Philosophy Homework ( Carucci, “Why Ethical People Make Unethical Choices)
Read the following essay:
Then answer two of the following questions (please be sure to number your responses using the number of the question):
(1) Re-read the first way that organizations can lead people to make unethical choices: “It is psychologically unsafe to speak up.” Tell a story in which you are an employee attempting to speak up about unethical or illegal activity occurring within the company. In your story, depict management acting in ways that make it unsafe for you to speak up. In your story, describe the unethical activity you witness, describe how you attempt to make it known to management, and describe how the manager creates an unsafe situation, one in which you do not feel comfortable or welcome in talking about the unethical activity.
(2) Re-read the first way that organizations can lead people to make unethical choices: “It is psychologically unsafe to speak up.” Tell a story in which you are a manager is dealing with employees who may have witnessed unethical or illegal activity by other employees. Describe how you created a context in which they felt safe to speak up about what they witnessed.
(3) Re-read the fourth way that organizations can lead people to make unethical choices: “Ethical behavior is not part of routine conversation.” Imagine that you are the manager with a couple dozen employees under you. One of your responsibilities is to make ethical behavior part of routine conversation. As Haidt states, you need to talk about positive examples of ethical behavior. Write a short email to your employee describing an imagined example of good ethical behavior by someone (make it up), an example that your employees can aspire to imitate and that sets the moral tone for your department.
(4) Re-read the fifth way that organizations can lead people to make unethical choices: “A positive example isn’t being set.” Tell a story in which a manager acts in a way that while not necessarily wrong or bad is interpreted by an observant employee (you, for example) as wrong or bad or deceitful.
(5) How can conflicting goals that provoke a sense of unfairness lead to unethical behavior?
(6) How does excessive pressure to reach unrealistic performance targets lead to unethical behavior?
(7) In the second paragraph, Carucci writes that prosecutor Serina Vash was “shocked” on meeting people accused of corruption. Why was Vash shocked? What was she expecting? What did she find out about the accused people? What do you think of that? Can “good people” really commit such crimes? Can you? What makes them do it?