2 Discussion posts for reply

1
Discussion: Decision Making
            Throughout your career, you will face ethical and moral dilemmas frequently. Navigating decisions in the workplace in an ethical manner can often be stressful, especially when you rush to make a decision. Many people see ethics in a subjective manner, and they may not have the same outlook on what is right or wrong as you do. According to Reece & Reece (2016), ethics define behavior as right or wrong or where someone draws the line between right and wrong. This paper will discuss a time in my life when I faced a moral decision and made the wrong choice, the consequences of making an unethical decision, and three scriptures that could help a classmate if they were placed in a difficult unethical decision-making position.
           First, we will discuss a time in my life when I was faced with a moral decision and made the wrong choice. With my background as a human resources professional and extensive leadership experience, I have faced many ethical dilemmas in the workplace. Early in my human resources career, I was informed that the organization I was working for was planning for upcoming layoffs and organizational restructuring that was going to significantly impact my colleagues. I was told by executive leadership approximately one week prior to announcing the layoffs. Organizational leaders had already slated a list of employees that were going to remain at the organization, and many of the employees were poor performing. Many high-performing employees were being terminated without a severance package, and a few of those high-performing employees had been up for promotion right before this decision. I faced an ethical dilemma of deciding whether to maintain confidentiality, as required by my role or to disclose this information to my colleagues to help them prepare for potential job changes. After weighing on what is right or wrong, I chose to share the information.
          My decision to break confidentiality was driven by different things, but primarily emotions. Reflecting on the situation, I feel that my main driver for sharing the information was that I knew that leadership was keeping employees who had recently been disciplined versus high-performing employees. The decisions were made based on personal feelings and favoritism. Also, throughout my personal and professional life I have struggled with navigating ambiguous situations. Often, managing ambiguity has been part of my professional development plan. Managing ambiguity is operating effectively, even when things are unclear and there isn’t a clear path forward (Lombardo, 2014). Taking into account my struggle with managing ambiguous situations, I became fixated on how the employees who were being terminated from the organization were going to navigate this with such short notice and the amount of stress that they were going to be under. I felt the right thing to do would be to give them the information ahead of time.
        Next, we will discuss the consequences I faced after making the wrong decision. According to Stanley et al. (2022), employees’ judgment, decisions, and actions, especially in moral dilemmas, can have a significant impact on themselves, others, and the organization. In the beginning, my immediate supervisor was highly upset with me. I was confronted about sharing the information, and I was honest about it. My supervisor could not understand why I shared the information and did not see it as a moral situation. He saw the situation as a breach of confidentiality, black and white. He wasn’t wrong; however, after explaining my personal dilemma, he did have a better understanding as to why I shared.
        I was not formally disciplined for the breach of confidentiality, but looking back, I feel that I should have been. My rush to help others led to making a decision that violated professional ethics and organizational policies. Ultimately, it resulted in my supervisor losing trust in me, and it took me a long amount of time to regain his trust. As a human resource professional, maintaining confidentiality is crucial for building and keeping trust in both directions up the latter. Another consequence of my decision was that although I intended to help colleagues by informing them of the job changes, disclosing this information early resulted in panic and anxiety and led to disruption in the workplace environment.
        On a personal level, this decision led to moral and ethical internal conflict. A part of myself felt justified in my decision to try to help my colleagues, but the other part of me struggled with the guilt and stress of having violated professional ethics and responsibilities. The internal battle I was having led to stress, anxiety, and questioning if my moral compass was broken.
        Next, we will discuss scriptures that my classmates could seek guidance with when facing a difficult, unethical decision-making position. When someone is facing ethical dilemmas, scripture can offer us guidance and comfort during challenging times. There are several verses that provide insights into ethical and moral decision-making and offer guidance in both personal and professional situations.
        Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” (English Standard Version Student Study Bible, 2001/2015, Proverbs 11:3). Integrity plays a large role in ethical decision-making. This scripture can be helpful in providing guidance in unethical challenges. Integrity creates a consistent structure for decision-making that does not fluctuate based on circumstances. This consistency can reduce the ambiguity that often comes with complex decisions, making it easier to choose the right course of action based on your ethical principles rather than situational pressures and stress. Duplicity, or being deceitful, is acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same situation. This verse in Proverbs reminds us of the destructiveness that comes with acting with duplicity in situations. For example, this can lead to a lack of trust among your team members and superiors. Proverbs 11:3 is a reminder to encourage a culture of integrity in the workplace.
         Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (English Standard Version Student Study Bible, 2001/2015, Micah 6:8). This verse in Micah gives us guidance on ensuring we include humility into ethical decision-making, especially in the workplace. Most workplaces require a strict adherence to rules; however, operating with mercy and humility allows for flexibility and compassion in the decision-making process. Organizational leaders must recognize that rigid enforcement of rules can sometimes lead to unfair outcomes, especially in situations that might require a deviation from the norm. Rules are in place for a reason; however, factoring in unforeseen circumstances or personal circumstances in disciplinary actions can lead to being more supportive in the workplace. For human resource professionals, implementing humility in decisions and providing employees with grace could mean implementing progressive discipline processes that make space for coaching and developing employees before more severe disciplinary actions are considered. Implementing transparent decision-making processes where decisions are explained with openness and honesty can promote humility and ethical behavior in the workplace.
          Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (English Standard Version Student Study Bible, 2001/2015, Proverbs 3:5-6). This verse provides a great example of the role of divine guidance in ethical decision-making. On some occasions, people may become engrossed in their personal perspectives, which can limit their ability to see ethical issues clearly. When you place trust in a higher power, this encourages being open to broader viewpoints that consider long-term impacts and the well-being of all people involved. In addition, personal biases can cloud judgment and lead to unethical behavior and decisions. By seeking guidance and challenging personal biases, you can make more fair and balanced decisions. Humility and integrity are key attributes that this verse explains. By consistently aligning your actions with a higher ethical standard, you can demonstrate integrity. Being consistent in your beliefs and actions can build trust and respect among colleagues and other workplace relationships.
           In conclusion, throughout your career, you will encounter ethical and moral dilemmas that require decision-making. This discussion shows the significant influence that ethical and moral guidelines, such as those found in scripture, can have on your choices. Facing these dilemmas under pressure or time restraints and without a clear vision of ethical norms can make the decision-making process complicated. Scriptures such as Proverbs 11:3, Micah 6:8, and Proverbs 3:5-6 offer guidance that advocates for integrity while balancing humility and mercy to navigate decision-making. These attributes not only support making morally sound decisions but will also foster a culture of ethical behavior within the workplace. By leaning on these values, you can navigate complex issues more effectively.

References
English Standard Version Student Study Bible. (2015). Crossway English Standard Version.   https://www.esv.org/ Links to an external site.  (Original work published 2001)
Lombardo, M. M. (2014). Fyi: For your improvement – competencies development guide, 6th edition (5th or later ed.). amazon.com.
Reece, B., & Reece, M. (2016). Effective human relations: Interpersonal and organizational applications (13th ed.). Cengage Learning.
Stanley, M. L., Neck, C. B., & Neck, C. P. (2022). Moral recognition for workplace offenses underlies the punitive responses of managers: A functional theoretical approach to morality and punishment. Ethics & Behavior, 33(6), 505–528.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10508422.2022.2097081 Links to an external site.

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