Does he or she feel that you presented the dilemma in a non-prejudicial way (leaving bias out of your account)?

ec 23, 2015 11:55 PM MST
Detail : Your weekly journal assignments and final writing assignment for this course will be conducting a project in “Professional Practices in Ethics.” Its purpose is to apply classroom concepts to real problems in your present and future professional life. During the class, you’ll be identifying an ethical dilemma from the work place, apply classroom concepts to working through, do your own research and propose a solution. Each week, you’ll work on a different part of the project, and report on your progress in your journal. At the end of the course, you’ll be writing a memo proposing a solution to this problem.

Phase One: Identifying an Ethical Problem

Using the format from the Ethicist column in The New York Times (and discussed in the first week’s Professional Practices), identify two ethical problems and write them out, remaining neutral in presenting the problem and framing what you think the relevant concerns are. Each of these should be at least 100 words. Step One: Practice with a personal example. We’re going to use a professional example for the course, but start by thinking of a dilemma in a personal context. Real dilemmas are best for this, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you faced personally. It could be a dilemma that you’re aware of but needs to be something that you’re comfortable sharing with someone you trust. Write out the problem in the same format that we saw in the advice problems (you are the person seeking advice here), and then read it out loud to someone you trust. Solicit the following feedback from him or her:

● After hearing your explanation, does he or she understand what the dilemma is?

● Does he or she feel that you presented the dilemma in a non-prejudicial way (leaving bias out of your account)?

● What questions, if any, does this person have? Is additional information that you didn’t provide needed to make sense of the problem?

Step Two: Now that you’ve tried a personal example, take the same concept and apply it to a dilemma that has arisen in your place of work. This will be the problem that you’ll be working with throughout the course, so think carefully about where you think the trickiest dilemmas you’ve faced lie. By the end of the course, you’ll be writing a memo proposing a solution to the problem. As with the practice step, read this aloud to someone you trust and solicit feedback from them.

After hearing your explanation, does he or she understand what the dilemma is?

● Does he or she feel that you presented the dilemma in a non-prejudicial way (leaving bias out of your account)?

● What questions, if any, does this person have? Is additional information needed that you didn’t provide to make sense of the problem?

In your journal, please include your questions and summarize and reflect on your work.

   

Week 1 Assignment Tips For Success:

You’ll want to organize your paper in two parts. I would start my paper with the personal dilemma first and then move on to the work/professional dilemma. Here is an example of how I might format/organize my paper to address all the content pieces.

I encountered a personal dilemma recently. (Here’s where I’d describe the scenario which can be fiction, embellished from a situation you’ve heard of, non-fiction, etc.) My coworker said she ran into a friend of mine. She explained that the friend said she was divorcing her husband. This was news to me as I had seen the friend recently and she had not said anything. The coworker also implied that my friend may have been interested in my coworker’s friend. Not long after this conversation. My coworker approached me and said that the friend had texted her and asked her not to tell me about the “divorce thing”. My husband and I are friends with both the husband and wife in this situation. I decided to run this situation by with a friend that did not know any of the people involved. After explaining the situation this is what I asked:

  • After hearing your explanation, does he or she understand what the dilemma is? My friend answered…(this is where you expand on what the friend said)
  • Does he or she feel that you presented the dilemma in a non-prejudicial way (leaving bias out of your account)? My friend said…(this is where you expand and discuss)
  • What questions, if any, does this person have? Is additional information that you didn’t provide needed to make sense of the problem? After discussing with my friend these are her questions: blah blah blah

I would go on to address the second dilemma on an issue in the workplace in a similar way while addressing the questions bulleted under the workplace dilemma area of the assignment details. You do not need to format your paper exactly like my example, this is just a suggestion so that you address all the content pieces. Additionally, this example is not complete (I did not supply answers to the questions). You’ll need to fully address the assignment details.

Phase Two:  Consequentialist Analysis

We have covered how we can use thought experiments and consequentialist analysis in order to make sense of ethical dilemmas. In phase two, you’ll apply those tools to your professional practice problem.

Step One: Make a list that identifies all relevant moral actors in your dilemma.  This could include (for example) supervisors, co-workers, or clients.  Don’t forget to include yourself.

Step Two: Tentatively propose two courses of action. (This should be very brief, one or two sentences each.)

Step Three: Carry out a consequentialist analyses of each moral action.  For everyone on your list in step one, what are the likely benefits and harms of each course of action?  What are possiblebenefits and harms of each course of action?  What are unlikely but remotely possiblebenefits and harms of each course of action?

Step Four: Reflect on a consequentialist analysis: does one course of action obviously win?  Are there any other courses of action which could further maximize benefit while minimizing harm?

Save this work, because you’ll be using it to write your final memo.

Include the work in your journal, along with a summary and reflection on this part of the assignment.

Week 2’s Assignment Tips for Success

To Start: Paste your work/professional dilemma from week 1 into your week 2 assignment Word document.

Then list below it all the relevant moral actors in the work/professional dilemma from week 1.

Next, tentatively propose two courses of action that could be taken in relation to the dilemma. (This should be very brief, one or two sentences each.) For each action, carry out a consequentialist analyses. Make note of those on your moral actors list. Address the following: what are the likely benefits and harms of each course of action? What are possible benefits and harms of each course of action? What are unlikely but remotely possible benefits and harms of each course of action?

Finally, reflect on your consequentialist analysis: does one course of action obviously win? Are there any other courses of action which could further maximize benefit while minimizing harm?

*This assignment is informal: it does not require references and you may write in first person.

 

In the third and fourth weeks, we covered concepts related to the ideas of rights and duties. In phase three of our professional practice, we’ll apply those tools to your professional practice problem.

Review your list of all relevant people in your scenario from Week 2. Should anyone be added or removed?

List the rights that each of those people had in this situation. For example, a person in your scenario may have the right to confidentiality.

Rephrase the rights of the person above into a corresponding duty you have.  For example, where the person above has a right to confidentiality, your duty might be to ensure that person’s right to privacy.

Identify any rights and duties that conflict with each other and discuss why they conflict. If none conflict, note that in your paper.

Summarize what you learned this week for this assignment and how this information may affect your final project.

Format your paper using the West Assignment Template, and the guidelines in the West Writing Style Handbook.

 

Submit your paper by uploading it in the Week 4 assignment location.

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