ethics in workplace

ethics in workplace

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Create a six-slide, 12-minute presentation briefing a team on a potential ethical dilemma.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies:

  • Competency 1: Explain the nature of ethical issues.
    • Apply a professional code of ethics to a workplace situation.
  • Competency 2: Critically examine the contributions of key thinkers from the history of ethics.
    • ​Assess the advantages and disadvantages of a professional code of ethics.
  • Competency 3: Engage in ethical debate.
    • Explain methods for discussing ethical disagreements productively.
  • Competency 4: Develop a position on a contemporary ethical issue.
    • Describe areas of one’s personal disagreement with professional standards.
  • Competency 5: Communicate effectively in the context of personal and professional moral discourse.
    • Create an audio-visual presentation that applies a professional code of ethics to a workplace situation.
Competency Map

Check Your ProgressUse this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.

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    In the career for which you are preparing, where will you look for ethical guidance?

    • Employer: contractual obligations, employee handbook, corporate culture.
    • Colleagues: fellow workers, deserving respect, productive relationships.
    • Clients: honest treatment, service with dignity, contractual obligations.
    • Profession: fellow practitioners, counterbalance to employer, code of conduct.
    • Personal: individual commitments, personal responsibility, integrity.

    All of these overlapping concerns may create conflicted situations. Professional association codes of ethics commonly deal with a number of concerns:

    • Expertise: qualifications for practitioners, continuing education.
    • Research: informed consent, plagiarism, shared publication credit.
    • Privacy: record keeping, protecting confidentiality, public statements.
    • Relationships: harassment, conflicts of interest, workplace behavior.

    No matter how extensively the professional code is spelled out, it cannot cover everything, and it often overemphasizes enforcement. It is more helpful to take a positive approach, thinking aspirationally about how best to handle challenging situations.

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    Questions to Consider

    To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

    • What concrete situations in your workplace might give rise to ethical dilemmas?
    • Does the professional code of conduct provide any relevant guidance for these cases?
    • Where else might you turn for reliable advice on handling each of these situations?
    • How can workplace colleagues productively resolve disagreements about such issues?
    • When might your own personal ethical convictions conflict with the advice of others?

    Please remember that these are practical questions. The point is not to deal abstractly with philosophical issues, but rather to develop useful skills everyone can apply every day.

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    The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

    Workplace Ethics
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