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Everyday Ethics: A Managers Handbook

Business ethics starts with a person. A real breathing human being who makes moral and ethical choices everyday for better or for worse. The key to building a sound, ethical organization is to consider the character of those people who make it happen.  Ethical people make up an ethical company.  So we need to build strong individual character as well as a strong company character.

Why? Accepting the role of supervisor or manager means a person also accepts responsibility for being the organization's agent, the representative of an organization's core values to their employees.

They also represent the needs, interests and well being of those employees to the organization. The ethical challenge is for the supervisor to balance the organization's core values, his/her personal values and the values of the people being supervised, in such a way as to optimize ethical congruence and minimize ethical conflict. Being ethically effective in this role is critical.

Most managers are concerned about doing what is right. Honesty, integrity, promise keeping, fidelity, fairness, caring for others, respect for others, responsible citizenship, pursuit of excellence and accountability are accepted values.  But their execution is not always easy, even though management's desire is to create an organization that operates consistently and predictably in accordance with such stated and endorsed values. But the benefits are worth the challenges: good ethics equals good business. In terms of quality, customer service, employee relations, vendor relations, regulatory relations and public perception, the benefits of ethical behavior are undeniable.

 There is also ample evidence that many are a direct response to employee perceptions of unfairness or a lack of integrity within the organization. When employees perceive ethical conflict - disagreement between their personal values and the values overtly stated or implied by an organization's actions - they often feel a need to defend themselves from anticipated retaliation and/or to punish the organization for how they have been treated.

Trust leads to loyalty. And ethical dealings with employees and customers lead to trust. As managers, when trust is broken we see low commitment to organizational goals and objectives, poor performance and/or morale, lack of involvement in programmed improvement initiatives, and employee indifference to the needs of the organization.

 So whether a company consistently behaves honorably is going to profoundly shape its overall image. The responsibility for building a healthy corporate image falls on everyone in the company who maintains an outward-facing relationship—starting with the leadership.  

 This course uses powerful examples to present complex issues in a way that can be tailored to each work place. Participants understand the relevant examples—and remember them. The interactive exercises build in room for customization to meet your special needs.



  • Why Ethics?
  •  The Crisis: What are the Dangers and Opportunities

 Ethics in Your Organization

  •  Which Behaviors Are Supported By Written Or Unwritten Guidelines Of Conduct?
  • Which Actions Are Promoted, Forbidden, Frowned Upon?
  • How Do Ethical Considerations Influence Product Or Service Quality, Pricing, Marketing Practices, Treatment Of Suppliers, Employees, Etc.?

Ethical Choice: How Do We Make Decisions?

  • Case Studies: Case Studies Describe An Ethical Dilemma, And Ask What You Would Do About It, And Why.
  • How To Assess The Impact Of A Decision, By Looking At Individualistic, Altruistic, Pragmatic And Idealistic Consequences
  • How To Find The Balance Most Appropriate To You And Make Your Decisions Effectively

How Do People Face Dilemmas?

  • How To Understand The Underlying Ethical Principles Used In Confronting And Resolving Ethical Or Moral Dilemmas. 
  • How To Assess The Degree To Which Individuals Are Influenced By Certain Other Ethical Principles. 
  • Develop A Greater Appreciation Of The Diverse Ethical And Moral Beliefs Of Others
  • Enhance Your Ability To Communicate With And Understand Others, Especially Across Personality Types, Cultures And Backgrounds. Therefore, It Is Valuable To Be Familiar With All Six Types.
  • Decisions Are Not Necessarily Better; But They May Be Different Depending on Type

What Are the Ethical Types?

  • Egoism.  Utilitarianism, Existentialism, Divine Command, Deontology, Conformism In Decisions
  • How is Ethical Type Developed? Education experiences, peer behaviors, organizational culture?

What Are Some the Ways Managers Think When Facing Ethical Decisions?

  • Everybody Else Does It
  • Fairness Equals Sameness
  • The Exemplary Employee
  • What is Ethical Managing Day by Day?
  • Ensuring That   Employees Have The Information They Need To Be Effective
  • What Is Expected Or Required For Them To Survive And To Be Successful (Tasks And Ethics)
  • Sharing "How They Are Doing" At This Point In Time (Tasks And Ethics). What Is Expected Or Required For Success?
  •  What are Three Quick Tests for Ethical Congruence?
  • The Self-Test a.k.a. The Butterflies Inside Test
  • The Authority Test a.k.a. What Would Mamma Say?
  • The Public Scrutiny Test a.k.a. What Would the Neighbors Think?

Why Good People Do Bad Things?

  •  What Influences Bad Choices or Unethical Behavior?
  • Eight Rationalizations For Ethical Compromise

1. I have to cut corners to meet my goals.
2. I lack the time /resources to do what is right.
3. My peers expect me to act this way.
4. My superiors want results, not excuses.
5. I don't think it is really wrong or illegal.
6. Others would think that it is a good choice.
7. No one will ever know the difference.


Ethical Decision Making

  • Analysis of the Situation
  • Who are the people involved in the dilemma?
  • What authorities, laws, cods of conduct, policies, morals, and ethics govern in some form?
  • How are they interrelated?
  • What is involved?
  • What facts are in question?
  • What values are in conflict?
  • What concepts need clarification?
  • How do you identify the values, issues or ethical dilemmas involved?
  • How do you make a concise statement of the problem and the state the conflict involved?
  • How do you analyze alternatives?
  • What courses of action are possible?
  • What are the likely results of such actions?
  • What guidance some form Professional Code of ethics?
  • What institution policies are in operation?
  • What principles of law might apply?
  • What guidance comes from personally held principles?
  • What is the relationship between such principles and convictions of faith?
  • What decision best fits with principled convictions?
  • What practical steps must be taken for implementation?

 Putting it  All Together- The  Morality  Bridge

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