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Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life
     

Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life

by Ronald A. Howard
 

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We often make small ethical compromises for "good" reasons: We lie to a customer because our boss asked us to. We exaggerate our accomplishments on our résumé to get an interview. Temptation blindsides us. And we make snap decisions we regret.

Minor ethical lapses can seem harmless, but they instill in us a hard-to-break habit of distorted thinking.

Overview

We often make small ethical compromises for "good" reasons: We lie to a customer because our boss asked us to. We exaggerate our accomplishments on our résumé to get an interview. Temptation blindsides us. And we make snap decisions we regret.

Minor ethical lapses can seem harmless, but they instill in us a hard-to-break habit of distorted thinking. Rationalizations drown out our inner voice, and we make up the rules as we go. We lose control of our decisions, fall victim to the temptations and pressures of our situations, taint our characters, and sour business and personal relationships.

In Ethics for the Real World, Ronald Howard and Clinton Korver explain how to master the art of ethical decision making by:
Identifying potential compromises in your own life
Applying distinctions to clarify your ethical thinking
Committing in advance to ethical principles
Generating creative alternatives to resolve dilemmas

Packed with real-life examples, this book gives you practical advice to respond skillfully to life's inevitable ethical challenges. Not only can you make right decisions, you can acquire new habits that will realize the best in yourself and transform your relationships.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Few are likely to quibble that "Thou shalt not illegally download copyrighted media files" doesn't have quite the solemnity or clarity of "Thou shalt not steal." Howard and Korver invite readers into ethics' gray areas and guide them in developing a personal ethical code hardy enough for the most ambiguous situations. The book presents a four-part plan to become aware of "ethical temptation and compromise," the fundamentals of ethical logic and using ethics as an avenue to a happier life. The authors successfully tease out the prudential, legal and ethical dimensions of actions—however, readers might become frustrated with the lack of conclusive instructions. Furthermore, while the putative goal of the book is to assist readers in constructing their "personal code," the sample models presented are so rife with inconsistencies that the book contributes to more ethical confusion than clarity. While the very nature of ethics acknowledges the varying shades of gray, a bit more black and white when it comes to ethical guidance might lead to a more satisfying read. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422163627
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
06/24/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
212
Sales rank:
435,926
File size:
443 KB

Meet the Author

Ronald A. Howard is a professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering in Stanford University's School of Engineering, and the director of the Department's Decisions and Ethics Center. Clinton D. Korver is the founder and CEO of DecisionStreet, which provides Web-based tools to help consumers make important life decisions.

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