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Ethical decision making modelEthical decision-making at an individual level and one’s ethical behavior can be viewed in three

Ethical decision making model

Ethical decision-making at an individual level and one’s ethical behavior can be viewed in three primary steps using an ethical decision-making model.

First is one’s moral awareness, recognizing the existence of an ethical dilemma. This is the pathway to establishing the need for an ethical decision. This awareness is an individual sensitivity to one’s values and personal morals.

Once a personal awareness is evident, we can make a judgment in deciding what is right or wrong. This sounds simple, yet there are a number of variables driving this personal judgment. One variable is the individual differences and cognitive bias we all have based on our personal history and experiences. A second variable is the organization. This variable may be influenced from a group, organizational or cultural perspective. A code of conduct or standards of behavior may also influence our judgment.

This model, operating in a dynamic fashion, leads us to our ethical behavior; taking action to do the right thing. Is the right thing the same decision for everyone? Obviously not. We are all influenced my multiple factors in our decision-making.

This decision-making model can help us understand the pathway to our ethical decisions.

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