Moral Awareness Essay

2568 words - 11 pages

Topic 1: Moral awareness is the most important element of ethical decision making.
Morality reflects the standard of right and wrong of a person or a group while ethics access the standard and deals with judgment of ones behaviour concerning what is good or bad and about what one ought to do (Ryland 2009).
An ethical decision is legal and morally accepted by the general community (Jones 1991). Factors such as honesty and fairness are important in making ethical decisions. Business ethics however are far more complex because it also involves legal, economical and social considerations (Ferrell & Ferrell 2009).
There are several models in approach to ethical decision ...view middle of the document...

Moral intent is the decision to act upon the judgements made when the moral agent balances moral factors against other factors, notably including self interest (Jones 1991).
The last stage to the process, engaging in moral behaviour suggests that the moral agent translates the intent of the moral agent to behaviour (Crane & Matten 2007).

Importance of Moral Awareness
In a case whereby, Mel notices that a few of her colleague had been making use of the phone in the company to make personal overseas calls (moral awareness). She determines that it is the wrong thing to do (moral judgement) and then decides to inform her supervisor of the behaviour (moral intent) to finally telling the supervisor (moral behaviour) depicts a process of ethical decision making.
Research has shown that individual awareness of moral issues is an important first step in the process of ethical corporate and individual decision-making (Butterfield, Trevino & Weaver 2000). The idea is that moral awareness is considered the most important because moral judgement processes are not initiated unless the decision maker recognises the ethical nature of an issue. So awareness of the ethical component triggers the moral judgement processes and understanding this initial step is the key in understanding ethical decision making more generally (Trevino & Brown 2004). Rest also recognise this interpretation stage has powerful influences on subsequent thoughts and actions.
Without moral awareness, Mel would not be perceive any ethical overtone to the scenario and would not make any decisions to inform the upper managements. Such would finally results in the company covering higher phone calls expenses as well as the cost of hiring since her colleagues spend more time on the phone than in doing her job.

Importance of other Factors
Without recognition of the moral issue moral judgements would not take place. The judgements were made with moral reasoning guided by the moral development of the individual. Given that cognitive moral development has been linked to ethical behaviour in several studies by Blasi (1980), this stage is also important.
Neglecting the phone bill expenses, Mel may come up with the wrong judgements that making overseas personal calls during break time is alright since her work progress will not be affected. Alternatively, she may also thinks that making personal calls will increases the expenses of the company and should not be practiced in the workplace.
Although one may decide on the right behaviour, it is not necessary that the moral agent act accordance to the judgements (Trevino & Brown 2004). Therefore the ability to follow through the intentions is also essential.
Still, having just moral awareness is not adequate. Mel may be aware of the moral issue but decided to ignore it for reasons such as not wanting to be ostracised by her friends. Implementation of the intent is crucial as it leads to the outcome. The act of making...

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