Thinking Ethically


Thinking ethically has always been recommended to enhance self-image in the workplace for better results and mutual achievement for all. When one acts ethically, there is the better self that is achieved in relation to one another. An ethically based organization produces the best in people and accomplishes the set standards of results therein. Ethics, however, refers to the set standards of behavior that dictate how mankind reacts to various situations in life. This paper will discuss the four lenses of ethics that are consequential, deontological, virtue ethics, and the ethics of care as demonstrated in the case study on Goodrich Engineering Company.

Consequential Ethics

According to Holmgren (2000), consequential ethics and deontology are the two main theories in the contemporary ethics. In this theory, making the right actions leads to maximizing good outcomes. In this case study, Lawson made the right decision of going back to the testing room.  He discovered the fault that made brakes made by Warren lose their effectiveness. However, Warren rejected the test results, and Lawson made another good decision of taking the matter to his seniors for further scrutiny. When Lawson made the right decision, the chances of the breaks excellent performance, and escaping the danger that Warrens break design would bring, were very high. This act of doing the right thing activates the outcome of the action in that the end results of any action is dependent on the initial decisions made. From a consequential viewpoint, actions that are morally right will produce the right outcomes (Holmgren 2000).

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Deontological Ethics

This theory is action based, where the character of a person is judged rather than judging the actions on the basis of right and wrong. Moral systems are regarded primarily by focusing on the observance of the individual and independent moral rules and duties (Holmgren, 2000). The breaks Warren had made were with fault, yet because his co-workers did not like his reaction to criticism, the faulty brakes were accepted without question. His character overshadowed the set rules of the company on standard in their products. Nonetheless, Lawson’s careful computation of the four defective disk brakes was dictated by this lens. This theory states that when one is following the duties, then there is morality, but when one does not follow the duties, it is immorality.

Virtue Ethics

This theory places great emphasis on the community to pursue and nurture these virtues for the common good of the company. In this case study, Lawson decides to make new brakes with different designs from the initial ones made by Warren. He made an independent decision for the good of the company, although Warren was in the objection of the plan. His character is that of pursuing the common good of the company rather than self seeking as is seen in Warren’s character. According to Aristotle, virtue ethics is about the pursuant to certain moral excellence. However, the pursuit of the external human good is not the final result, but rather a pursuit of mutual excellence. Nonetheless, virtue ethics requires that one cannot entirely depend on guidelines, and rules set aside. A person’s own moral judgement is of excellent value as is seen in Lawson’s choice of going against Warren’s objections.

Ethics of Care

Much emphasis is put on the rights of a company relying on intuitions and emotions. Through this lens, compassion of others is given prominent value (Holmgren, 2000). Everyone is considered with great value without the element of ignorance to one’s feelings and emotions. While decisions are being made, every stakeholder is heard and given equal opportunity to express themselves. However, in this company, ethics of care should be given first priority because there is an element of ignorance to the best brains, like Lawson. This would help people like Lawson offer their best knowledge in their practice and duty. The company would evade a lot of future loses if this lens is given the much needed focus to uplift everyone regardless of their position in the workplace. This helps to bring the relationships in the workplace together on an equal platform, thereby energizing individual input to the organization.


This paper has discussed four ethical lenses that are essential in the understanding of values that influence choices people make. At Goodrich Engineering Company, these lenses are exhibited mainly by the co-workers as they endeavour to achieve the set goals of the company. Everyone makes ethical choices depending on one’s perspectives and values exhibited as this discussion has studied. When one understands the values that are vital on a personal basis, there are fewer conflicts that are unnecessary. Understanding other people’s values is an important element that enhances corporate relationships in the workplace or the larger society. Everyone sees the world through any of these four lenses discussed in this paper. These ethical perspectives dictate the choices that Lawson makes to achieve the final result.