Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Life Cycle of a Group Benefits Plan

Lesson 5: Ethical Decision Making

Ethical Problems


The five major characteristics of ethical problems are:


1.             Most ethical decisions have extended consequences—Managerial decisions, actions and results have consequences that extend beyond their control and beyond the organization into society. For example, bribes change governmental processes. Pollution affects environmental health. All the consequences and effects should be considered before decisions are made.

2.             Most ethical decisions have multiple alternatives—Simple yes or no choices do not adequately characterize the many alternatives that exist and that should be considered for decisions such as “Should a manager pay a bribe?” and “Should a factory pollute the air?”

3.             Most ethical decisions have mixed outcomes—As noted in the second point for alternatives, outcomes are not unambiguous; they have social benefits and costs as well as financial revenues and expenses associated with the ethical choices.

4.             Most ethical decisions have uncertain consequences—Unanticipated and unknown consequences can follow ethical choices.

5.             Most ethical decisions have personal implications—Such decisions can affect the lives and careers of the decision makers. Individual costs and benefits, in addition to financial and social ones, are associated with most alternatives in ethical decisions.