Solving ethical problems in organizations
The week’s readings focus on two major models of solving problems: the PLUS and Ruddell’s models. Having a clear understanding of what each of the models entails is vital for managers or leaders with the aim of solving ethical problems in their organizations. To start with, the PLUS model while focusing on solving ethical problems is descriptive of how people should make decisions intuitively and, make the decision-making steps explicit (Williams, 2011). The model encompasses six steps of which the first step is the definition of the problem and in this step, there is a focus on the problem in terms of what is wanted or expected of the actual situation. The model’s second step is the identification of available alternative solutions to the ethical problem and this is succeeded by a third step that emphasizes the need to evaluate the identified values (Williams, 2011). The fourth step emphasizes the need for the individuals involved to make an actual decision whereas the final steps according to the models are the implementation and evaluation of the ethical problem at hand (Williams, 2011).
On the other hand, Ruddell’s model being an alternative to the former emphasizes the need to apply ethical standards in an ethical way when solving ethical problems (Ruddell, 2004). This model states that when solving an ethical problem, the first step is to realize that an ethical standard has been violated (Ruddell, 2004). The model’s second step is the identification of all people affected by the ethical violation or problem, and this is succeeded by the third step that entails the gathering of pertinent information from all every person concerned. The fourth step is the analysis of all the information while looking at all sides and this should be in accordance with organizational standards. The fifth step of Ruddell’s model states that a decision should be made, and this should be based on organizational standards. The final steps of the model are the implementation of the decision ethically and the discussion of the lessons learned from the situation at hand and how to avoid the ethical problem in future (Ruddell, 2004).
In line with the mentioned models of solving ethical problems, a personal approach focusing on the solution of ethical problems in any organization would emphasize on the identification of the ethical problem, involving the stakeholders and external sources, making a decision, and finally, an evaluation of the solution given.
With this paper focusing on the strategies for solving ethical problems, there is a need to understand how ethical decisions are made in organizations. In my organization, the making of ethical decisions often prompts an interaction between individuals involved and the situation at hand. The first step of ethical decision making in the organization is the cognition of individuals in response to the ethical dilemma. The significance of this is that it helps in the determination of whether the decision made is right or wrong. The second step in the organization is a research on how the decision made would result in a conflict of opinions or ideologies of the individuals involved. The third step in the organization is the implementation of the decision made, and this step is succeeded by an evaluation of the ethical decision made.
However, it cannot be refuted that there are several challenges that accompany the solution and making of ethical decisions in organizations. As a leader, to instill better decision-making approaches in any organization, it is important that a proper research on business ethics is conducted (Selart & Johansen, 2011). This will certainly help in choosing the right approach that would be effective and beneficial in the solution of ethical problems. Moreover, as a leader, one should focus on engaging or involving business experts as well as the stakeholders affected by an ethical problem.
Ruddell, L. (2004). Business Ethics – Faith That Works: Leading Your Company to LONG TERM Success. Houston, TX: Halcyon Press.
Selart, M., & Johansen, S. T. (2011). Ethical decision making in organizations: The role of leadership stress. Journal of Business Ethics, 99(2), 129-143.
Williams, C. (2011). Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.