A set of values is utilized by all decision makers. These values play a very important role in ethical decision making. With the Enron fiasco and growing media importance of corruption in China, there is increasing pressure for ethical decision making. When managers are face with share holder pressures for results, there is always the thought of using unethical practices to enhance profits. The process behind ethical decision making, the organizational environment surrounding ethics and its influence on individual ethical decision making, is the purpose of this paper. Several inferences will be made about the process of ethical decision making, the organizational impact on individual’s ethics, and the potential uses resulting from the measuring of individual’s ethics in an organization. Finally there will be some conclusions drawn to illustrate how organizations can use the theories that measure an individual’s ethics to improve the ethical standards in their organization.
Impact of values on individual decision making
Generally, managerial decisions are ill-structured. Quantitative methods cannot be used in these situations. In this facet we can view the decision making process as an art rather than a science. In an organization problems are often ambiguously defined, data is missing or wrong, proper decision making tools are unavailable, and answers are impossible to check for correctness. In these situations managerial decision makers must use self referent tools for decision making.
Values are the basis of decision making behavior. Williams (1968) states that values are “the criteria or standard of preference”. A value is an enduring belief that a specific behavior or state of existence is preferable to the opposite behavior or state of existence (Rokeach, 1973). Selection of decisions results from the motivations, values, and attitudes of the decision maker and is specific to every