Ethical dilemma examples
Part I. Identify and summarize a real-life ethical/moral dilemma.
My field is Information Technology. My dilemma is where I had to make a decision between two options. These options were responsibilities in reference to my job as the chairman of the Executive Administration department at the university and my role as a father. I made a commitment to attend an awards dinner organized by one of the leading employers of information technology graduates. On the eve of the awards dinner, I learned that my son was having his long-awaited price-giving ceremony the same night. My son had forgotten to tell me the date and time. I guess he was too excited. Should I attend the awards dinner (X), or my son’s price giving ceremony (Y)?
On one hand, the sponsors had already catered for the dinner as their show of good faith and interest in the program that had seen the best students being absorbed in the company immediately after graduation. Failure to attend this event would, therefore, upset the sponsors in light of their devotion and commitment to the program. Consequently, this would most probably put the relationship that we had worked so hard to build and maintain in jeopardy. The company had mentored and hired numerous graduates over the past and vowed to continue with the recruitment plan. This dinner was an affirmation of their continued support in future. As the chairman of the program at the University, my absence would be viewed as an act of ungratefulness. On the other hand, I really wanted to attend my son’s ceremony and celebrate his accomplishments. He had put in a lot of effort and sacrifices to excel. What’s more, he really wanted me to be there.
This scenario depicts how a dilemma could arise as it puts me at ethical crossroads making it difficult for me to make an ethical consideration and arrive at a plausible conclusion. Here, my professional responsibilities are colliding with my personal responsibilities and values.
This scenario is an ethical dilemma because I am obliged to pick one out of two options neither of which provides a plausible ethical solution. Every organization if founded upon the constructs of ethics framework. Such an ethics framework enables the institution to uphold the values and the significance of integrating ethics into the daily activities as they endeavor to achieve set objectives at all levels. Be that as it may, scenarios like this, lead to dilemmas that necessitate climate assessment, code creation, succinct evaluation, and comprehensive communication strategies. Such scenarios create a situation where professional responsibilities diverge from personal values as depicted by the dilemma above (Strawser, 2010).
It is a right vs right dilemma because the alternatives available to me have conflicting virtues and responsibilities. As the chairman, it is my responsibility to fulfill my promise and attend the awards dinner. Supporting my son is also my responsibility as a father. In so doing, I cannot avoid disappointing one party. Fulfilling one responsibility is a failure to fulfill the other.
Part II. Values at work in this dilemma
Two non-moral values important in this dilemma are reputation and serenity. Failure to attend the awards dinner would affect my reputation and perception. The sponsors expect me to keep my promise and grace the occasion with my presence as a sign of commitment. In addition, reputation is connected to the other non-moral value, serenity, in that I derive tranquility in fulfilling my promises and supporting my son. Knowing that I was there for him enhances serenity.
The significant moral values in this dilemma are responsibility and integrity. Responsibility is an imperative moral value because it defines my moral obligations. I am morally obliged to achieve goodness through my actions and decision. Integrity is also important because it defines the straightforwardness of my conduct both at and outside work.
Part III. Ethical theories and this ethical dilemma.
Virtue theories in support of X.
Numerous philosophers perceive morality as a school of succinct rules of conduct. Thus, comprehension of these rules ensures that one’s actions are up to the rules. Be that as it may, virtue ethics puts less accentuation on learning rules and rather focuses on the significance of growing good habits of character. Virtue ethics is one of the most seasoned regulating customs in Western philosophy, having its underlying foundations in antiquated Greek human advancement. Aristotle argued virtues are comprehensive good habits, upon which our emotions are founded upon. As a result, attending the awards dinner is founded on the constructs of virtue ethics.
Ethics of care in support of Y
Succinctly, care ethics are based on what makes actions morally right or wrong. Application of this theory facilitates the visualization and analysis of actions through a moral compass. This theory advances the significance of response. The move in a good point of view is illustrated by an adjustment in the ethical question from "what is just?" to "how to respond?" Ethics of care reprimand utilization of all-inclusive principles as "ethically hazardous, since it breeds moral visual deficiency or indifference. An analysis of the dilemma through these constructs, therefore, justify my attendance of my son’s ceremony as opposed to the awards dinner.
Part IV. Relevant facts for this ethical dilemma
1.Which strategy will do most good and less harm?
2.Which of the two options best serves others' rights, including shareholders' rights?
3.What plan would I be able to live with, which is predictable with essential qualities and duties?
4.Which strategy is achievable in the world as it is?
Subsequently, these questions focus on consequences, rights, conscience, and values, as well as pragmatism. Moral decisions are those that yield most good to a maximum number of people.
Part V. Invented cases and consistency.
This scenario depicts a dilemma with conflicting values. A similar case that exhibits a synonymous conflict of values is the case of a student who is unable to go home due to her father’s acts of violence and alcoholism. Due to lack of external support, the dean assumes the responsibility for the student’s welfare against her father’s approval. Here, there is a professional and personal dilemma. The dean is not legally obliged to take any action but he feels personally responsible. As a result, the key forces in this context include personal ethics, organizational constructs, and public interest.
Moral dilemma scenarios
Part VI. Integrating values
Splitting the difference: integration of these values necessitates splitting the difference, a concept that encompasses succinct evaluation of the underlying values. It may be important to strengthen the relationship between the program and the sponsoring company to prevent the occurrence of such a dilemma in the future. A stronger bond would not be jeopardized by the chairman’s absence in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Dovetailing: values of integrity and responsibility are compatible in that they guide our moral obligations. It is important to meet all our responsibilities both at and off work. By combining these two values, it then becomes possible to meet our moral obligations with ease and prevent the occurrence of similar scenarios in future.
Part VII. Creative problem-solving.
The first method is exotic associations that encompass two chief concepts; ‘sources’ and ‘emerge.’
Sources incorporate an array of activities and factors that would facilitate the problem-solving process. For instance, it is important to take a gander at the sources of information such as previous meetings, events, school ceremonies, and so on. In so doing, I would be in a better position to gather adequate information and draw plausible conclusions or rather arrive at a best-case scenario from the dilemma.
The second method of creative problem-solving is seeking the full picture. As a result, it becomes possible to view the scenario from the full picture. In this case, to see the full picture, it is necessary to visualize my family’s situation as well as the well-being of the program. The fuller description brings the family into the picture which opens up new avenue solutions that would not have been possible before. All stakeholders involved must be taken into account.
Part VIII. Reframing the problems.
Preventive thinking may point out the root cause of the dilemma to be my son’s failure to mention the dates to me. But what if I had that bit of information before? There is still a likelihood of the dilemma because I might not have been in a position to change the dates on either event. But could I have confirmed my attendance to the awards dinner if I knew that my son’s price giving ceremony was on the same day?
Part IX. Resolution of the dilemma.
This moral dilemma must be resolved through balancing acts. To achieve this, choices and activities must meet, as well as they can. In this case, there is no win-win solution. Life does not accompany an assurance that great expectations, diligent work, creative ability, and far-sightedness will transform every single good difficulty into glad results that fulfill the ethical cases of all gatherings. The best method for solving this dilemma may inevitably include some infringement of responsibilities, harmful outcomes, or it might extremely test a feeling of integrity. There are contrasting schools of thought on the constructs of responsibility, integrity, and open-mindedness.
Be that as it may, I chose to attend the awards dinner at the expense of my son’s price giving ceremony. This is a preferable solution because there is more at stake at the dinner event. Not to demean my son’s ceremony; it is a big milestone for him and our family. It is imperative for me to be there for him but after a thorough analysis, I arrived at this decision.
Strawser, M. (2010). Creative Case Studies in Ethics. Teaching Ethics, 107-120.
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