Date of Award

5-17-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Mark Youndt

Second Reader

Maxine Lentz

Abstract

The lack of ethical decision making in organizations has resulted in corporate and individual financial trauma, bankruptcies, indictments and convictions of CEOs. Recent research shows that ethical decision making has not increased despite legislation to correct behaviors that led to the business failures of the past decade. The research indicates that unethical behaviors are abundant and that corporate cultures lack ethical support mechanisms. Theorists have created models to promote ethical decision making by focusing on a range of areas from communications to corporate culture and the actual decision making process. Although each is valid, what is lacking is a practical model that is easy to integrate into existing business processes. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to develop a practical model that moves ethics from philosophy to practice by defining the role of the CEO, infusing the decision making process into the organizational culture, and embedding the decision making into the strategic planning process.

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