ERIC Number: ED347568
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Ethical Reasoning: A Heuristic Approach for Business Educators.
Molberg, Diane R.
For the teaching of business report writing, ethical reasoning can be used as a heuristic for thinking that will encourage a more effective communication pattern for business students. Writing processes can be applied to thinking processes to help students approach theoretical concepts, make decisions, and write more effective business reports. A first step consists of demonstrating that the students themselves are ethical creatures frequently forced to make ethical decisions. Students must be shown that writing has to do with both thinking and ethical character. Providing students with heuristic devices for writing is important because they emphasize process rather than product, they provide alternatives, and they lead to rational conclusions and recommendations. When equating writing process and ethical reasoning, four considerations must be made: (1) timing--teachers should introduce ethical reasoning 5 or 6 weeks into a 15-week term; (2) text--the book used in the course should devote some depth to the ethical framework; (3) assignment--careful consideration should be given to fairly complex case studies; and (4) approach--the concept of an "issue tree" can help students write sound reports and make good decisions. A case study, "The Mismanaging Manager," demonstrates how a difficult personnel issue may be solved using issue trees and the utilitarian theory, the theory of rights, the theory of justice, and mentoring training. Finally, several student comments show that students have responded favorably to an approach joining ethical reasoning with report writing. (Six figures diagramming the heuristic approaches and demonstrating issue trees are included.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Business Ethics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Association for Business Communication Western Regional Conference (San Diego, CA, April 2-4, 1992).