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Ethical Decision Making Process - Essay Example

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This paper "Ethical Decision Making Process" focuses on the fact that Jane Jones works for ABC Corporation, a U.S. based corporation and her work involves travelling internationally. In one of the travels, Jane experiences difficulties clearing with the customs. …
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Ethical Decision Making Process
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There are various courses of action that Jane could take. On one hand, she could choose to pay the customs agent $500 and have the customs process expedited faster. Secondly, Jane could choose to be honest and politely request for her case to be handled on first. The third option would involve being fair to everyone and standing in the queue to wait for her turn.
A careful evaluation of each option gives a clear picture of the consequences. In the first option, if Jane chooses to pay the customs agent, she would be committing an irregularity in light of the organizational rules and policies. Such a decision would raise economic, legal and ethical issues that may malign the name of the employer. From an economic standpoint, Jane would be able to earn $1 million to the firm and individual bonuses. Legally, corruption is illegal and punishable under the law and such an action would be illegal. The ethical issues related to corruption are unacceptable. The decision would be immoral.
If Jane chooses to be honest and politely request for her case to be handled first, there are no legal issues. Kindly asking people to allow her to move faster in the line makes no harm. From an ethical perspective, kindness and honesty are virtues commonly associated with good behaviour. The second choice is ethically acceptable. If her request is accepted, the economic benefits described in the first choice will be realized.
Thirdly, if Jane chooses to stand in the queue and wait for her turn, the economic benefits described for the first and second options would be lost. The employer would lose $1 million and Jane would not qualify for the bonus payments. The third option has no legal issues and is ethically sound. The action creates no harm to others and is consistent with the company policy of ‘being fair to others’.
The best alternative would be for Jane to politely and kindly request for her case to be handled first. The ethical intensity of the action prescribed for Jane takes into consideration factors such as the magnitude of consequences, probability of effect, the concentration of effect, social consensus, temporal immediacy, and proximity of effect (Williams, Champion, and Hall 69). The benefit in this option outweighs the costs. Based on the ethical principles of Least Harm, the hypothetical case does not provide Jane with a beneficial choice or decision. Schumann asserts that the principles of Least Harm apply in situations where neither choice is entirely beneficial (96). In addition, the decision is congruent with the ethical principles of Justice. The principle of Justice involves prescribing actions that are fair under extenuating circumstances (Schumann 102). Furthermore, decisions are based on deontological considerations. The deontological theory holds that individuals have obligations and responsibilities. Such obligations are clearly described in the case. Conclusively, the best decision would be for Jane to politely and kindly request for her case to be handled first by explaining it to people in front of the queue and the customs officials.
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