentime people tend to engage themselves in dangerous or immoral conductseeking a plausible way of justifying their wrong-doings by use ofmorality (Christopheret al., 45).Such people tend to consider such heinous acts as their service tohumanity done for the greater good of everyone in the workplace. Oneother exemplary example of moral justification that I haveexperienced in my career is the use of torture in an effort ofobtaining information that is useful in protecting people, which inmost instances has the perception of being unacceptable (De78).Moral justification commonly occurs before the decision of engagingin a reprehensive conduct after the justification of their moralactions.
Whataspects or factors in the current operating environment may lead tomoral disengagement?
Oneof the factors that might result in moral disengagement is the lackof boundary lines involving the steps of cognitive reconstruction ofharmful or destructive behaviors and what might be acceptable morallywithout altering the moral standards or practices (Miller29).In such operating environments, people will have the liberty and willof doing whatever they dim fit without thinking of its consequencesto everyone within the same environment. It is, therefore, importantthat there be a line between separating proper antiphons frominhumane behaviors and ultimately disbanding the availableself-condemnation mechanisms. Lack or moral standards may also play abig part in leading to moral disengagement within an operatingenvironment. In most instances, the adaptation of moral standards isto serve as guides to proper behaviors and deterrents to improperconduct. Kramerexplains that it is only in the development of the internalizedcontrol that people will start to regulate their actions using thestandards applicable to them giving them a semblance of self-worthand self-satisfaction (59). Consequently, individuals refrain frombehaving in manners which tend to violate their set moral standardsin an effort of avoiding self-condemnation within the operatingenvironment.
Whatresponsibility do leaders have to check or monitor moraldisengagement?
Makingmorally ethical decisions in an operating environment is one of theresponsibilities of leaders in monitoring moral disengagement. Researchers found out that making ethical decisions has a positiveassociation with moral disengagement (Kool82).The advanced levels of moral disengagement are likely to occurbecause of the increased levels of unethical decision making. It is,therefore, the responsibility of leaders to ensure that there is nodisconnect between the operating environment moral standards and thecontemplated actions which reduce the internalized activationdeterrents that would otherwise prevent individuals from acting andbehaving unethically. Leaders ought to lead by example by shunningdeceptive behaviors like lying out rightly in an attempt ofconcealing the truth. Leading by example will go a long way inreducing the moral disengagement within an operating environment asmost of the people will strive to emulate the commendable ethicalbehavior of the leader (Kool87). Leaders should look into ways of devising proper mechanisms ofpreventing moral disengagement such as disallowing the use of torturein obtaining information from a culprit.
ChristopherM. Barnes, Ph.D., and Keith Leavitt, Ph.D. MoralDisengagement: When Will Good Soldiers do bad Things., 2016. Print.
De,Cremer D. PsychologicalPerspectives on Ethical Behavior and Decision Making., 2009. Print.
Kool,Vinod K. Psychologyof Nonviolence and Aggression.Basingstoke [England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Print.
Kramer,David K. AQuestion of Honour: How Codes of Ethical Conduct and Moral DilemmasImpact Behaviour., 2014. Print.
Miller,Christian B. MoralCharacter: An Empirical Theory., 2013. Print.