These are some tests to guide decision-making in business situations.
Transparency: Do I mind others knowing what I have decided?
Effect: Who does my decision affect or hurt?
Fairness: Would my decision be considered fair by those affected?
Trevino and Nelson (2007)
- Gather the facts
- Define the ethical issues
- Identify the affected parties
- Identify the consequences
- Identify the obligations
- Consider your character and integrity
- Think creatively about potential actions
- Check your gut
(from: Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How to Do It Right; L Trevino, K. Nelson; Wiley; 2006, 4th ed.)
Decision Making Frameworks – compiled by SME Financial Systems www.sme.ie/articles/business_ethics/decision_making_frameworks.pdf
Ethical Decision-making Frameworks – compiled by ICAEW www.icaew.com/index.cfm?route=149596
Center for Ethics and Business, Loyola Marymount University /www.ethicsandbusiness.org/strategy.htm
Complete Guide To Ethics Management, McNamara C, 1999
Resolving Ethical Dilemmas www.managementhelp.org/ethics/ethxgde.htm#anchor53723
Better Business Game
(BT) Experience what it can be like to manage social and environmental issues in a business. The game's contents are drawn from general business dilemmas across all industries, and are not solely based on BT experience or policies. www.btplc.com/Societyandenvironment/Businessgame/index.htm
The IBE has published a Good Practice Guide, Ethics in Decision-making
(2011) which provides provides a framework for understanding the key conditions for and barriers to bringing ethics into business decision-making. This Guide will help organisations embed ethical considerations through all their decision-making. It includes examples of how companies facilitate and promote this for employees, managers and senior leaders. A summary of the Guide is available to download here>>
More information on the Guide and how to order a copy can be found here>>
Over 15 scenarios are available in the Good Practice Guide: Developing and Using Business Ethics Scenarios
to view a sample dilemma from IBE's Elearning tool - Understanding Business Ethics
Institute for Global Ethics
A collection of ‘real life’ business dilemmas, provided without resolutions. http://www.globalethics.org/dilemmas.php
Lockheed Martin 'Integrity Minute'
- short clips of ethical dilemmas employees may find themselves facing. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/who-we-are/ethics/iminute.html
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics A collection of mini vignettes www.scu.edu/ethics/dialogue/candc/cases/business-scenarios.html and some longer case studies www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/cases.cfm?fam=BUSI
Businessethics.ca Three mini cases and links to case databases www.businessethics.ca/cases/index.html
Small Business Notes Example of a dilemma frequently encountered in a small business setting www.smallbusinessnotes.com/operating/leadership/ethics.html
See also our 'Education' page for some downloadable case studies and ethical dilemmas.