Ethical Decision Strategy for Entrepreneurs

As the world becomes more confused due to the ongoing pandemic the need for ethical business decisions is must. Corporation’s judgments can influence the world on an ever-larger range. The four steps of reasoning give some order and sense to a problem that can be too open to criticism. Having a clear method for ethical decisions pushes the bias and provides a smooth path to more vigorous business.

As an entrepreneur, the most uncomplicated way to lay out this method is to shorten it to four steps and three simple questions.

The four steps are:

  1. Interpret
  2. Estimate
  3. Determine
  4. Execute

The three questions for evaluation are:

  1. Are you treating others as you would want to be treated?
  2. Would you be comfortable if your reasoning and decision were to be publicized?
  3. Would you be comfortable if your children were observing you?

It can be compounded to balance the pressures of company growth and profit with decision making that benefit all and not just a few. As mentioned above, there are four main steps outlined in ethical decision making.

What complicates the situation even more is trying to ensure all within your company are operating with your ethical ideals in mind. By using the Josephson Institutes guidelines, one can begin to develop a standard for ethical decision making, and in turn, create a template for others to follow.

The first step is to illuminate what the decision is you are making? What are all of your options for solving the problem? Eliminate any of the illegal or infeasible options first. Then, decide on three ethically clear options. Examine them and decide what are the ethical principles involved in each of your options.

Next you will evaluate and see if any of the options require the sacrifice of any moral principles. Look at each option and decide what the benefits, burdens, and risks are to the company and consumers. Decide whether your evaluations are based on facts or beliefs, unsupported conclusions, or opinions. Determine if all sources for information are credible.

Once you thoroughly assess all of your options, it is time to decide what the best choices are going forward. Think about the remaining options based on your conscience. Prioritize your values so you can decide what of those choices to put forward and which to drop. Figure out who will benefit most, and who would be harmed the least from your choice. Think about the worst-case scenario and how to avoid it.

Once you have deeply analyzed all aspects of your options, made a decision, and set a direction, you will implement your choice. Implementation is best done by developing a plan on how to bring your decision into actualization and following through to the end.

The three questions are a quick analysis for how you feel about the choices you are probably making. By running through these and assessing your feelings to the answers, you can quickly ascertain if the decisions you are making feel like a bad innocent choice. It can lead to a red flag and allow you to slow down and study your possible choices further.

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