ETHICAL TESTS and FRAMEWORKS for DECISION MAKING
(Chapter 8—and Figure 8-2)
The Golden Rule
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The most universal of all frameworks
Do what creates the most good for the most people or the least harm.
Kant's Categorical Imperative
Act in such a way that the action taken under the circumstances could be a
universal law or rule of behavior—everyone would agree to do it this
Principles of Rights
A right is “inalienable” (as stated in the U.S. Constitution) and can only be
overridden by a more basic right—but the issue is whose right is
right. There are many types of rights claimed.
Principles of Justice
Justice involves the “fair” treatment of each ...view middle of the document...
You lead by serving others.
Ten characteristics of servant leadership are discussed in the text.
The Professional Ethic
Take only those actions that would be viewed as being proper by a
disinterested panel of your professional colleagues (doctors, lawyers,
accountants, etc). Just because a profession has a code of ethics, it
does not mean that everyone in that profession will observe it.
The TV Test (60 Minutes Test, Going Public)
Would you feel comfortable explaining your actions to a national television
audience, or on the front page of your local newspaper, or to you
family and friends?
Test of Common Sense
Try to stand back and determine if what you are contemplating makes
logical sense—what are the practical implications. This does not
mean that anything is legal until you get caught.
Test of One’s Best Self
Assumes you hold yourself in high self esteem and would do nothing to
endanger that personal perception of self.
Test of Ventilation
If you discussed your proposed action with others whose opinions you
value, what would they think of it? A potential problem for those in
leadership positions who do this is group think a la the children’s
story of the emperor’s new clothes.
Test of the Purified Idea
Are you being asked to do something that you find questionable by
someone with authority over you who is telling you that it is OK (i.e., it
is purified because I say so)?
Does what you are being asked to do make you gag?
Do your actions conform to the local conventional wisdom (i.e., When in
Rome, do as the Romans)?
You rationalize by saying that the ends justify the means.
There is nothing wrong with combining several of these as
discussed in the text.