An ethical perspective is the lens an individual uses to view a problem. Each person has such a perspective, whether or not they realize it.

There are a variety of theories you can use when figuring out an ethical decision. Several ethical perspectives have been around for centuries, including utilitarianism, natural law, consideration of rights and justice, virtue ethics, and the idea of social contract.

Whatever perspective is used – or promoted within an organization – will ultimately shape how ethical decisions are reached.

Examples

Honoring multiple stakeholders without losing our moral grounding

Most people would agree that leaders are responsible for balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders. But knowing that, we are…

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How to let altruism be your guide

What is altruism? Put simply, it's the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness…

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Perspective is everything

The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes…

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Would you sacrifice one person to save five?

Imagine you're watching a runaway trolley barreling down the tracks, straight towards five workers. You happen to be standing next…

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Practical Guidance

Practically speaking: defining an ethical perspective

Nicole Zwieg Daly, J.D, Ed.D. Let's break this down into its two parts. First, let's define ethical or ethics. Ethics are the moral principles or values that govern an individual's behavior(s). Second, let's define perspective. A perspective is a person's particular attitude toward something or his/her unique point of view. Perspective can change everything. Think of it like this: An individual's perspective is like a pair of glasses he/she wears. The person views the world through those glasses each and every day. Now, let's add an accessory to the glasses, say it's a polarized tint for those sunny days. The…

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Rights and responsibilities between employer and employee

Everyone has heard stories of unethical managers who are unfair to their employees. This video from Gregg Learning provides the basics on how companies and managers can treat employees more ethically (and vice versa). Human resources professionals must help create a work environment that honors fairness, protects individual privacy, treats all workers with dignity and respect, while at the same time allowing the business to succeed. This video originally appeared on YouTube on Sept. 30, 2018. Used by kind permission of Gregg Learning. Please visit Gregg Learning on YouTube and Facebook.

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The ethics of online spin

The word "ask" in the question poses an interesting ethical conundrum. Q: Our company recently released a group of disgruntled employees who have since written negative reviews online. Is it appropriate to ask long-term employees to write about their more positive experiences? A: The short answer is that it would not be appropriate. We live in a world where the internet and social media present incredible opportunities to share positive, hopeful and impactful perspectives and information worldwide. At the same time, these platforms are utilized as a virtual soapbox to share negative, highly critical viewpoints and information. I recommend considering…

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