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Professor Denis Collins
School of Business
Edgewood College
Madison, WI 53711


Behaving Badly
Tools and Surveys

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Six Questions for Deriving a Moral Conclusion


Moral Levees Organizational



How should employees infuse moral reasoning in the process of making business decisions? Ethical reasoning is just like any other managerial problem-solving process. When confronting a problem, managers typically list the available options and determine which of the alternatives makes the most sense. Often, the reasons that support one option are better than the reasons that support others. The same decision-making process can be applied to ethical reasoning.
Social philosophers have determined that some ethical reasons are more morally acceptable than others. For example, it has been long established that “doing to others as you would want done to you” should take precedence over an individual’s self-interests when these two ethical theories are in conflict.
The ethics decision-making framework found in Part II of Behaving Badly can help managers reach a moral conclusion regarding the rightness or wrongness of any decision. It provides a moral compass based on six questions that can be applied to any business problem. Click on the "Six Questions for Deriving a Moral Conclusion" and use it to address an ethical issue at your organization.


Managers should also benchmark their organization’s ethical health. Click on the "Organizational Integrity Check-Up" to rate your organization against 25 best practices in ethics management.