Ethics and Decision Making



Ethical standards in most organizations have become crucial elements of decision making. Various elements impact decision making, and they include diversity, ethics and cultural competence. These elements influence the manner in which people make decisions. This paper has provided a critical reflection on certain issues with specific reference to impacts of diversity, ethics, and cultural competency in the decision-making process. Moreover, the paper has also discussed effective communication and how it applies to individuals or groups. Finally, a critical reflection of the concepts of collaborative and communication techniques that have affected the development of relationships, partnerships, and alliances has been offered. Ideally, the paper focuses on the decision making process in groups and workplaces and various aspects play a role in realizing effective outcomes and the development of partnerships, alliances, and relationships. 


Many organizations in the modern dispensation have established ethical standards and principles that guide the relationship of employees in the workplace. These ethical standards not only shape people’s relationships, but also define the manner in which people make decisions. Today, organizations have set code of ethics that outlines the manner in which people should relate or conduct themselves. Those employees who go against the established norms and rules face sanctions. The essence of the code of conduct is to limit deviance and ensures that moral principles are upheld in the organization as appropriate. Without proper ethical standards, conflicts and negative tendencies can be reported in every dimension. Moreover, such tendencies impede productivity and performance in the workplace. Ethics in the workplace also define the manner in which people make decisions in the workplace or a group. On the other hand, effective communication and collaborative techniques are crucial in fostering partnerships, alliances, and relationships. This paper will offer a critical reflection on the decision-making process in groups and workplaces and how various aspects play a role in realizing effective outcomes and the development of partnerships, alliances, and relationships. 

The essence and significance of decision-making in any organization cannot be overstated. Every organization requires proper decision-making as a consequence of meeting the needs and demands of the organization. The management of every project of meeting the goals and objectives of the organization requires decision-making. There are critical elements that are essential for decision making to take place. Effective decision making requires problem rationalization, boundary conditions, doing the right thing, taking action and drawing feedback. Besides these elements, certain aspects have an impact on decision making. Diversity, ethics and cultural competency have far-reaching implications for decision-making. 

Hemmati (2012) states that group-based decision making often reflects a shared belief that group decision-making offers the potential of achieving the outcomes that could not have otherwise been achieved by an individual working in isolation. Diverse perspectives are beneficial to decision-making to a greater extent. Diversity helps in providing the organization with a comprehensive perspective of the issues on the agenda, including the threats and the opportunities. Moreover, diversity is crucial in decision making to the extent that it provides a basis for alternative interpretation of information gathered. As a consequence, this allows for the establishment of creative action plans and solutions that integrate the diverse perspectives. Diversity enhances the quality of group performance and ensures innovative decision-making. Through diversity, the decision-making process is likely to change the norms and lead to individual commitment. Ideally, whenever there is a particular problem in the workplace or a group, diversity helps in allowing individuals to air their views. Through this initiative, it becomes relatively easy to come up with outcomes that have a diverse and broad input. 

Even though diversity can ensure the realization of positive results, it is also possible that it can lead to negative outcomes. For instance, Hemmati (2012) argue that stereotypical tendencies can impede the process of decision-making. Social stereotype refers to a set of beliefs about personal attributes of a particular group or individuals. The set of beliefs may be activated when people engage in discussions or decision-making. For example, when people identify a person as a woman, the stereotypical tendencies associated with women emerge. As a result, the people are likely to judge or have their perceptions influenced by the stereotypes. When the perceptions of the people come into play, the people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behavior are affected. Stereotypical tendencies can have far-reaching implications, especially during difficult decision-making. When the emotions are high, and passion overshadows the judgments, the people are likely to fall for the social beliefs. Prejudice is a common phenomenon in the group decision-making process. Philips (2008) underscores that it is unrealistic to believe that diversity can ensure positive results in the decision-making process. For instance, in a racially diverse group, the majority are likely to carry the day. The more the majority, the more they wield influence in the group. A variance in the group composition can have some direct positive impact through the increase of skills, information, abilities, and knowledge that diversity brings. Diversity can have positive and negative impacts on decision-making. Diversity can enhance the decision-making process by drawing from diverse perspectives and ideas (Bowen, 2004). When an organization is faced with challenges of employee disagreements or unethical tendencies in the workplace, diversity can help in coming up with ideas and objectives that can aid in dealing with the emerging challenges. 

On the other hand, ethics have a significant impact on decision making. Ethics refer to the moral principles that govern or guide the behavior of an individual(s) either in relations with other people or engaging a particular activity. Melgaco (2004) argues that decision-making will often present ethical challenges to people in leadership positions such as managers. Establishing the right course of action is always a critical issue for those in leadership or engaged in particular activities. The aspect of decision making is often based on the values and the interest of a group or person. The evaluation of a particular decision is sometimes based on the values and interests of a person. Melgaco (2004) indicates that when people make decisions based on their values or interests, they may overlook certain ethical principles in favor of a good outcome or earnings. The rules adopted by a decision maker are based on the moral approach. The decision-maker may employ a materialist approach or self-interest to make a decision. Some decision makers sometimes consider the utilitarian perspective when making a decision. The consequences of the decision are considered before a decision is made. Ethics impact decision making in the sense that people always think about their moral beliefs before making a decision. When a particular issue goes against a person’s moral principles, it becomes impossible to make a decision. In many organizations, the decision-making process is usually based on the established code of ethics. The code of ethics normally offers the regulation for answering moral or ethical problems. The rules define the behavioral guidance to decision making. Melgaco (2004) argues that certain organizations often require the individuals ask themselves whether the response to the questions is fair, legal and moral.

Every organization has a code of ethics that guide the behavior and relations of employees in a particular setting. The employees have an obligation of ensuring that their decisions and mode of operations are guided by the established norms, rules, and moral principles. Certain organizations sanction the employees for engaging in behaviors that are contrary to established ethical principles. Consequently, the decision-making process must follow a particular pattern to the extent that the code of ethics influences the decisions of the employees. It is imperative to underscore that in an organizational setup, decision making is based personal values and the code of ethics. These two entities play a significant role in influencing the decision of a person to come up with certain perspectives or ideas. Ethical decision making normally involves the intricate practice employed to consider the impact of an individual’s actions on the institution or another person (Bowen, 2004). Even though most decisions are sometimes routine, individuals can be confronted with dilemmas in the decision-making process. Personal values and moral principles determine the manner in which a person makes a decision concerning a particular issue. When a person considers a tendency or outcome of a decision to go against their moral principle, they make fail to give an outcome that is desired. On the other hand, when the decision is defined by values, moral principles, and interests, the person makes a decision that is determined as positive. In organizations, people make decisions based on their belief system and the organizational code of ethics. 

While ethics and diversity have far-reaching implications for the decision-making process, cultural competence is another element that impacts the manner in which people make decisions. Cultural competence refers to the ability of a person to effectively interact with individuals from diverse cultural orientation (Pope-Davis, 2003). On the other hand, Sue (2006) defines cultural competence as the awareness of an individual’s cultural identity. Moreover, cultural competence involves the comprehension of the cultural dynamics and group differences that manifest in a particular group. Cultural competence and decision-making are two distinct elements, yet they are intrinsically correlated concepts. In healthcare facilities, professionals in those establishments require appropriate skills and training as a consequence of responding to the needs and demands of the patients. Louw (2015) argues that cultural competence is defined as the complex, dynamic and continuously evolving process of skill development by the medical practitioners to respond to the needs of the patients. In the context of a healthcare facility, cultural competence is a crucial element that ensures culturally and effective services to the patients. 

Cultural competence is vital to the extent that can help the healthcare professionals to appreciate, understand and support the patients as well as the family of the clients in a more effective manner. Cultural competence may also imply the application of ethical conduct in dealing with the clients in a particular setting. A professional has the obligation of ensuring that the multicultural issues are properly considered in the decision-making process. For instance, in multicultural counseling, the competency issues refer to the appropriate ethical conduct that affects the manner in which an individual conduct themselves. Working with clients from different cultures affects the manner in which a person makes some decisions (Fong, 2004). On the other hand, when a person fails to recognize the cultural issues, it becomes relatively difficult to make positive decisions. It must be noted that the cultural competencies also have certain aspects of ethical principles. Appropriate ethical behavior is critical in the decision-making process. 

A decision-making process has immense significance to the well-being of a group or organization. Effective decision-making process is dependent on proper and well-structured communication process. Various communication styles can be employed in ensuring that proper decisions are made (Fielding, 2005). The success of every individual or group depends on effective communication styles. One of the communication styles is assertive. Assertive communication is often defined as one of the most effective modes of communication. Assertive communication is where an individual outlines their opinions, feelings and forcefully ensures that they advocate for their rights and needs without causing any infringement on other people. Assertive communication is also built on the premise that an individual can express both positive as well negative feelings and ideas in an honest, direct and open way. This communication style ensures that individuals take responsibility for their actions and respond to issues in a forceful but clear manner. 

Individuals who identify with assertive communication have a constructive and effective way of finding a satisfying solution to emerging challenges. Consequently, those who use assertive communication value spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. One of the fundamental aspects of assertive communication is that it emphasizes the respect for other people and taking responsibility for individual actions. This communication style is effective for group collaboration. When individuals can communicate in a manner that is honest, clear and forceful, it provides avenues for dealing with the emerging issues (Fielding, 2005). Collaboration in a group can only occur when there is mutual respect for other people and taking responsibility for the actions. Well–stated and respectful communication is critical aspects of assertive communication. Additionally, the individual must develop a personal connection with the others and the issues in the group. This communication style also requires proper listening skills. To this extent, therefore, it is imperative to underscore that assertive communication can ensure collaboration in groups and guarantee positive outcomes through effective engagement of the people involved. 

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Passive communication is another communication style that has been used in groups and teams. The communication style implies a situation where an individual establishes a pattern of avoiding expressing opinions or feelings (Fielding, 2005). When a person employs this style of communication, they demonstrate lack of passion and zeal to express their desires and protect their rights. Passive communicators often allow grievances and annoyances to pile. Consequently, passive communicators often fear to communicate for fear of retribution. This style of communication does not promote collaboration in a group. Collaboration requires the full participation of individuals as a consequence of presenting ideas and perspectives for action. 

Effective communication must draw feedback. When a message is passed from one end to another or when there are interactions, there must be feedback. Feedbacks allow for individuals to draw perspectives and ideas from the issues being discussed (Fielding, 2005). The feedback provided must be constructive and detailed. When there is detailed information, it allows the other people to provide and effective response. Through constructive feedbacks, the group members can make adjustments based on the issues raised. Moreover, the clarity of the information must be guaranteed. Clarity implies giving detailed and well spelled-out information. This aspect of communication allows the individuals or group members to have a proper understanding of the issues being addressed. The clarity of the communication guarantees positive outcomes to the extent that the details are properly outlined. 

Communication often influences the manner in which people relate to each other. Through communication, it is relatively possible to draw feedback effectively allowing an action to manifest. There are collaborative and communication techniques that have affected the development of partnerships, relationships, and alliances (Fielding, 2005). Collaboration refers to the recursive process where people or organizations work together as a measure of building consensus, learning and sharing knowledge. Collaboration often plays a significant role in groups or organizations. For instance, collaboration boosts morale and team building (Connor & Irizarry, 2015). Consequently, collaboration promotes effective communication, cross-disciplinary skills and allows for the contribution of more ideas. Consensus decision-making is one of the collaborative techniques that have affected the development of relationships, alliances, and partnerships. Consensus allows for the building of group cohesion. Consequently, it allows for the opinions and ideas of everyone to be incorporated into the process. The decision-making process is based on a collaborative approach where all the members in a group are allowed to provide their perspectives on various issues. Consensus building fosters collaboration by ensuring a common understanding of the issues by the members (Connor & Irizarry, 2015). The ideas and the outcomes are based on the collective effort of everyone in the group. This technique aids in building interpersonal relationships, alliances and partnerships on multiple fronts. 

Establishing the rules is another critical aspect of collaborative technique. The rules allow the people to agree on certain fundamental aspects such as the objectives, interests and coming up with solutions to the emerging challenges (Connor & Irizarry, 2015). When the issues are raised in a group setting, it provides an avenue for the people to draw an understanding of the issues being discussed. The rules allow the individuals to focus on the main agenda of the group. This approach allows everyone to participate and contributes to the deliberations. Additionally, it allows people to take responsibility for what is done in the group.  

Role-playing is another collaborative technique that can play a role in impacting partnerships and alliances. Role-playing implies allocating duties to the members of the groups and ensuring that the roles are performed as appropriate. Role-playing ensures an intense level of collaboration to the extent that the person feels more involved in the group because of the task performed. The level of interactions is also enhanced through role-playing. Ideally, role-playing allows the individual to engage the group members at a more personal and intimate level. Groups are effective when every individual fully participates in meeting the needs and objectives of the group (Connor & Irizarry, 2015). The development of alliances, relationships and partnerships can only be possible when the members take an active role in engaging the other people in the group. Collaborative techniques are essential in ensuring the development of strong partnerships and relationships. The success of any group or team is dependent on the extent to which a more collaborative approach is taken to ensure meeting the established objectives. 

While collaborative techniques play a critical role in the development of partnerships, alliances, and relationships, communication also plays a significant role.  One of the most critical communication techniques is listening skills. For effective communication to take place there must be the aspect of listening. When a person listens, it helps in understanding the content of the discussion and providing a valid response. Moreover, the collaborative technique allows an individual to understand the other person’s motivations, intentions, and capabilities. This approach allows the people involved in a communication process to frame replies effectively. When an individual listens with the intention of understanding, it forces the recipient to raise effective points when giving a reply. Listening allows for the development of partnerships, alliances, and relationships in the sense that it allows people to engage in conversations based on the established understanding of the issues (Fielding, 2005). 

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Feedback is another critical element of communication technique. Communication can only be effective if there is a feedback. Communication is the conveyance of a message from one end to another through a particular medium. However, communication is only complete when there is a feedback from the other end. In a group, communication is only effective to the extent that people can communicate and draw feedback based on the message conveyed (Fielding, 2005). When there is no feedback communication becomes less effective and defective. The challenges that might emerge in a group or the workplace can arise as a result of poor communication. When there is no feedback, then the communication process can be determined to be poor, and that affects relationships, alliances, and partnerships. 

The clarity of the information is vital and of the essence. Clarity involves making the details of the conversation clear and to the point without discarding any details (Fielding, 2005). Ideally, clarity of the information should not leave room for the people involved in a discussion to speculate or draw assumptions. When there is no clarity, miscommunication, as well as misunderstandings, occurs. When there is clarity in the communication process, it becomes possible for the individuals involved to understand the details and respond from an informed position (Fielding, 2005). However, when there is no clarity, suspicions arise, and the relationships of the people are affected to a greater extent.  In a group or workplace, communication must be done through proper articulation, pronunciation and in conformity with the established standards of communication. 

Besides ensuring clarity in communication and being persuasive, conversational threading is another essential technique in communication. When communication is done through conversations, it becomes relatively possible to draw a deeper understanding of the issues (Fielding, 2005). For instance, when people share a story during a communication process, it draws the attention of the other group members, makes it easy to understand the issues and offer an informed response. Moreover, conversational threading provides an avenue for establishing closer relationships and alliances to the extent that people get attracted to the details of the communication process. Conversational threading also fosters a better engagement to the extent that it allows people to connect through the conversations and stories (Fielding, 2005). Communication plays a significant role in enhancing communication and allowing the development of alliances, partnerships, and alliances. Without proper communication, it is relatively impossible to ensure collaboration and effective engagement of the team players. 


The discussion above has focused various issues that include decision making, communication as well as collaborative techniques. The success of every group or organization requires the proper integration of the three elements. In the decision-making process, diversity, ethics and cultural competence determine the outcome (Bowen, 2004). These elements have an impact on the outcome of the decisions. For example, ethics can impact decision making because all the deliberations are made based on a value system or an individual’s belief. On the other hand, the ethical standards in the workplace can also affect the manner in which people make decisions. Proper communication also demands the understanding and appreciating a person’s cultural background. When a person understands the cultural establishment of a particular group, it affects the manner in which they make decisions. To this extent, therefore, it is imperative to underscore that various elements affect the decision-making process. Additionally, these elements can have negative or positive decision making. Social stereotypes can affect the decision-making process. When people have a certain perception about some group, it shapes the way they make decisions. 

Communication plays a significant role in the establishment of a group culture. The communication structure in a particular group determines the roles, leadership and the hierarchy within a particular group. Moreover, the type of communication aid in boosting the morale of the group and enhances cohesion. Groups often require different types of communication for specific tasks. When a group is relatively small, centralized communication becomes the best.  Centralized communication is appropriate in this context because the interaction between the members is often limited and that increases effectiveness (Del et al., 2008). On the other hand, complex situations demand a decentralized communication structure. Communication ensures the decision-making is effective. Through communication, it becomes possible to create awareness concerning the emerging challenges. Communication might be more effective if the decision-making strategies are properly outlined (Del et al., 2008). The communication standards, as well as the performance of a group, are raised when the group has clearly spelt out objectives and goals. 

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The effective decision-making process is dependent on the communication strategies employed in a group or organization. The details of a particular issue must be outlined and discussed before a decision is reached. The deliberations and discussions are only made possible through the communication process. The communication and the collaborative techniques employed by the group leader determine the effectiveness of the decision-making process (Del et al., 2008). Meeting the goals of a group is only possible if the members have a proper communication channel through which they can share their views and contribute to the discussion. The group leader must establish appropriate collaborative and communication techniques to promote the aspect of the decision-making process. 

Today, ethical decision-making has gained traction in most social constructions. Ethical decision-making involves choosing between two alternatives in a manner consistent with the established moral principles. In the decision-making process, it is imperative that the unethical tendencies are eliminated. The elimination of the unethical options allows the decisions made to be based on moral values and principles. The outcomes of the decision-making process should be a critical consideration. Utilitarianism is one of the ethical principles and it denotes that wrong or right can only be determined based on the outcomes (Newton, 2013). To this extent, therefore, individuals have the responsibility of interrogating the outcomes of their decisions before making proposals. The outcome of a decision must be acceptable and be able to meet the intended goals and objectives. Ethics, diversity and the cultural relevance all play a vital role in ensuring that the decision-making process derives the intended outcomes. While diversity allows for the contribution of various ideas, ethics ensure that decisions are based on values and moral principles (Newton, 2013). Moreover, communication and collaborative methods must be employed as a consequence of ensuring effective decision-making process.


This paper will offer a critical reflection on the decision-making process in groups and workplaces and how various aspects play a role in realizing effective outcomes and the development of partnerships, alliances, and relationships. The essence and significance of decision-making in any organization cannot be overstated. Diversity is crucial in decision making to the extent that it provides a basis for alternative interpretation of information gathered. On the other hand, ethics can impact decision making because all the deliberations are made based on a value system or an individual’s belief. While collaborative techniques play a critical role in the development of partnerships, alliances, and relationships, communication also plays a significant role. Through collaborative and communication techniques, it becomes relatively easy to build alliances, relationships, and alliances. The decision-making process can be impacted to some extent by collaborative and communication techniques. 

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