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Ethics Ops
Strategies for Effective Ethics

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Ethics is a set of concerns, rules, principles, virtues, values, and decision processes that allow people to live together and pursue their common and individual interests. Materials on this site are designed to help people in business and the professions be more effectively ethical when making workplace decisions.    

The first set of pages gives step by step directions for using eight ethics tests based on the insights of some of the major western philosophical approaches to ethics.  People in business often use the "Smell Test" or "Newspaper Test" to decide if an action or situation is an ethics problem.  By understanding this test, and moving beyond it to reflecting on best outcomes (utility), on respecting human rights, on what if everybody does it, on whether those affected can choose what they value, on justice, on the common good, and on character or virtue, they can use a wider variety of tools to see why something is right or wrong and explain their ethical judgments to others.  Two case studies, "Less Sugar" Marketing and Phantom Expenses show how these tests for what is ethical can be used. 

The philosophers who originated these tests might not agree with all my suggestions. The tests are translations of what I take to be the practical wisdom of their ideas, as I have taught them to undergraduate business majors over the last 20 years.  Unique primarily in the business and professional friendly language chosen, the tests are part of the tradition of recent Anglo-American ethics.  To those who created and developed these ideas, I am indebted.  I hope my rendering of them into a step by step format will make them more useful in the workplace.  

Thinking, as the American philosopher and psychologist William James reminded us, is for doing.  As more people live more closely connected with each other, doing ethically becomes ever more critical.       

My materials on this site are copyrighted, but under the fair use provisions of the law you may make a copy for your personal use.  You have my permission also to copy and distribute them for noncommercial educational purposes.

Since I am continuing to update the material, I would appreciate any comments and suggestions you have for improvements. 
 You can e-mail me through the Contact page.

Brooke Hamilton
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