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ETHICAL DILEMMAS

 Choices in life are rarely simple .

 We normally do not have situations which
are to our likings.

 Many times we are under the control of others,
whose values may not be consistent with yours .

 Many such are examples of dilemma.
What should you do when you have a
value conflict?

- You are against bribes.

- You have to get a dead body released
from the morgue; the relatives are
disturbed; the priests have expressed
that the last rites be completed before
sunset.
-You have to seek professional
admission; one certificate is held back
for ostensible reason.

You are a staunch critic of corruption.
-What should a doctor do:

He knows that the girl getting married
to his close friend has problems that
would harm the marriage relationship?

Should he tell his friend by breaking the
professional relationship.
- Bankers and lawyers face similar
dilemmas.
You find the organisation you are
working is doing an anti social
activity.
Blow the whistle?
Do you keep quiet and risk society or
complain and risk the job?
-You find your immediate boss using
the facilities available for his personal
ends.

Should you report to the higher ups?
- Were the Army officers who joined the Indian
National Army of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
right?

duty to the country is greater
or
duty to the oath of office
We are talking of high ethics and high
profits
Organizations with high ethics and low
profits do not survive
Organizations with low ethics and
high profits should not survive
Calls for tough minded fairness
Hands-on management
Do you have a right to rebel against an
unreasonable officer, a sadist, like the one
who ordered the annihilation of the Jews in
the HITLER’s Army

OR is it right to obey the orders?
Can the Tamil soldiers join the LTTE or
sympathise with the movement and refuse to
fight?
Many such dilemmas exists why – there is a
choice or OPTION.

TO DO or NOT TO DO

If there is no choice, there is NO PROBLEM
 If it is not possible to resolve the dilemma, you are a
compromiser.

 You should recognise the ethical issues and think through
the consequences of alternative resolutions.

 You need CONFIDENCE to seek out different points of
VIEW and also tough minded fairness.
A dilemma arises when an action
favours ONE and harms the others.
 We said “concern for others must take
precedence over concern for SELF”.
the issue could be others meaning :

*Community
*Family
*Society
*Country
and so on.
 The simple rule recommended is, bigger
unit should get precedence over smaller
units.

 Like our cricketers had refused to play in
South Africa inspite of generous money
offers because of policy of Apartheid.
 Long term interest should get precedence over short
term.

 Building a dam for water and electricity versus
unsetting people living there.

 Development of a new technology, without the use of
CFCs for cooling in refrigerators and air conditioners
The development interest should get
precedence over short term.

 We have to follow a system concept
which recognises that a functional unit is
a part of a bigger unit and comprises of
smaller units.
self
other individuals
family
community
ORDER OF IMPORTANCE
society
national
world
universe
 In a human body we have a number of sub system be
if it -
- circulatory
-nervous
-digestive
-respiratory

 While each sub system is a complete one, none can
exist, if the body does not function.
What is true of the human body, is true of the
individual and the environment?

 Part of the family

• the organisation for which he works
• the community
• the society
 When there is a conflict between an
individuals interest and the interest of the
bigger system the latter should prevail.
 As a member of a system, one does not and cannot have
the freedom to do as one likes to do purely as per
dictates of ones conscience.

 In a family one has to make adjustment.

 There is a discipline one follows
-may be meal timings and eat together to
maintain cohesiveness.

 Failure creates frown.
 Value differences which seek to prevent one
from pursuing ones interests.

 In the by gone days Govt. jobs was much sought
after.

 Some could feel them as insurance.

 Now youngsters get into private businesses, even
consultancy or freelance business.
Tamper with records with
connivance
 A certain material with a different mix was imported at
$2 per kg versus $12 for the standard.

 The custom refused to clear, they were able to settle at
50,000, Co did not accept.

 Co. went to court .
 They won but paid Rs3 Lakhs as demurrage and had to
buy from the local market supplies @ $14.
Harassment of customs however continued

 An MNC which refused to contribute to a
trust set up by a senior political leader had
his project delayed by 9 months.
Resolving dilemmas

 In real life the dilemmas do not provide
very clear alternatives.
GIFTS - Chocolates to extravagant.
 A sincere and competent worker catches a
debilitating disease.

 Is it alright to retire him from service pay
him dues and ex-gratia?
 Should his wife or son or daughter be given an
employment so that his family does not suffer?

 Is relationship between employer employee only
one of employment conditions or goes beyond
quality of life?
Does the employer have an obligation to
bear costs of man’s illness and family’s
suffering?

Should a person’s wife be given
maintenance when she is divorced?
When a person falls sick should he
investigate connections between disease
and the work that he does?
Should company take cognizance of stress in
working, assume existence and effects thereof?
Each person has a different way of
solving such dilemmas.
Many are by rationalisation.

 It is not really wrong (ambiguous)
 It is not that important
 Others will understand
 It is expected
 It will not be noticed (safety)
 I have no choice
 It won’t cause harm
 I will be excused
 Others are doing it
 I am only following instructions
 This is my duty
 I am not responsible for what is happening
The final test as to whether an
action is ethical or not are
answers to the following
questions.
1. If the answers are all negative, then the
chances are you are being ethical.
2. Is it in conflict with values deep religious
beliefs?
3. Does it hurt my conscience?
4. Do I feel guilty?
5. Will I feel bad to admit in public?
The question about religious beliefs is
important because they form the basis of many
values.

Conscience is the custodian of values and
therefore of ethics.

Conscience is never killed.

It only goes underground, from where it
continues to generate feelings of guilt with
serious psychological and physical
consequences.
We have an increasing number of dilemmas due
to erosion of values

Mainly because

 Dominance of economic considerations in
the materialistic world

 Exposure to much ethnic multi cultural and
plural society depicted in satellite
 Religion has been politicised and loss of faith

 Increased influence of western thoughts on younger
generations

 Relative ease of cutting corners

 Difficulty in thinking about consequences of alternate
courses

 Lack of toughmindness

 Different from rashness or stubbornness.
 Thank you …….