Self-Awareness in Ethics: A Blueprint for Better Decision-Making

Overview

We all know that a leader’s performance hinges on reflection and effective decision making, often within an environment that is complex and uncertain. The field of business ethics offers distinctive models for evaluating data, people, and situations in a way that can help executives take stock—and take smarter action.

However, increased awareness of moral complexity does not make decisions easier. In fact, awareness of ambiguity and inconsistency can make us uncomfortable. However, this discomfort can be an invaluable source of information that enables effective decision making.

This recorded presentation introduces a framework of different ethical perspectives that managers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders can use to become more aware of the flaws and inconsistencies in their moral decision making process, and the decision process of others. These perspectives include:

  • Utilitarianism
  • Rule-based ethics
  • Character-driven ethics
​If we have the courage to allow for this awareness and the resulting discomfort, we open the way to becoming better decision makers.

About the Presenter

Dr. Rosa Slegers is an Associate Professor, teaching philosophy courses and leading discussions on business ethics in the undergraduate and MBA programs at Babson College. Her teaching focuses on philosophical ethics, existentialism, and philosophy & literature. Most of her classes are interdisciplinary in nature, integrating philosophical reflection with scientific developments (especially in primatology and personal robotics), literature, film, and pop culture. She also designs and teaches ethics sessions exploring issues in management, accounting, economics and marketing.

Her book Courageous Vulnerability (Brill, 2011) draws on the philosophies of William James, Henri Bergson, and Gabriel Marcel to frame a cluster of moral and aesthetic attitudes in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. Other publications at the intersection of philosophy and literature focus on the themes of hope, evil, and the uncanny. She has also written on the integration of virtue ethics and sociobiology and is currently working on the moral philosophy of Adam Smith and its implications for business ethics education today. Professor Slegers earned a PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University; an MA in Philosophy and an MA in Literary Theory from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium); and an MBA from Babson College.