One of the most beneficial exercises in a course exploring ethics is to develop a paper that allows you the opportunity to create connections between your personal view of ethics and the theory under discussion

One of the most beneficial exercises in a course exploring ethics is to develop a paper that allows you the opportunity to create connections between your personal view of ethics and the theory under discussion. The nature of ethical decision making encompasses recognition, analysis and resolution.  We often don’t make a decision because it’s ethical, but rather, because it makes sense from our personal view of the situation.  That is, ethical decisions happen “after the fact” as we begin to see the actual implications of the decision.

With this in mind, your paper should explore current ethical issues in the workplace that are relevant to your current career or the career that you are preparing to pursue. Your task is to begin to explore the possible issues within your workplace and choose one to focus on throughout the course as you begin to build your final paper. Please consider the following as possible approaches for this final paper:

  • Illustrate the impact of organizational goals and objectives, structure, culture, environment, ethics policies, and incentive systems on ethical behavior within an organization
  • Evaluate and revise an ethics program to increase ethical behavior within an organizational environment.
  • Create and systematically apply a defensible ethical moral framework to a contemporary ethics issue. To systematically apply the ethical moral framework, you must use the framework consistently as you describe the ethics issue. Explore the issue using the framework you create. HINT: This is done through the application of one of the theories we have read about in this module.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Employment issues (sexual harassment, diversity, discrimination, etc.)
  • Performance appraisal and compensation
  • Terminations
  • Privacy
  • Financial and accounting measures
  • Using reward systems to enhance ethical behavior and/or reinforce unethical behavior
  • Communicating ethics
  • Corporate social responsibility

Your final paper will be developed in four parts (topic, outline, draft, and final paper) throughout the course.

This activity is the first step in developing a final paper for this course.  From the list of possible topics, explore the possible issues within your workplace and choose one to focus on throughout the course as you begin to build your final paper. Make sure you spend time researching your topic before submission of this part; you need to know if there is sufficient information available for you to write a paper on the topic. Using MS Word, create a one-page document that describes your “topic and thesis sentence” for your Individual Research Project.  Use the following information to help you identify your topic:

The topic of your project is a statement about the primary focus of your paper. This provides an overview of what you will explore.  Your thesis, or topic sentence(s), tells the reader what your essay will discuss, explore, explain, argue, etc. This sentence(s) should provide a clear and concise statement about the point of your paper to help narrow the focus from the broader topic.

Your instructor must approve the topic and thesis statement before you complete the next step of your paper. This helps you create a strong foundation for the rest of your work throughout the course.