Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
What is Ethics?
Ethics incorporates the study of principles of good conduct and systems of moral values. It is known as standards of right and wrong that details what humans should do in terms of fairness, obligations, and benefits to society.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers. When it comes to law enforcement, there are many ethical dilemmas that present itself during the course of routine policing.
Through the process of repetition, tasks that once required a complex decision, have now become so routine that little to no thought is put into the outcome of it all. This in turn had led to numerous cases of ethical misconduct and unprofessional behavior amongst law enforcement thus requiring more ethical training and a second look into the ethical decision making process.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
The Four Component Model
Making ethical decisions can be a lengthy process that can be an individual effort or one that involves people from all different levels. In order for an ethical decision making process to be effective, four main components must be considered. James Rest, who was an American psychologist during the 1980âs, specialized in these four components and developed a model that examined the ethical decision making process. His first component of the decision making model is awareness, in which the person faced with the decision, identifies a situational dilemma that is ethical in nature (Rest, 1986). He proposed that the key player or players involved need to be knowledgeable on the issue requiring attention and recognize that an ethical situation exist. This process sets the tone for the rest of the decision making process by gauging everyoneâs feeling towards the situation. Understanding the seriousness of ethical dilemmas is very important when trying to streamline a process. Ensuring everyone on the decision making team is knowledgeable on the task at hand should be the first priority in order to understand why this process needs to take place. Based off of Restâs model, the second component of his ethical decision making process is judgment and deals with taking into consideration the best course of action needed to justify the situation. Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers. This process involves identify the different options needed to address the current situation at hand. In addition this step also requires reasoning through potential consequences to determine which one will have the better outcome. The third component in Restâs model is motivation. In order for the players involved to stay motivated everyone needs to have a positive and accepting attitude toward the lengthy process. Ethical decisions and situations can be a very sensitive topic and without positive energy, the individual thought process and or team dynamics can be hindered. The final component in Rests model is ethical action and involves determining the best way to implement the chosen decision and having the ability and confidence to execute it to completion.
Reflective vs Reactive Thinking
In addition to the knowledge and attitude factors, two types of thinking also need to be discusses during the decision making process. The two types of thinking are reactive and reflective. Reactive thinking involves the uses of trial and error, situational cues, and memory to come to a resolution when situations are familiar and quick thinking is required. These are usually the judgments calls that people make every day. When it comes to ethical situation, this type of thinking encourages superficial responses and can often lead to incident driven policing.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Ethical decision making policies are put in place to instruct law enforcement officers how to be less reactive and more proactive, preventing crime and disorder with community-based problem-solving strategies (Ortmeier, 2009). The reflective style of thinking on the other hand is more ideal when it comes to making ethical decisions. This style if thinking involves the use of critical thinking in unfamiliar situations, when planning and more comprehensive consideration is crucial. Reflective thinking encourages logical and rational decisions while reducing the probability of dangerous errors in judgment. Both methods of thinking are important when making decisions, however it is important to differentiate when one style would be better to use as oppose to the other.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Alternative Ethical Decision Making Processes
When it comes to decision making processes specific to law enforcement, there arenât very many. However one of the most popular models used by law enforcement is the SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment) model. This model was one of the first well-documented large-scale demonstration projects introducing Problem Oriented Policing in the United States (Sidebottom, 2011). This model, unlike others, focus on the root causes of crime as oppose to traditional service calls. Often, during routine policing, officers are face with situations when ethical dilemma may come into play. Not always having other officers to rely on, quick thinking and problem solving will need to be an individual effort.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Scanning, which is the first step in this SARA model process, deals with identifying and prioritizing, recurring problems and the associated consequences, confirming that a problem exist and then developing goals for corrective action. During this process, law enforcement personnel are interacting with the people in the community and trying to get a better understanding of the current issues that may be present. Ethical decision making comes into play during this step by forcing officers to investigate all matters and not turn a blind eye to situation they may feel is not as important. The second step in the SARA model process is Analysis. During this stage law enforcement officers are focusing on identifying and understanding the events causing the issue, identifying relevant information needing further research, figuring out how the problem is currently being addressed if at all, narrowing the specific of the problem as close as possible, and seeking out any additional resources that may assist with understanding the problem. During this stage law enforcement are investigating problems and determining whether or not they warrant further attention. Response is the third stage of the SARA model and involves brainstorming for new ways to handle the problem, comparing the issues other communities have, outlining a response plan and identifying responsible parties and carrying out the planned activities. During this stage, law enforcement search for different solutions and then implementing the one with the better outcome. The final stage in the SARA model is Assessment. This is the stage where the qualitative and quantitative data is collected and deciding whether or not goals and specific objectives were attained (www.njlawman.com).Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
The interesting thing about the SARA model is how closely it relates to the Four Component Model. Each of the four components mirrors the four SARA stages in almost the exact order. Both the scanning and awareness stage involves gathering enough information about a subject to realize there is an issue that needs to be addresses. The judgement and analysis stage both require investigation into the issues and figuring the best approach to the next step which is the response and motivation phase. This third stage is the bridge between the investigation and implementation stage and in the final stages both assessment and action involve carrying out the mission to completion.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
The Fish Bowl Profession
Of all the professions that exist, the one that seem to be surrounded the most by scandals is that of law enforcement field. This is mainly due in party by the fact that police officers are held to a higher standard than most other professions and are constantly being scrutinized by the public everyday whether or not they are on duty or off. The fact that ethical issues are so apparent within law enforcement should suggest the people who occupy these positions are only human and often make difficult choices like everyone else. What the society should realize is that ethics is a learned behavior that is molded by good leadership and personal experience and not every decision that is made is an easy one.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Paul comes to an agency with many difficulties and anxieties, one which is his antipathy toward interracial marriage. He expresses disappointment in his daughter and in himself as a father because of her engagement to a man of another race. Paul has gone as far as threatening to disinherit her if she marries this man. What the client does not know is that the social worker is in an interracial marriage as well. The therapist says she is willing to work with him but discloses that she herself is in an interracial marriage. Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
During the initial interview with the client the therapist expresses that she her self is in an interracial relationship. The correspondence between an individual’s values and the values of an …show more content… Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Paul comes to an agency with many difficulties and anxieties, one which is his antipathy toward interracial marriage. He expresses disappointment in his daughter and in himself as a father because of her engagement to a man of another race. Paul has gone as far as threatening to disinherit her if she marries this man. What the client does not know is that the social worker is in an interracial marriage as well. The therapist says she is willing to work with him but discloses that she herself is in an interracial marriage.
During the initial interview with the client the therapist expresses that she her self is in an interracial relationship. The correspondence between an individual’s values and the values of an organization can be called “person-organizational fit” or “congruence” ( Elango et al., 2010). The therapist expresses a part of her values when she states she is in an interracial relationship and asks if the client would still like her help. The therapist is fully disclosing in formation that might or might not determine a bad outcome. At all times the therapist must not engage in personal feelings towards the client.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Generally, ethics is defined as standards of performance that explains how human beings should opt to react during many circumstances in which they meet with friends, citizens, parents, teachers, children, professionals, and businesspeople among others. However, ethics is different from feelings, as feelings make significant information’s available for our ethical preferences. Although some people posses highly mature behaviors that formulate them to feel awful when they get involved in the wrongdoings, most of the people normally enjoy doing bad things.
And frequently people will feel uncomfortable when they are mandated to decide on difficult decisions. For instance, the ethical options the …show more content… Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Thereafter, I will embark on deploying my effort to alert the fire department and EMS and engaging other relevant bodies in order for them to come on time and help in freeing the man, saving the woman and protecting the five children. Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Arriving at the decisions
Depending on the result and the reaction of the rescuers contacted within a few seconds, for instance, if the air rescuers are not available or they can not make it within the scheduled time, and optionally the navy officers are also not available, I will be forced to sacrifice one life by running over the man on the road and significantly saving the six lives due to perish on the beach, but only if I will make it on time based on my approximation. This decision will minimally go against the ethical approach of handling calamities, because better six lives that one. And if the other emergency units react positively, I will, therefore have to embark on saving the stuck man (Oliver, 2010).
The value of the logics behind the decision Ethical standards are identified based on the respective ethics and how the standards are deployed into the respective circumstances people face in life.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
The word Ethics is closely linked to words such as good, moral and
proper. Ethics elucidate how a conscientious person should behave by
providing a way to choose between competing options. Ethics basically
pertain to well based standards of being equitable or impartial, i.e. what
humans ought to do in terms of obligations, benefits to society, fairness
or specific virtues. Decisions that are based on Ethics provide the pathway
for evaluating options more carefully. Ethical decision making does not
only emphasize on the doctrine based on the importance of ethics but it
also emphasizes on ethical sensitivity to implication of options, the
competence to appraise convoluted, equivocal and inadequate facts and the
ability to implement ethical decisions effectively.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Ethical decision making requires the ability of putting principles
into action. Congruity between what we say we value and what our actions
say we value is a matter of honor ability. Values are interpreted into
principles so that they can be the best guidance for good ethical conduct.
Ethical principles are the rules of conduct that are derived from ethical
values. For example, honesty is a value that governs behavior in the form
of principles such as, tell the truth, do not deceive, be candid, do not
cheat. In this manner, values give birth to standards of conduct in the
form of specific do’s and don’ts (Making Sense Of Ethics, Josephine
While making decisions, it is extremely important to realize that the
choices we make are to an extent, described greatly by our words, conduct
and actions. Good ethical decisions are greatly based on the following two
1. We possess the ability to decide what we do and what we say and
2. We are ethically accountable for the outcome of our decision (Groundwork
For Making Effective Decision, Josephine Institute Of Ethics).
How do we make ethical decisions? James Rest, a well-known cognitive-developmental researcher, developed a model of ethical behavior that is based on the presumption that there are four steps in moral development that lead to ethical action. Rest asserted that ethical actions are not the outcome of a single, unitary decision process, but result from a combination of cognitive structures and psychological processes. The four-component model describes the cognitive processes that individuals use in ethical decision making; that is, it depicts how an individual first identifies an ethical dilemma and then continues by applying moral judgment, engage moral motivation, and act ethically to carry out moral intent with moral action. Each component of the model must be present before the moral action will be undertaken.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Rest built his four-component model by working backward. He started with the end product — to take ethical action — and then determined the steps that produce such behavior. He concluded that ethical action is the result of four psychological processes: (1) moral sensitivity (recognition), (2) moral judgment (reasoning), (3) moral focus (motivation), and (4) moral character (action).
The first step in moral behavior requires that the individual interpret the situation as moral. The simplest way is to apply The Golden Rule. In other words, whenever your actions affect others moral issues exist. Absent the ability to recognize that one’s actions affect the welfare of others, it would be virtually impossible to make the most ethical decision when faced with a moral dilemma. A useful perspective is to identify the stakeholders – internal and external parties – and how they could be affected by your action.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
An individual’s ethical cognition of what “ideally” ought to be done to resolve an ethical dilemma is called prescriptive reasoning. The outcome of ethical reasoning is the ability to make an ethical judgment of the ideal solution to an ethical dilemma. Once a person is aware of possible lines of action and how people would be affected by the alternatives, a process aided by the philosophical reasoning methods, a judgment must be made about which course of action is more morally justifiable (which alternative provides the best outcomes/respects the rights of others/gives each person what they deserve).Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
After concluding what course of action is best, decision makers must be focused on taking the moral action and following through with ethical behavior. Absent ethical intent or the motivation to take the next step, ethical decision-making is not likely to occur. It’s one thing to know what moral reasoning methods direct a person to do, it’s quite another to do it. An individual’s ethical motivation influences his/her intention to comply or not comply with ethical judgment in the resolution of an ethical dilemma.
Individuals do not always behave in accordance with their ethical intention. An individual’s intention to act ethically and his/her ethical actions may not be aligned because of pressures or biases that influence decision making. Individuals with strong ethical character will be more likely to carry out their ethical intentions with ethical action than individuals with a weak ethical character because they are better able to withstand pressures from those within an organization. For example, imagine considering blowing the whistle on your superior who stole money from the organization. The internal pressure is likely to create significant conflict between what you know the right thing to do is and actually doing it.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
One limitation of the philosophical reasoning methods is how we think we should behave is different from how we decide to behave. This creates a problem of cognitive dissonance, a term first coined by Leon Festinger in 1956. The inconsistency between our thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes and our behavior creates the need to resolve contradictory or conflicting beliefs, values, and perceptions. We either adjust our beliefs to fit our behavior, which is not the desired outcome, or we change our behavior to fit our beliefs, the normal and preferred relationship. A strong set of ethical values provides the inner strength to act in accordance with our beliefs in the face of conflicting pressures. We need moral courage to inform higher-ups about our superior’s unethical action – at least we should try to right the wrong.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
The four components of Rest’s model are processes that must take place for moral behavior to occur. Rest does not offer the framework as a linear decision-making model, suggesting instead that the components interact through a complicated sequence of “feed-back” and “feed-forward” loops. An individual who demonstrates adequacy in one component may not necessarily be adequate in another, and moral failure can occur when there is a deficiency in any one component. For example, an individual who knows the superior’s action was wrong (moral focus) may not have the requisite moral reasoning skills (judgment) to do what is necessary.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers. 
Ethical decision making is the heart of being an ethical person. It doesn’t come intuitively for most people, which is why a model such as Rest’s is so important. It provides a roadway to get from identifying an ethical issue to taking ethical action. All readers serious about being an ethical person can benefit from studying his model.
The term often used to describe the system or principles by which we choose right from wrong is ethics. Conflicts in ethics arise when one person or a group of people impede the beliefs of another person or group of people. It would not be possible to decide who is right or wrong when a conflict arises, but it is our moral responsibility to resolve the dilemmas to the best of our ability. This paper is going to explore the topic of ethical decision-making and establish ground rules for the process and analyze possible ethical implications that may arise.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
What are the ground rules?
Making an ethical decision, at times, can be extremely difficult, as emotions tend to hinder ones judgment. For example, if a husband came upon his wife being beat to death, his first impulse would likely be to bring as much pain to the attacker as the attacker brought to his wife. On the other hand, the husband would know that would not be the ethical thing to do. For that reason, the process of making an ethical decision should be similar to making a normal decision. There are five possible steps that can be taken in order to ensure an ethical and reasonable decision.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
The first step is to clarify the issue and determine precisely what must be decided. This involves gathering as much information as possible and clearly recognizing the problem. At this step, one should be forced to develop at least three ethically justifiable options and determine which ethical principles and values are involved (Five Steps, 2001).
The next step is to evaluate the issue. Evaluation involves exploring the options created in step one and realizing if they require the sacrifice of any ethical principle. Evaluation would also involve deciphering facts from beliefs and theories, or past experiences. When a person is emotionally involved, as the man was in the example above, all commonsense tends to fade. The evaluation step forces a person to ensure they are not allowing their emotions to get involved and they are purely making their decision based on facts (Five Steps, 2001).Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
The third step in the decision-making process is to decide what is or is not true and to make a judgment regarding what consequences are most likely to occur. At this stage, if an ethical dilemma was discovered, this is the time to evaluate the alternatives of each option and decide which would be the most ethical. For example, for the man in the example, the most ethical decision would be to restrain the man and free his wife and then call the authorities and let them handle punishing the man. It would not be to take the law into his own hands and punish the man himself, even though that is mostly like what he wants to do (Five Steps, 2001).Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
At this third step, it is important to incorporate the three “ethic guides” when trying to make a decision. The first guide is the golden rule, which believes that a person should treat others as they would want to be treated. The second guide is publicity. A person would need to consider how they would feel if their decision were presented to the public. Finally, the third guide is called the “kid on your-shoulder.” This forces the person to imagine following through with their decision with their children watching (Five Steps, 2001).
The fourth step in the decision-making process is developing a plan to implement the decision. If all the steps above have been followed properly, this step should be relatively easy since all the ethical risks have already been established. Finally, the fifth step is to monitor the effects of the decision. This involves being willing to change their decision if it appears their first choice is not successful. This is a constant process until the issue has been resolved (Five Steps, 2001).Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
What could the ground rules be?
Ethical decision-making is something that varies from person to person. Not everyone has the same beliefs of what is right and wrong. Some people believe the death penalty is inhumane and cruel while others believe it’s justice. Who is to say which person is right or wrong? No one can since ground rules and ethical behavior are subjective. The ground rules explained above are broad enough as to not force a person to overrule their own beliefs, however it is enough to make them realize, at least to them, what is right and wrong in any given situation.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
What should the ground rules be?
Deciding what should the ground rules be is also subjective. Each individual is going to have their own feedback and decisions on how ethical decisions should be made. I believe the best way to improve on the decision-making process would be to involve others. Even if a person follows the ground rules mentioned above, there is still going to be emotion involved. If a person could ask for another point of view, they might learn or think of something they hadn’t before. For example, going back to the man who found his wife being beat, if there were another person present at the time, that person could help reason with the husband and realize the unethical aspect of what he wanted to do to the man. I know when I have a difficult decision to make that involves ethics I immediately involve another person. I am able to realize that I am too emotional about the situation and cannot make a reasonable decision on my own. Therefore, that is how I believe the ground rules should be changed.
What are the ethical implications of the decision?
The fifth step in the decision-making process is to monitor and modify the decision if any problems arise. This will allow the person who made the decision to either live with the implications or select another solution. If they stay with their first option, even if there are implications, at least the person can be sure they followed the steps, weighed all of the options, and this is the most appropriate solution for the issue. Making a decision not only involves implementing it, but also living with the outcome.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
Ethical norms and principles have developed over time and across all different cultures (Shanks, 1997). People have been raised to weigh the difference between right and wrong when making a decision. Therefore, I believe people utilize the ground rules described above without even realizing it. That leads me to believe that ethical decision-making is an innate trait for most people, and something they make the most of on a regular basis. The sad reality is not all people have these skills or even have the ability to understand the difference between right and wrong. The challenge for us would be to share our knowledge, help others to learn the ground rules of ethical decision-making; and maybe, just maybe, our world would become a little safer.Ethical Decision Making Process Assignment Papers.
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