How Ethics Shape Decision Making

The role of ethics in decision making is crucial, especially in the business world. In this article, we will explore how ethics influence the choices we make in various contexts. To better understand this topic, we’ll distinguish between morals and ethics, discuss the importance of ethical standards, and examine how ethics impact our actions and words.

Distinguishing Morals from Ethics

  • Morals are related to personal choices and the concept of “right conduct.”
  • Ethics in decision making, particularly in a business setting, provide a set of guidelines for proper behaviour within a group or organizational context.
  • Conflicts can arise when an individual’s moral values clash with the ethical standards set by an organization.

A significant portion of ethics study revolves around determining the source of ethical principles used in business decision making. Various approaches have emerged, including utilitarianism, moral rights, universalism, cost-benefit analysis, fairness, and many more.

Ethics Impact Actions and Words

In the realm of ethical decision making within a group or organization, the focus is primarily on actions and words. It is challenging to assess thoughts and beliefs, so ethical evaluations emphasize tangible evidence and outcomes resulting from these actions and words. This approach ensures that ethical behaviour can be evaluated objectively.

Incorporating Ethics in Decision Making

  • Defining core values, establishing a business mission, and creating a code of conduct.
  • Criteria used for ethical decision making should align with foundational elements.
  • Key considerations include compliance with company values and ethics, promoting the greater good, acting responsibly, respecting rights, promoting trust, and building a positive reputation.

Addressing Personal Morals vs. Organizational Ethics

Resolving conflicts between an individual’s personal morals and an organization’s ethics is best addressed during the onboarding process. Prospective members should assess whether their moral choices align with the organization’s ethics, as defined by its core values and code of conduct. Any changes made to an organization’s ethical framework should be carefully considered, as they may lead to conflicts with individual moral values.


In conclusion, ethics play a significant role in decision making, particularly in the business world. Understanding the distinction between personal morals and organizational ethics, recognizing the source of ethical standards, and acknowledging the impact of ethics on actions and words are essential steps in making ethical decisions. By incorporating ethics into the decision-making process, organizations can ensure that their actions align with their core values and contribute to a positive reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Can I Develop Strong Personal Ethics?

While the article discusses ethics in organizational settings, I’m interested in developing strong personal ethics. How can I go about cultivating a strong sense of ethical values and principles in my everyday life?

2. Are There Any Famous Ethical Dilemmas in History?

Can you provide examples of famous ethical dilemmas from history that have had a significant impact on decision making? I’m curious to learn more about real-world scenarios where ethics played a pivotal role.

3. What Are Some Ethical Decision-Making Frameworks?

The article briefly mentions different approaches to ethics in decision making. Could you elaborate on some of the common ethical decision-making frameworks that individuals and organizations use to navigate complex ethical choices?

Leave a Comment