Decision Making Essay example
Dr. Richard W. Scholl
36 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881
Much of the recent interest in ethics and moral behavior in business comes from Enron and Worldcom, as scholars, educators, practitioners, and the public seek to understand the behavior of executives in these firms. Many have chosen to view these cases from the perspective of ethics, that is, the behavior of these executives is seen as unethical and the explanation is that they are unethical or immoral people. Furthermore, the solution is improved moral education in business …show more content…
Schulman (2002) defines moral behavior as “acts intended to produce kind and/or fair outcomes (p. 500).” This is similar to prosocial behavior or goal identification as a source of motivation in that the behavior is “labeled” moral if it is intended to produce a positive outcome for others. He argues that “moral motivation” is rooted in three moral systems: (1) Empathy, (2) Moral Affiliations, and (3) Principles. If we accept this notion that moral behavior is defined in terms of intention to help others (as opposed to egoistic motives), then we need to examine the relevant other.
In attempting to define ethical decisions, Jones writes that "An ethical decision is a decision that is both legally and morally acceptable to the larger community. (1991, p. 387)". This definition moves away from absolute standard of judgment to a social standard, based on cultural, organizational, or community standards. It still begs the issue to which stand to use when one is operating in over-lapping reference groups. I find the other inclusion in this definition very interesting. He adds to concept of "legality" in is definition implying that "breaking the law" is by definition unethical or immoral. Personally, I can think of countless examples of individuals breaking the law and being very moral or ethical. For me, a useful conceptualization…