All decisions are ethical decisions

Please read both discussion responses and reply with at least 100 words. Label your responses Discussion 1 & 2.

Consider the statement: “All decisions are ethical decisions.”

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  • What does this mean as it relates to moral intensity?
  • How is this connected to moral sensitivity?

Discussion 1

Ethical Decisions – May, T.

When I initially read the statement, all decisions are ethical decisions, my reaction was one of disagreement. However, after pondering the statement for a couple of days and examining many of the decisions I have made this year at work, I believe all decisions are ethical decisions. As a company, we entered 2020 with the expectation our company would undergo a significant amount of change given our plans to realign our organizational structure, streamline our support organizations, and transform how we evaluate and reward performance. Hence, the majority of the changes we planned were laden with Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice ethical principles (McShane & Von Glinow, 2019). During the initial part of the first quarter we executed as planned and implemented changes to our performance evaluation process. As March began, we quickly came to the realization our business operations would be significantly disrupted by Covid-19 and we began grappling with the financial, legal, moral, and ethical implications associated with running our business in the midst of a global pandemic (Stegall, 2020).

Therefore, we began transitioning employees to a work at home environment, however, we did not have enough equipment on-hand to transition all our employees home at the same time. As each day passed, my moral sensitivity alerted me to the growing anxiety among the employees that were still required to work in the office, which heightened the moral intensity I was feeling regarding the decisions we were making to keep our business operational and balance the needs of our customers with the needs of our employees (McShane & Von Glinow, 2019). Candidly, it was an extremely difficult time, as I wrestled with the moral distress of suppressing my personal values and principles about what I believe to be my first responsibility to my team as a leader, which is ensuring their safety (Christen & Katsarov, 2016). My internal moral dilemma exacerbated my moral sensitivity, which gave me a clear line of sight to the decisions we needed to make, sharpened my understanding of the ethical repercussions, and guided the ethical principles we used to make decisions (McShane & Von Glinow, 2019). Ultimately, we decided to expedite our receipt of the necessary equipment, send the last segment of our employees home on paid leave prior to receiving the equipment they needed to work from home, and deal with the consequences of longer customer wait times for approximately a week.


Christen, M., & Katsarov, J. (2016). Moral sensitivity as a precondition of moral distress. American Journal of Bioethics, 16(12), 19–21.

McShane, S. & Von Glinow, M. (2019). Organizational behavior (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education

Stegall, D. (2020). Our world has changed. Professional Safety, 65(4), 6

Discussion 2

Ethical Decisions – Savell, E.

The e text states that “Ethics refers to the study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad” (McShane & Von Glinow,2019, p. 42). The E text also defines moral intensity as “the degree to which an issue demands the application of ethical principles” (McShane & Von Glinow,2019, p. 43). After doing the reading I am going to have to disagree with the statement “all decisions are ethical decisions”, from what I have gathered, ethical decisions seem to require the presence of some level of moral intensity. Not all decisions require judgment of moral intensity or good/bad right/wrong judgement. So there for not all decisions have to be ethical ones. For example, if I am hungry and decide to make a sandwich, there is no moral intensity in the decision to make the sandwich.

Moral sensitivity is defined as “a characteristic of the person, namely his or her ability to detect a moral dilemma and estimate its relative importance” (McShane & Von Glinow,2019, p.44). “ …previous research regarding ethical decision making into a comprehensive model containing four stages: (1) recognizing an ethical issue, (2) making moral judgments, (3) establishing moral intentions, and (4) engaging in moral behavior” (Singh et al,. 2007,p.3).

Ethical decisions also require moral sensitivity. I would also say that moral sensitivity is required only ethical decisions, not all decisions. In an article by about accounting methods that used the dimensions moral intensity to predict ethical decision making, it says that the moral intensity of a situation can greatly impact all stages of the moral decision-making process i.e. (moral sensitivity, moral judgment, and moral intentions) (Leitsch, 2016,). A person can use moral sensitivity to judge how morally intense a situation is and can there for act quicker to the situation. The e text tells us that even though a person can respond more quickly it does not mean that they will always respond in the most ethical manner. (McShane & Von Glinow,2019,)


McShane, S. L., & Von Glinow, M. A. (2019). Organizational behavior (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Leitsch, D. (2006). Using dimensions of moral intensity to predict ethical decision-making in accounting. Accounting Education, 15(2), 135–149.…

Singh, J. J., Vitell, S. J., Al-Khatib, J., & Clark, I. (2007). The Role of Moral Intensity and Personal Moral Philosophies in the Ethical Decision Making of Marketers: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of China and the United States. Journal of International Marketing, 15(2), 86–112.….

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