2Agree ?Ethics cannot be taught. You are able to sense what is right, good and just, and are motivated to act – or you are not.2. While people differ in their abilities, most people can improve their ethical decision-making through education and practice.
3Professional Ethics What is a “profession”? What is “ethics”? What is “professional ethics”?Ethical theoriesThinking about professional ethicsProfessional valuesCodes of Ethics
4DilemmaThe hijacked plane with 200 people is approaching a building with 50,000 peopleVote! Will you shoot down the plane?
5Dilemma You cannot subscribe to both principles in the case. A true moral dilemmaWhich position has the greatest weight in the circumstances?
7ProfessionAll professions are occupations, but not all occupations are professionsCan take a broad or narrow view of what is a “profession”A “self-regulated occupational group capable of legally prohibiting others (including incompetent or unethical members) from practising” is a narrow view
8ProfessionYou are not a professional until you are a member of a group of colleagues who have articulated a set of standards and values and can enforce them, at the very least, by exclusion from the group.
9“Professionalism” 1. Skill, competency in work Relational element – work will be beneficial to othersWork itself doesn’t have moral statusExecution of work has moral status
10Professional EthicsPurpose… Helps professional decide when faced with a problem that raises a moral issueComplexity … Can be many people, with many issues involved … may be involved history to the issues … may be an issue WHO decides, not just WHAT decided.
11Ethics and Morality Morality – making choices with reasons Ethics – the study of HOW the choices are made, ie “ethics is the study of morality”Often use “ethics” and “morality” interchangeably
12General vs Professional General Ethics – individual as member of community, broader range of issues, “top down” principlesProfessional Ethics – moral expectations specific to the occupational group, tend to focus on concrete “bottom up” cases
13Morality and EthicsProfessional Morality – what we do in our occupational livesProfessional Ethics – the study of what we do in our professional lives
14Ethics and Law Law – the authority is external Ethics – the authority is internalMuch of law, but not all, is based in moralitySometimes law is unethicalMuch of what is ethical is unaddressed by legal rules
15Professional Ethics and Law There is a moral duty to obey the law (with some caveats)Professional ethics covers more issues than the lawOne can be unethical without behaving illegallyRare – ethically must resist the law
16Professional Ethics and Law Be very careful not to embark in an exercise in ethical analysis when there is a clear legal rule in the situation that trumps the entire process of ethical analysis.
17Professional Ethics and Law Be very careful not to assume that there is a legal rule for every situation. Often the gaps between legal rules require one to switch to an ethical analysis.
18Ethics Descriptive ethics – “What IS” Prescriptive ethics – “What OUGHT to be”We do not seek to study professional ethics as a sociologist would, but to assist with choices about what one ought to do.
19Prescriptive Ethics “What OUGHT to be” The words used are different… good-bad, right-wrong, just-unjustThought processes use values, goods, virtues, rules, ethical theories, moral reasons, moral explanations, and moral decisions.
20Why the Interest in Professional Ethics? As occupations become more specialized, the ethical issues become more specializedProfessional societies have increased efforts to establish ethical codes to guide membersIncreasing public scrutiny, lack of traditional deferenceRegulatory oversight, public protection
21Ethics in the Business World Globalization of organizations have created a complex business world.Risk is the likelihood of a negative event times the impact of the event.
22Why Business Ethics are Important? Protect the organization and its employees from legal action.Create an organization that operates consistently.Produce good business.Avoid unfavorable publicity.Gain the goodwill of the community.
23Legal OverviewBribes involve providing money, property, favors, or anything else of value to someone in business or government in order to obtain a business advantage.Gifts are made openly and publicly as a gesture of friendship or goodwill with no expectation of a future favor for the donor.
24Improving Corporate Ethics Appoint a corporate ethics officer.Ethical standards should be set by a board of directors.Establish a corporate code of conduct.Conduct social audits.Require employees to take ethics training.Include ethical criteria in employee appraisal/reward systems.
25Code of ConductA guide that highlights an organization’s key ethical issues and identifies the overarching values and principles that are important to the organization and that can help in decision making.The code of conduct helps ensure that employees:Abide by the law.Follow necessary regulations.Behave in an ethical manner.
26Ethical Decision Making Get the facts.Identify the stakeholders and their positions.Consider the consequences of your decision.Weigh various guidelines and principles (Virtue, Utilitarian, Fairness, Common Good).Develop and evaluate options.Review your decision.Evaluate the results of your decision.
27Ethics in Information Technology The increased use of information technology has raised many ethical issues for today’s IT professional.Licensing of IT professionalsInternet communicationIntellectual propertyEmployee/employer issues