Ethical Decision Making Examples in Business

Ethical Decision Making Examples in business

Looking for an Ethical Decision Making Examples in Business?

Ethical decision-making in business gives wealth and success to a company. Ethical decision-making in a business means abiding by the moral values and rules in the field of business with which you are dealing.

Ethical decision-making is a discipline. Instead, ethical decision-making is a procedure of recognizing and finding solutions to the issues of any business. Putting ethics in a company needs awareness or sensitivity to ethical problems that may arise and a relevant approach to solve the problems as part of the decision. IN this article, you will get an idea about the principles, various factors, and examples of ethical decision-making in any business. 

Making decisions for a business from an ethical point of view needs a thorough discussion among the exceptional teams at work, who are involved in the decision-making process and execution of the work.

Because the necessary and essential decisions should be first brought into discussion with the concerned employees in the workplace. To make sure that ethical issues in a business are solved, it is necessary to get the answers to a few questions, which are as follows:

  •  What are the appropriate facts of the issue? What can we know, and what can we not know? Are enough points available with us to make a decision?
  •  What are the choices? Have we recognized all the necessary options and evaluated all possible options?
  •  Will the organization’s decisions affect someone, some group, or stakeholder(s) badly? How much important are these issues?
  •  Does the choice present positive and negative alternatives leading to a trade-off?
  •  Does the difficulty include more than legal compliance or economic efficiency?
  •  Which choice will give the most significant advantages with the smallest amount of harm? Which option best serves the organization’s interest?
  •  Which choice is mostly following our corporate values and principles?
  •  Keeping in mind all the above factors, which will best address the situation?
  •  What would be the reaction of the public if it is reported in the media tomorrow?
  •  Assuming we choose a selected option, how can we execute the decision according to our stakeholder’s interests?

As a business owner and manager, you need to make tons of important decisions for your organization. On every aspect from marketing to sales, operations to human resources, your team will look to you for guidance and enquire which direction they ought to enter.

In addition to keeping profitability in mind, you may have to check out decisions from an ethical viewpoint. The function of ethics in deciding affects how you approach decisions, how you opt which action to require, and whether you would like to ask somebody else for his or her viewpoint.

Principles of ethical decision making:

Stop, think, and identify the ethical dilemma: Many people are habituated to making quick decisions, whether in their professional life or personal life. If you are a small business maker, then it is suitable for your business if you have that skill.

And, this skill of fast decision-making comes with a lot of practice. But in ethical dilemmas, speed is not needed in the decision-making process. In that situation, take time to conduct a calm and overall analysis of the decision-making process of your business.

Write down the moral dilemma – or a minimum of how you know it now – within the most straightforward possible terms. Separate guesses, biases, or suspicions. Don’t overlook these factors; they will prove instrumental later. Just make sure to represent what you recognize to be factual from what you do not. Identify the affected teams or individuals beyond yourself.  

Ask many questions, including perhaps the foremost: What am I able to control this dilemma, and what is beyond my control? What will happen if I take action and what will happen if I do nothing? What are the potential consequences of my decisions? Ultimately, you ought to decide if you would like to proceed.

Clarify your goal

Actually, you may have many plans for your business; it may be short-term or long-term. Or, it may happen that you may not have any goals at all. As you have all the facts with you, you ought to define a distinct sense of purpose for your business, whether it may be long-term or short-term.

Ethical Decision Making Examples in Business

This guideline for the ethical decision-making process is essential. You can make it your mantra if anyone questions or challenges your moral choice, and you need to defend it. Meanwhile, a clear goal can be a motivating force to guide you in the path of finding a purpose to the ethical dilemma of the decision-making process of your business.  

Make your ethical decision

For making a moral decision, you should first try to recognize the ethical dilemma, then embark on a fact-finding goal, then be clear about what your goal is, then brainstorm the various options, consider the consequences, and finally make your ethical decision, and evaluate and adapt to the moral choices you made. 

Ethical Decision Making Examples in Business

For a lot of people, making ethical choices can initiate philosophical contemplations, which are perfectly alright. Suppose a person may find himself or herself reminding himself or herself the rule of, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Ethical dilemmas can be mentally tiring, but finally, you should find peace in your decision and keep yourself relaxed by getting the positive affirmation that you are doing the right thing. 

How to make effective decisions for your organization and its employees?

First, recognize the issue that requires to be solved or what you aim to accomplish as a result of your decision-making process. This process includes identifying the importance of the decision and the quantity of the effort and time to get it. The most efficient decision-making people know how to recognize which decisions are of the topmost priority and importance and which are not.

 Take a piece of paper and write down all the possible solutions. Also, write down the benefits and limitations of each key. If the decision you are about to make is of high importance, then note down the possibilities, along with their advantages and limitations.

If the decision is not of much priority, it will only be necessary to mentally review the decision-making process. It does not matter whether the first method works for you or the next one; you need to be sure that you have involved all the probabilities in the list and the advantages and disadvantages of each decision. 

Narrow down the list of probable remedies to only those that will solve the problem or attain the goal set up by you. While doing so, always try to keep in mind that the option for the decision-making process which you choose has very few negative consequences.

Therefore, when you lessen the list of remedies, remember their advantages and disadvantages also. If a choice of the solution has many or more significant benefits, then keep it. If a medication helps attain your goal but has a lot of negative impacts, then throw it out of the list.

Carry out your decision. By this method in decision-making, you have already got a clear idea of the possibilities, advantages, and disadvantages of each remedy.

By now, you would know which solution helps you go closer to your goal and achieve your goal, which solution will help you solve the ethical issues in your business, and which solution will have negative consequences.

Take your ethical decision with great confidence, and stick to it. Never deflect from your decision after you have decided it once. If it finally reveals itself as the wrong decision, then leave it behind and move on to consider a new solution. 

Examples of the ethical decision-making process in business

 Forum for confidential complaints: Organizations usually have policies that keep internal and external complaints secret within their organization. This limits office gossip, which may hurt morale and keeps any sensitive circumstances private.

An example of keeping a forum for lodging confidential complaints would be a harassment complaint one employee lodges against another. This needs an investigation and will affect someone’s job. Rumours could potentially increase things.

An employee making the proper ethical decision follows the worker handbook’s protocol for such complaints and refrains from gossiping with co-workers about it.

As a behaviourally based interview question, ask a recruit if he ever had a drag with a co-worker and how he handled the difficulty.

Playing by the same rules

People who follow the principles execute ethical behavior. This will sometimes get blurry within the office. Someone taking more breaks than the routine allows is not following the directions, and while this is not life-threatening or illegal, it does affect the team morale as others could resent the action.

There are many samples of big and tiny employee actions that demonstrate ethics. The worker who completes the training module on his own is making an ethical choice.

However, the one that does dangerous activity seen on the site of the workplace is being unethical. Following all rules and regulations is being ethical at work for your organization.

During an interview, ask a prospective hire to inform you of ways to handle things if he saw a co-worker stealing items supplied by the office from the storage room. This would tell you ways of how much rule-abiding he could be.

Open and honest communication

Ethical behavior tells us that some person (employee) is sincere and straightforward in official communications, whether written or oral. A salesman explaining future problems with the customer of a product is being honest.

A customer service representative taking account for failing to follow through with the action of work service is making an ethical decision. A manager taking responsibility for his team not meeting the deadline in work due to his lack of oversight is moral behavior.

During an interview, ask a recruit if he has ever felt the necessity to exaggerate about a product and thus the way he dealt with the sales conversation. Therefore, having open and honest communication is very important in the ethical decision-making process of a business. 

Responsible money handling

Money handling could be a fundamental and essential business ethics issue. From banks to restaurants, employees who don’t handle money properly put the corporate in danger.

While most of the employees are subject to creating mistakes, there are ways to ascertain whether or not the employees are making good and the right decisions from an ethical decision-making point of view regarding money handling. 

Ethical Decision Making Examples in Business

This might be the example of a cashier who runs out after a customer who forgot his change. Such examples depict the honesty of the employees of an organization when they deal with the business’s money with complete trust and effectively.

Another example is a waitress who double-checks the customer’s name on the master card and re-checks it with the diner before handing him or her bill and the card back.

When hiring, ask the candidate and prospective employee what he would do if he came to know that he finished a whole application package and forgot to possess the client sign the sales receipt.

There is a lovely article depicting the framework for ethical decision making in business. 


As the manager of your business, finding employees you’ll trust isn’t just a want, it’s an absolute need. Most people would want to believe that the person sitting within the office is moral and trustworthy.

But, business ethics are sometimes not as clearly defined as ethical behavior observed in the personal areas or maybe in some other areas of our lives. Recognizing the difference between what’s, and what’s not ethical behavior is the solution to training employees about your expectations about their behaviors and choices.

After identifying what the issue is, research the topic and try to understand your ethical dilemma in the decision-making process. Then brainstorm your solutions for the problem.

If you got ideas for about 8-9 answers, then narrow them down to 3-5 solutions and execute those solutions. For example, if you face any issue and think the remedy is to lay off the employees because the company is getting fewer profits then, then don’t do that. Instead of laying off the employees, ask them whether they would agree to take a pay-cut and convince them that they would get the average salary later on soon.

You may share your views or any queries on this topic in the comment box below. 

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