Explain the role and pitfalls of ethics in executive decision making.

Explain the role and pitfalls of ethics in executive decision making.

Course Objective(s):

CO5: Explain the role and pitfalls of ethics in executive decision making.

Learning Material

The Learning Material section contains the weekly lesson along with readings, videos, and other material that conveys this week’s topics.

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Week 7 Readings

  • Contracting, Logistics, Reverse Logistics: The Project, Program and Portfolio Approach.

READ Chapters 2 and 3 PDF PROVIDED

Introduction: Pitfalls of Ethics in Executive Decision-Making


We are almost at the end.


This week we look at the concept of ethics again. But, this time we focus on the pitfalls of ethics in executive decision-making.  We have already looked at the positive sides of this coin. I feel that many people often fall into poor ethics by making poor decisions.  I do not feel that most people wake up wanting to be unethical and I feel that many people try to justify their actions.  One has to decide how ethical one will be.  One must ask the question, is the law the maximum standard for behavior or the minimum standard.  Meaning, the law is the goal of how we should behave ethically and we only want to avoid breaking the law as a means of compliance.  Or the organization should ensure compliance with the law by establishing organizational rules that are well above what is required by law. This decision is something that one needs to consider when exploring ethics.  Neither is wrong, because both agree that the law must be followed, however just meeting the law is a different path than exceeding the law.  What is important is that a person stay the ethical path, and not stray from the ethical path.

Staying the Path

Each and every day we decide to strive for mediocrity or to strive for greatness.  Each day we decide to behave ethically or not behave ethically.  We decide our fate in many subtle ways.  If we approach each day in a manner which allows us to be reactionary we will find little time to make a difference in life.  We all chose to become victims of unethical actions or people of ethical action.  We all have the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but we chose how to use this time.  Choosing to avoid this fate is the only way to achieve more.  Achieving more means creating a plan, acting upon that plan and having the perseverance to make the difference.

Each day we must commit to a new goal.  Each day we must work towards making each of us a better, stronger person.  Planning is essential to making a difference and it s the only way to move mountains.  Everyone must make daily, weekly, and yearly goals.  Progress towards these goals can only happen when we focus on greatness while retaining our ethical beliefs.

Daily goals are important to assist our personal belief about ourselves.  We must have a daily goal to achieve to keep us motivated towards the next.  These goals propel us towards greater rewards and greater goals.  We need to look at the daily goals from two perspectives.  One, what small achievement today might help us tomorrow in our careers, lives or in the lives of those we love.  Daily goals must become the achievement that keeps us focused upon the good things in life.  A negative goal can only make us a lesser person. Do not compromise your ethics to attain any goal.  Second, daily goals must be tasks, actions or deeds that are part of a greater goal but the attainment of the daily goal cannot preclude the achievement of a greater goal.  Hence if you create a daily goal to exercise 5 days out of every 7 then missing one day will not stop you from attaining the greater goal.  Create daily goals that build to make a difference.  Have them build to become a legacy, and not to become so large or impossible to become an obstacle.

Weekly goals are those that become achieved only through the building of incremental actions or activities.  These are goals that grow and become great things.  These are not goals to achieve in a day and they cannot be those that can be put aside.  They are actions, tasks, deeds that become the sum of their parts.  In the exercise example, it could lead to the loss of a pound after one week or to achieve greater tone or a better feeling, physically.

Yearly goals are the higher pay for achievements that are marked with a celebratory reward and recognition.  You should make goals that allow for celebration rewards and recognition along the way, but annual achievements makes for greater experiences.  Making the celebration reward  and recognition large enough to make a difference is very important.  Life is an important goal, so make the achievement worth the time.  Do not settle for token recognition or allow your reward to become something for someone else. Imagine a great celebration to reward the task.  By making the annual goal special, you will keep yourself focused on the daily goals that will build to achieve the final result.

Keeping the Goals

The hardest part about any goal is perseverance.  Keeping with the goal is the hardest achievement.  It becomes to easy to quit, when there is little at stake. It gets a lot harder when it would appear that acting unethically might benefit us in the short term.  Great goals are attained when there are great rewards.  People finish their degree because the final reward is great.  Many people lose sight of the final goal and they allow themselves to lose sight of the ultimate goal.  In losing sight of their goal, they might always look to take an easy path.  Greatness is a daily struggle that culminates in a final success recognized by those that matter most.  People can make the difference when they try.  Planning is essential to reach these lofty targets, but it is equally important to have the passion and the drive for greatness.  Success often comes after a succession of failures.  Those that can stomach the bitter bile of rejection are prepared mentally to achieve any task before them.  The struggle for success is the only way that real achievement is appreciated.  Consider how you will view your degree if you cheat as opposed to doing all the work prescribed.

Great success often is born from great failure.  Those that are not defeated by failure will come back ready to face the new challenges of life.  Those that surrender in face of failure will find themselves devoid of goals and the will find themselves devoid of goals and they will find themselves in the service of someone else with a bold plan.  The planners will inherit the stars for only those that strive for the impossible will eventually attain things previously thought impossible.  Great goals come from bold new plans for a future that has yet to arrive.  Keep this all in mind for the future.

Activities & Assessment

The Activities & Assessment section includes the activities and assessments for the week that provide you an opportunity to practice the material and then demonstrate what you’ve learned.