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Flashcards in Week 7 (Ethics) Deck (16):

The inward motivation to do what is right according to the highest standards of behavior in every situation.



A set of principles of right or good conduct. The study of the general nature of morals and of specific choices to be made by an individual. The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession. (Group)



Steadfast adherence to a strict ethical code. The state of being unimpaired; soundness. The quality or condition of being or undivided; completeness.



Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character; ethical. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous. (Individual)



A principle, standard or quality considered worthwhile or desirable.



Continuum of Compromise

Perceived Victimization
Acts of Omission
Acts of Commission – Administrative
Acts of Commission – Criminal


Acts of Omission

Not filling out reports/forms completely
Taking shortcuts
Ignoring a subordinate’s actions when warranted
Failure to review reports submitted by subordinates


Acts of Commission – Administrative

Intentional acts
Breaking the small rules
Passive resistance to organizational mandates
Carrying unauthorized equipment


Acts of Commission – Criminal

From law enforcer to law violator
Intentional violations of criminal law (theft, misappropriation of seized assets, inappropriate use of force, etc.)


Moral Dilemma

A choice between two mutually exclusive courses of action, each of which has a serious claim to being morally right. In order to be torn between two arguably right but mutually exclusive actions, a person must already care about doing what is right.


Process for Solving Moral Dilemmas

1. Be clear about what to decide
2. Gather facts and set criteria
3. Develop options
4. Evaluate options and assess risk
5. Make the decision and follow through


The end is more important than the means by which the end is achieved. A manager tries to weigh all positives against all negatives. If the positives outweigh the negatives, the decision is deemed to be ethical. All stakeholders must be considered. This is often not practical. If the amount of harm to the few outweighs the amount of benefit to the many, decision will protect the few from harm (Example: peanut butter). At its worst, it demonstrates that the benefit to the majority can become evil totalitarianism to the minority.



The ethicality of a decision is determined by the decision maker’s self-interest. Can be effective motivational tool (salesperson). Tends to emphasize the short term at the expense of long term (WorldCom, Enron). Can lead to the erosion of an organization’s vision (basketball team).

Ethical Egoism


Develop “categorical imperatives” designed to guide behavior. These imperatives are never to be broken.

Kantian Ethics


People are more likely to obey the law when they believe that those who are enforcing it have authority to tell them what to do… The public confers legitimacy only on those they believe are acting in procedurally just ways.

PILLAR ONE – Building Trust & Legitimacy

President's Report


Procedural Justice is based on four central principles:

Principles can be apply both internally and externally

1. Treating people with dignity and respect.
2. Giving individuals “voice” during encounters.
3. Being neutral and transparent in decision making.
4. Conveying trustworthy motives.