Ethical Decision Making

Making good decisions is never easy, but doing so is clearly related to small business success.

“Decisions that are based on a foundation of knowledge and sound reasoning can lead the

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company into long-term prosperity; conversely, decisions that are made on the basis of flawed

logic, emotionalism, or incomplete information can quickly put a small business out of

commission.” [48] A Framework for Ethical Decision Making

Small business decisions should be ethical decisions. Making ethical decisions requires that the

decision maker(s) be sensitive to ethical issues. In addition, it is helpful to have a method for

making ethical decisions that, when practiced regularly, becomes so familiar that it is automatic.

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics recommends the following framework for exploring

ethical dilemmas and identifying ethical courses of action. [49] However, in many if not most

instances, a small business owner or manager and an employee will usually know instinctively

whether a particular decision is unethical.



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