Decision Making That Affects The Lives Of The Public

739 Words3 Pages
Decision-making that affects the lives of the public or occurs in a high-risk, delicate situation cannot afford to be aimless. Thus, it is logical that philosophies have been developed to direct an individual’s behavior and are applicable in various fields such as the criminal justice system and the public sector. The utilitarian ethic is a school of thought that can conceivably impact the actions employed in public administration. The principle behind the utilitarian ethic holds that maximizing the happiness for the greatest number should function as the foundation when formulating judgments (Starling, 2011, p. 187). Therefore, the utilitarian ethic can facilitate the interests of those individuals that identify as being a part of the greatest number, but considerably disadvantage the “minority”. For example, suppose that the government is faced with a crisis and their designated response can result in either the mass loss of human life or the deaths of a few. Consequently, officials may determine that ensuring the survival of many would be the superior alternative. Kant’s categorical imperative adheres to a disparate standard in relation to its examination of ethics. Starling (2011) “Kant found that ultimately all moral decisions should be based on a single principle: Act as if the maxim of your action were to become a general law binding on everyone” (p. 189). In other words, no one is exempt from observing the rules and rules that are implemented should evenly pertain to the people as a whole. The applicability of the categorical imperative in the public sector is discernible. For example, in accordance to Kant, policymakers would not enact a policy they would not intend to follow or a policy they would oppose being bound t... ... middle of paper ... ...ment. In order to control a crisis, management should respond speedily, be honest, demonstrate their concern for their employees, and incorporate the knowledge gained from this experience into future crisis management efforts (Starling, 2011, p. 226). It is critical to indicate to staff as well as the public that the organization is not solely preoccupied with collecting funds or preserving their reputation. For instance, in the 1980s, Johnson and Johnson issued a massive recall of Tylenol despite its immense cost. Consequently, this approach was perceived as signifying that Johnson and Johnson cared about the wellbeing of their customers and strengthened their standing in the eyes of the public. Thus, if it is believed that the primary motivation of an organization following a crisis is to secure its own self-interest it could sustain extensive damage to its image.
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