Ethics plays an important role in our decision-making process, be it individually or collectively in an organizational context. Ethics deals with knowing what is wrong and what is right. Thus, it involves analyzing ethical decisions, beliefs, and actors inline with different activities. Recognizing the risks of poor decision-making can prevent ethical issues that arise in our daily life or career.
In this light, this paper focuses on the attributes of poor decision making, how to resist unethical acts, and the essential components of ethical leadership.
Decision-making entails reducing uncertainty about many alternatives, which allows the decision maker to make the best choice. However, several people are not good in decision-making as they believe, and the few who set goals do not achieve them.
According to Mallor et al (2010), the three common characteristics of poor decision-making are failing to remember objectives, overconfidence, and complexity of issues. It is easy for people to set goals and not achieve anything.
The reason is that they set them, but do not do anything to make sure that their activities do not deviate from the set goals. After setting the goals, managers fail to remember them on daily basis and thus, they make no progress.
Similarly, overconfidence causes people to overvalue their knowledge and underestimate the risks in decision-making. Many decision makers think that if they are able to accomplish their goals before without much effort, then they are too confident that they will achieve them without working hard or considering other alternatives.
Complexity of issues is another cause of poor decision-making. As the issues become more complex, it is not easy to come up with meaningful and best solutions. There is a possibility of ignoring some important issues and considering the simple and less important ones.
Resisting suggestions to act unethically is helpful in avoiding the causes of poor decision-making. First, finding mentors and peer support group is essential in resisting unethical acts. Individuals in these groups will be able to share information that relates to their work, and discuss on many matters such as the code of ethics.
Second, the team members can forward their concern to the authority about any unethical matters. Individuals should work with the firm to stop unethical behavior where they report such matters to the top management.
Lastly, recognition of unethical requests and people is important in this sense. When team members are taught on how to deal with unethical issues in their daily activities, they will be able to tell between both ethical and unethical issues (Mallor et al., 2010).
In this regard, there are many ways to act ethically as a leader in an organization. First, the leader should put the organizations interest first. This means that the leader should listen to the other team members and more so give them more power in decision making. In other words, he should leave his ego and his self-interest behind and do what is best for the firm. A good leader should implement ways in which those who are under him can question his authority just in case he acts unethically.
Additionally, participative decision-making is the best rather than autocratic leadership because the other group members will be able to give more information and thus, it is easy to make decisions. The group members will have a feel of ownership in making decisions and more so in areas that affect them and thus, become more productive.
Gaylord et al (2009) suggests that a leader must also strive to become interpersonally competent. He should learn to understand more on body language and facial expressions, which could have many meanings. Communication and good listening skills are also important because the leader can understand the team members better. However, before trying to understand others, he should first have self-understanding.
In conclusion, ethical consideration takes an important part in decision-making. Understanding and avoiding the major characteristics of poor decision-making, including failing to remember goals, overconfidence, and complexity of issues provides an avenue for solving ethical problems.
As a leader, it is therefore important to find help from support groups, work with organization, and recognize suspicious activities in order to resist unethical acts. Finally, a good leader must first consider organization’s interest, apply participative decision-making, and practice interpersonal competency to lead ethically.
Gaylord, A., Jentsz, Miller, R. L., Rank B. C. (2009). Business Law: Text and Summarized Cases: Legal, Ethical, Global and E-Commerce Environment. Cengage Learning. New York.
Mallor, J.P., Barnes, A.J., Bowers, T., & Langvardt, A.W. (2010). Business Law: The Ethical, Global, And Ecommerce Environment (14th ed.). New York: Irwin/McGraw Hill.