Ethics: A Personal Perspective

Learning Activity #1

Ethics: A Personal Perspective

How we perceive ethical issues and how we expect others to act is in many respects a reflection of our personal views.  Considering the importance of our internal views of ethics, think about the following scenario:

You have been recently hired in the human resources department at the company you have always dreamed of working for.  At the end of your first day, your manager, I.M. DeBoss, on her way out of the office says to you: “So Mr./Ms. Jones, what things come to mind when you think of the word ‘ethics’?”  Before you can answer, she asks you if you believe ethics are important for a company and if so why do you feel that way? Not letting up, because she is DeBoss, she then asks you if you think your views on ethics have evolved based on your life experiences or do you believe as suggested in the 60 Minutes piece, “Born good? Babies help unlock the origins of Morality,” that your ethics DNA was established at birth and why?

Just as you are about to respond to her, she says “I am sorry Mr./Ms. Jones but I really have to run but I want to continue our conversation tomorrow.”  You are relieved because you will have a night to ponder her questions and wow her with your responses tomorrow.  How would you respond to your manager?

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