Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ethics thoughts:

all first year's in the BYU MBA Program have to take a course on ethics. The book I'm reading has some thought provoking questions at the end, so I thought I'd just type my answers to those here. I don't think I'll need them in class tomorrow, but maybe and this will help me remember.

  1. Before did you think ethics was a fad? why/why not? Now? w/wn? No I didn't, there's been lot's of examples in the past of ethics being an issue. This brought some big ones to light that I hadn't thought of, but they were definitely there. Even Jesus being forced to be crucified was an ethical lapse (he wasn't guilty of anything and many knew it) of many leaders

    I still don't think its a fad. Clearly at present there are problems and people's lives ruined in the last few years. I had never thought of good ethics before and I'm glad to see many are practicing that.
  2. Have you been cynical about business & its leaders? w/wn? How does cynicism affect you as a business student? I've been cynical about many things based on this. I used to feel that way about democrats; I currently feel cynical about Shawn Hannity. I haven't been too worked about about business though. I consider people to be more sloppy than unethical. Unfortunately this book has proven that such slopiness can lead to unethical behavior.

    I don't think it does affect me too much. I worry more about liking where I live and not working too many hours.
  3. What if no consensus for what ethical behavior is? This is difficult, I learned that with other missionaries while I was serving in a very rule-less mission in Tokyo. I don't have a good answer here, I better pay attention tomorrow. This is really difficult because I tend to be conservative with what is ok and its hard when you see others doing things you want to, but feel its unethical for you to.
  4. What's something legal but unethical or vice-versa? I've thought long and hard, and I've come up with a few ideas. The only I can think of is that lieing is in many situations legal (thought in many its not as well), but most the time it will be unethical.
  5. What's a situation where the 'right' answer just wasn't obvious? I did some consulting on software I used at my main job. Some things I'd program would be needed by both organizations. Splitting time between the 2 wasn't real easy. So should I do the same work twice? Or be paid for 1 instance of work twice? Something else? My main employer was agreeable to doing outside work like this, so the consulting wasn't the dilemma and either answer probably could have been defended. Also it was encouraged to share work with organizations it was a strong community, so the 3rd options was to just do it at my main place of work and then share.
  6. Should business ethic be taught? w/wn? I think going over scenarios has as much value as a case study. You experience the decision in the shoes of the person going through it. Making and analyzing decisions in a wide variety of scenarios will allow me to better understand the thought processes and impacts I should be concerned with.

    This will help me to practice the 3 steps of: Moral awareness -> Moral Judgement -> Ethical Behavior. Many times I haven't even been aware I've been facing an ethical dilemma.