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Defence Ethics Survey: The Impact of Situational Moral Intensity on Ethical Decision Making

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Defence Ethics Survey: The Impact of Situational Moral Intensity on Ethical Decision Making Sanela Dursun Major Rob Morrow DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Defence Ethics Survey: The Impact of Situational Moral Intensity on Ethical Decision Making


1
  • Defence Ethics Survey The Impact of Situational
    Moral Intensity on Ethical Decision Making
  • Sanela Dursun
  • Major Rob Morrow

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
CANADADirectorate of Human Resources Research
and Evaluation and Social Science Operational
Research Team
2
Top Five Reasons for Leaving
  • 1. I am tired of poor decision making and the
  • associated misuse of limited CF resources
    (72.8).
  • 2. I have lost faith in the CF leadership
    (69.1).
  • 3. I want to increase my family stability by
    establishing roots in some community (67.7).
  • 4. I am taking full advantage of my pension and
    potential
  • civilian salary (63.3).
  • 5. I do not want to be separated from my family
    (62.4).

Source Results from the CFAIQ-R 1109 respondents
(2001-2003)
3
Outline
  • Background
  • Determinants of ethical decision making
  • Moral Intensity
  • Current Study Sample, Method, Measures
  • Preliminary Results
  • Implications

4
Background
  • In 1999 a comprehensive assessment was conducted
    of the ethical climate of the Canadian Forces and
    Department of National Defence (CF/DND) and the
    values used by members to make ethical decisions.
  • A model of ethical decision-making and an
    instrument
  • based upon this model were developed.

5
Determinants of ethical decision-making
6
Moral Intensity
relates exclusively to characteristics of the
ethical issue or dilemma as perceived by a
decision maker
  • Jones (1991) described six dimensions of moral
    intensity as
  • magnitude of consequences
  • social consensus
  • probability of effect
  • temporal immediacy
  • proximity
  • concentration of effect

7
Moral Intensity Dimensions
  • Magnitude of consequences
  • refers to the sum of harms (or benefits)
    resulting from the moral act in question.
  • Social consensus
  • refers to the degree of social agreement that a
    proposed act is ethical or unethical.
  • Probability of effect
  • refers to both the probability that the act in
    question will happen, and the probability that
    the act in question will actually cause the harm
    predicted.

8
Moral Intensity
Moral Intensity Dimensions
  • Temporal immediacy
  • refers to the length of time between the act in
    question and the consequences resulting from the
    act.
  • Proximity
  • refers to the feelings of nearness that the moral
    agent holds for the target of moral act.

9
Current Study Sep 03
Examined the relationship between perceivedmoral
intensity dimensions and three stages of
theethical decision making process
  • Using
  • Four relevant scenarios involving ethical
    situations
  • A fifth scenario to assess ethical decision
    making in an operational environment.

10
Sample
  • Overall 1824 participants
  • 1309 Military (72)
  • 515 Civilians (28)

Civilian
Military
Male
61
88
Female
38
12
Average age
46
39
11
Measures
  • Recognition of moral issue
  • Do you believe that there is a moral or ethical
    issue involved in the above action/decision?7-po
    int scale from 1 (completely agree) to 7
    (completely disagree)
  • Perceived moral intensity scale adapted from
    Singhapakdi et al. (1996)
  • Single statement was used for each component of
    perceived moral intensity
  • Ethical intention
  • Please indicate the likelihood that you would
    make the same decision described in the
    scenario7-point scale from 1 (definitely would)
    to 7 (definitively would not)

12
Measures
  • Ethical judgement
  • Eight-item semantic-differential measure
    developed by Reidenbach and Robin (1998, 1990).

Please rate the decision made in the scenario on
the following specific factors Just 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 Unjust Fair 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 Unfair Morally right
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Morally
wrong Acceptable to my family 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 Unacceptable to my
family Culturally acceptable 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 Culturally unacceptable Traditiona
lly acceptable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Traditionally unacceptable Does Not
Violate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Violates an unspoken promise an unspoken
promise Does not violate an 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 Violates an unwritten
contract unwritten contract
13
Preliminary Results
Note All variable values ranged from 1 to 7 1
Higher scores indicate that action/decision
described is judged as unethical 2 Higher scores
indicate that participants agree that the actions
have an ethical component 3 Higher scores
indicate that participants are less likely to
engage in the action described
14
Make Ethical Judgment
Form Ethical Intent
Recognize Ethical Issue
Moral Intensity Dimensions
Probability of effect
Magnitude of Consequences
Temporal Immediacy
Social Consensus
Proximity
  • No strong predictors of recognition
  • Distribution of recognition highly positively
    skewed
  • No variability in participants responses
  • Leading question

15
Recognize Ethical issue
Make Ethical Judgment
Form Ethical Intent
plt.001 plt.05
16
Moral Intensity Dimensions
Recognize Ethical issue
Make Ethical Judgment
Form Ethical Intent
plt.001 plt.05
17
Preliminary Results
Perceived social consensus, magnitude of
consequences and probability of effect
influenced individuals ethical judgement and
ethical intentions
  • In other words,
  • Do others believe that the issue is unethical?
  • What is the total harm resulting from the action?
  • What is the likelihood that the action will cause
    harm?

18
So, what?!
This study makes several contributions to the
moral intensity literature, both in terms of the
measurement of moral intensity dimensions, and
the exploration of their relationship with three
stages of EDM process
These three components are factors over which
the organization has significant control
19
Recommendations
  • Create and/or revise policies
  • to identify unacceptable behaviour
  • to identify the consequences of those
    behaviours and
  • to build consensus around these issues
  • Ethics programs and training should focus on
  • increasing sensitivity to potential ethical
    dilemmas
  • building social consensus on ethical
    issues/dilemmas
  • emphasizing the potential harm (and the
    likelihood) of unethical decisions to the
    organization, its members, and society at large

20
Appendix
  • Ethics refers to the rules or principles that
    define right
  • and wrong conduct. (Davies Frederic 1984)
  • a principle of right or good conduct a system
    of moral principle or values (American Heritage
    Dictionary 1982)
  • Many of these rules are applied when an
    individual is required to make a decision.
  • Ethical decision making is the process by which
    individuals use their moral base to determine
    whether a certain issue is right or wrong.
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