Ethics makes it possible for people to live and work together in pursuit of common and individual interests.
Ethics is mission critical
Ethics (or morals) is a set of concerns, rules, principles, virtues, values, and decision processes that allow people to live together and pursue their common and individual interests. In the news every day we see a wide range of consequences for companies and average citizens who violate generally held ethical principles. Materials on this site are designed to help business people and a wide variety of professionals be more effectively ethical when making workplace decisions. Ethical decision making skills are mission critical for success in life and business.
These simple yet profound ethics tests can help you make tough decisions
Click on the ethics tests below that can help you make tough ethical choices and explain to other stakeholders why you made that decision.
Move beyond the Viral News Test
People in business often use the first test, the Viral News Test ("How would I feel and what would others think if news of this decision went viral?") to decide if an action or situation is an ethics problem. This quick and effective measure has saved many businesses and careers. Follow this link to better understand this critical tool, but don't stop there!
Move beyond it to seven other tests to give yourself a wider variety of tools to see why something is right or wrong and explain your ethical judgments to others. Two case studies, "Less Sugar" Marketing and Phantom Expenses show how these tests are used in real life and business situations.
A note on using this material
The 13 tests provided on this site are based on ideas from the western philosophical and religious traditions distilled over 30 years by Dr. J. Brooke Hamilton III into practical tests that fit comfortably into business and professional conversations and that are easily remembered. He has applied them in his business and personal life and refined them while teaching undergraduates at Tuskegee University and the BI Moody College of Business at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Louisiana State University medical residents.
Unique primarily in the language they employ, the EthicsOps tests are part of both the ancient and recent tradition of Western ethics, and informed by recent research on how our brains make decisions from neuroscience, social and developmental psychology, and behavioral studies.
Thinking, as the American philosopher and psychologist William James reminded us, is for doing. As more people live more closely connected with each other, doing ethically becomes ever more critical.
The materials on EthicsOps.com are copyrighted, but under the fair use provisions of the law you may make a copy for your personal use. You have permission also to copy and distribute them with attribution for noncommercial educational purposes.
The material available on this site is constantly being tested, updated, and adapted for the need of specific professions. Any comments and suggestions you have for improvements are welcome and easy to make through the Contact page.