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Ethics or Morality: Which Should Prevail in Professional

Judgement
Author/s: Shanthy Ayezza C. Garcia
Rizal Technological University, Mandaluyong, Philippines
shanthychuagarcia@gmail.com

Abstract: Each field of profession has their own set of standards that was taught in tertiary schools so there will be no
problem in fulfilling the role of that job. These standards sometimes overlap with an individual’s personal
beliefs because the world is so diverse to have such a small number of principles that one can apply to their
lives but sometimes it clashes. This paper is the result of facts the researcher has found over articles, studies,
and blogs pertaining to how an individual should properly use his professional judgement. Ethics and Morals
are two terms with alike meanings but different application that an individual should know to use
appropriately. In this case, ethics has shown that it is more likely to prevail in professional judgement than
morality.
Keywords: Ethics, Morality, Ethics versus Morality, Professional Judgement, Code of Ethical Conduct, Standards, Ethical
Judgement, Principles, Decision-Making, Ethical Dilemmas

INTRODUCTION
Morals and Ethics are words used to define which is right from wrong or good from bad. While some
people sometimes used these words interchangeably, the two words have different meanings and different
situations where they can be suitable for usage.
Morals or morality dives deeper with personal beliefs. It refers with what the person has grew up believing
or has been accustomed to or an individual’s own principles regarding what is right and wrong whether it
was shaped by the individual’s environment or what has been told through relationships. On the other hand,
a Greek word ethikos which then transformed as Ethics (Velasquez et al. 2010) does not need to be moral
for it was just a set of rules to follow created by the organization an individual is involved with. It digs more
on professional acts on respective fields so that members of these groups stay out of any troubles.
Professional Judgement is defined (Ionela 2016) as the application of the gained knowledge and training in
a specific field and making use of ethical standards to come up with appropriate decisions or results in
circumstances that calls for it.

1.1 DIFFERENCE OF ETHICS AND MORALITY


Ethics and morals are two different identities that people must distinguish to avoid misconception and
misconduct. Though most of the companies or business have the same code of ethics, there are still some
parts where there is difference. All professionals know that you cannot choose who to conform the ethics
established by the field of profession for an individual to stay registered and a member, unlike in morals
which is more personal wherein one can choose to either follow them or not.
As mentioned before, ethics does not necessarily have to be inclined with morals, a challenge which people
call Ethical Dilemmas may occur when an individual’s morals disagree with what is in the code of ethics of
the individual’s profession and this may be the reason why violations must be anticipated. Ethics is
important to companies because even though it may not lead to certain success it can bring forth growth and
development which can be a turning point in establishing relationship with clients creating an honest,
responsible, and reliable façade.
While morals establish the right and good characteristics and beliefs inside an individual that enables them
to live cooperatively in a group involving religions and cultures, ethics build the decency, integrity, respect,
and fairness of individuals in facing other people that would benefit the given business or field of
profession.
Despite not having much difference in definition of the words, people still are confused with how the words
are used and how much of a difference it can make. A study was conducted whether there was a difference
between the two words. The illustration attached shows the result of the survey of the researcher.

It is shown that people think there is a difference between the two and should be used appropriately
especially when it comes to professionalism.

1.2 ETHICS ON PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT


According to an article written by Lex Benjamin (2017), ethics is important not just to business or
professional judgement but also to society for it promotes cooperation and consistency with the outcome of
a work. Ethics is something that has been agreed upon by group of people and is deemed acceptable.
Applying what an individual has learned in school or in the practice itself when doing a decision for a
certain job is called ethical decision-making where an individual is committed to bring forth success to the
field of profession by using ethical means and thinking and eliminating unethical thoughts.

1.3 APPLICATION OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT


Earlier, the researcher has defined the meaning of Professional Judgement and along with the definition is
the word ethics with it. When a profession judgement is being challenge by things an individual’s principle
does not dwell with, it is just right to have a recorded procedure of the work done because despite being
right to your conscience, the company still have the right procedure pertaining to that job and the records to
be shown will show if there are discrepancies over your work and the job that has to be done.

CONCLUSION
Morality is just as important as Ethics when it comes to professional judgement but morality dwells much
more on an individual’s belief for the betterment of built characters while Ethics dwells on the betterment
of providing service to people. In today’s generation if a professional wants the best for their clients they
must first polish their ethical conducts but both ethics and morals must be polish to provide not just better
service but also an honest one.
REFERENCES
Benjamin, L., 2017. Quora [Online] Available at: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-ethics-so-important-in-
a-society [Accessed 15 February 2019]
Downie, R.S., 1980. Ethics, Morals, and Moral Philosophy. Journal of Medical Ethics, Volume 6.1.
Ionela, I., 2016. The Importance of Professional Judgement Applied in the Context of the International
Financial Reporting Standards. [Online] Available at: http://revista.cafr.ro/temp/article 9503.pdf
[Accessed 15 February 2019].
Schreiner, E., 2017. How Personal Ethics Affect Professional Ethics in a Workplace. [Online] Available at:
https://bizfluent.com/info-12043676-personal-ethics-affect-professional-ethics-workplace.html
Steare, R., 2013. Ethical Decision Making. Financial Times. [Online] Available at:
http://lexicon.ft.com//Term?term=ethical-decision-making [Accessed 15 February 2019]
Weinstein, B., 2018. Difference Between Ethics and Morality in Business. Forbes. [Online] Available at:
https://www/forbes.com/sites/bruceweinstein/2018/02/27/is-there-a-difference-between-ethics-and-
morality-in-business/#324ffc0e2088