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Moral Development and Decision-Making

Whether the central goal of moral education in your classroom is that of making students aware of the significant ethical issues in your field, empowering them to make better and more effective ethical decisions as professionals, or making them morally better people, some awareness of the general processes of moral development and ethical decision-making is helpful.

Although the articles in this section have been roughly divided into those that focus on either moral development or ethical decision-making, some of these articles cut across both themes.  Some of the topics addressed here include:

  • General and field-specific models of ethical decision-making.  Some of these are descriptive – they explain the ethical decision-making process actually used to engage ethical issues.  Others are normative – they prescribe good ways to make ethical decisions.
  • Discussions of obstacles to good ethical decision-making and ways of overcoming them.
  • How ethical decisions (or decisions bearing on moral issues or outcomes) are made within organizations, or on how organizations impact the ethical decision-making of individuals.
  • Theories of moral development, metrics for measuring moral maturity and assessment tools that utilize these metrics.
  • The relation between moral rules and other types of rules (e.g. religious, institutional, prudential)


Some of the materials here have been synthesized and expanded upon by Dr. Shlomo Sher of the Levan Institute.  You can find these in the "Teaching Ethics" section of this website:


ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING

The PLUS Decision-Making Model (The Ethics Resource Center)

A Model of Ethical Decision Making: The Integration of Process and Content, Roselie McDevitt, Catherine Giapponi, Cheryl Tromley.
Journal of Business Ethics. Dordrecht: Jun 2007. Vol. 73, Iss. 2; p. 219

A Model of Business Ethics, Göran Svensson, Greg Wood
Journal of Business Ethics. Dordrecht: Feb 2008. Vol. 77, Iss. 3; p. 303

Varieties of Moral Issue and Dilemma: A Framework for the Analysis of Case Material in Business Ethics Education, Patrick Maclagan. Journal of Business Ethics. Dordrecht: Nov 2003. Vol. 48, Iss. 1; p. 21

A Framework for Thinking Ethically, Markkulla Center for Applied Ethics

Help for Solving CPAs Ethical Dilemmas
Martin A Leibowitz, Alan Reinstein. Journal of Accountancy. New York: Apr 2009

The General Theory of Marketing Ethics: A Revision and Three Questions
Shelby D. Hunt and Scott J. Vitel, Journal of Macromarketing, 2006

Ethical Decision Making by Individuals in Organizations: An Issue Contingent Model
Jones, Thomas M., Academy of Management. The Academy of Management Review; Apr 1991

Moral Muteness
Simon Longstaff

Organizational Moral Values
Elizabeth D. Scott, Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 33-55

The Effect of Organizational Forces on Individual Morality: Judgment, Moral Approbation, and Behavior
Thomas M. Jones and Lori Verstegen Ryan, Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 3, Psychological and Pedagogical Issues in Business Ethics (Jul., 1998), pp. 431-445

Towards a Design Science of Ethical  Decision Support
By Kieran Mathieson, Journal of Business Ethics Dec 2007. Vol. 76, Iss. 3; p. 269 (24 pages)

Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: A Person-Situation Interactionist Model
by Linda Klebe Trevino, The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Jul., 1986), pp. 601-617
 
A Comparative Study Of Moral Reasoning
by John C. Windsor,   James J. Cappel
College Student Journal,  June, 1999  

Merck and Vioxx: An Examination of an Ethical Decision-Making Model
Erin Cavusgil. Journal of Business Ethics. Dordrecht: Dec 2007. Vol. 76, Iss. 4; p. 451


MORAL DEVELOPMENT

Progress and Prospects in the Psychology of Moral Development
Lawrence J. Walker, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 50.4 (2004) 546-557

God's Word, Religious Rules, and Their Relation to Christian and Jewish Children's Concepts of Morality
Larry Nucci and Elliot Turiel, Child Development, Vol. 64, No. 5, (Oct., 1993), pp. 1475-1491

Age Trends in Judging Moral Issues: A Review of Cross-Sectional, Longitudinal, and Sequential Studies of the Defining Issues Test
James R. Rest, Mark L. Davison, Steven Robbins
Child Development, Vol. 49, No. 2, (Jun., 1978), pp. 263-279

Children's Conceptions of Moral and Prudential Rules
Marie S. Tisak and Elliot Turiel
Child Development, Vol. 55, No. 3, (Jun., 1984), pp. 1030-1039

Children's Reasoning about Interpersonal and Moral Conflicts
Judith G. Smetana, Melanie Killen, Elliot Turiel
Child Development, Vol. 62, No. 3, (Jun., 1991), pp. 629-644

Ethics and Moral Judgment – The EPQ
Jepson School of Leadership Studies