Understanding ethical dilemmas in the military workplace factors that influence the decision to take action
Blevins, Rodney D.
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This study examines ethical dilemmas in the workplace and how organizational members move to resolve these challenges. Existing research was reviewed to gain insight and determine current views of ethical dilemmas experienced at work. A study was then conducted with Supply Corps Officers in the U.S. Navy to better understand the dilemmas they face in their daily work life. Officers were asked to think of a critical incident when they faced a moral challenge and how they responded. Data procured from critical incident interviews is suggestive of how officers describe ethical dilemmas, how they identify options for action, and finally how they select a course of action. The dilemmas generally involved issues with financial accountability, fairness in performance evaluations, fraternization, homosexuality in the service, employee drug and alcohol abuse, fraudulent use of government property and funds, conflict between personal and military values, and managing important relationships. This initiative, supported by the Chief of the Supply Corps, is designed to be a promising start toward creating an informed strategy, one that will ultimately lead to the design of enhanced educational programming regarding moral behavior in the military.
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