I need some assistance to structure a code of ethics system of inquiry for a global, publicly shared, and organically structured company that manufactures software, ink, and printers. This is a company driven by the bottom-line and it's made up of about 1,500 employees distributed all over the world. This system of inquiry is to be used in evaluating decision-making, problem solving, and behavior of employees.
One approach to help you structure a code of ethics system of inquiry (also referred to as ethical decision making models) is to look at several examples, which you can use as exemplars to design your own inquiry. This is the approach this response takes.
All systems of inquiry are similar (identifying the problem, the stakeholders, the ethical principles involved, coming up with alternative solutions, identifying the consequences of each alternative to each stakeholder, choosing and implementing he best option (one with the least consequences), and monitoring the results (one with the least consequences). However, different models write these steps in slightly different wording, and some models (like the first one and the fourth below) are made for more complex problems. The first and fourth models are comprehensive and for complex, which might be appropriate for this organization.
EXAMPLE 1: An Ethical Decision-Making Inquiry #1
a. Determine precisely what must be decided.
b. Formulate and devise the full range of alternatives.
c. Eliminate patently impractical, illegal and improper alternatives.
d. Force yourself to develop at least three ethically justifiable options.
e. Examine each option to determine which ethical principles and values are involved.
a. If any of the options requires the sacrifice of any ethical principle, evaluate the facts and assumptions carefully.
b. Distinguish solid facts from beliefs, desires, theories, suppositions, unsupported conclusions, opinions, and ...
Through several illustrative examples of systems of inquiries, this solution illustrates a system of inquiry that can be used in evaluating decision-making, problem solving, and behavior of employees.