Business Ethics - Qut

Business Ethics - Qut

Ethics in Emergency Services WHO CARES? Dr. Erica French 29th September 2007 Issues Influences Investigation Implementation ISSUES Ethics - Defined

Concerns the moral philosophy, values and norms of behaviour that guide activities within society Top ethical issues International survey of 300 companies identified the following ethics issues

Conflicts of Interest Inappropriate gifts Sexual harassment Unauthorised payments Equity in diversity 91% 91 91 85 84 Ethical Issues cont

Women (n=1400) identified the following as occurring frequently in business Managers lying to employees Expense account abuses at high levels Office nepotism and favouritism Taking credit of anothers work Ethics Issues in EMS

Decline in ethics standards due to poor resourcing of EMS Generational change Standards higher today Passion for service in decline Lack of honesty by management Fallacies, Myths and Realities

Ethics private not public affair Business and ethics dont mix Ethics can be managed Rules and laws may be insufficient to guide morally complex decisions Dilbert page 65 Source: The Dilbert Principle, Scott Adams, HarperBusiness, 1996 INFLUENCES

Influencing Factors Problem Definition Individual Factors Organisational Factors External Factors Ethical Principles Problem Definition

Problem Definition and Identification Different levels and perspective How would you define the problem if you stood on the other side of the fence? Individual and Organisational Factors Individual Factors

Organisational Culture Moral Responsibility Stages of Development Values, beliefs, goals, norms Social Responsibility External Factors

National values Competition History Ethical Principles UTILITY HUMAN RIGHTS JUSTICE INTEGRATIVE

Utilitarianism Greatest good for the greatest number of people affected by it. Actions judged as right, good, or wrong depending on consequences. Ends justifies the means Benefits should outweigh costs of other alternatives

Utilitarianism and Management Benefits Limitations considers collective good

collective rather than individual values influence behaviour Non-monetary stakes (health, safety, environment) are hard to measure, collectivist Problems changing societal and workforce composition; changing societal and workforce values. RIGHTS

Protects individual freedom, dignity and choice Driven by individual entitlement Based on legal rights and principle of duty Viewed from individual perspective rather than societal or group view. Rights and Management Benefits

Limitations supports basic entitlements; eg anti discrimination legislation overcomes utilitarianism can be used by some groups to own advantage Problems

determining rights and duties; addressing cultural differences. Justice All persons should be treated fairly Based on principles of fairness and equality All persons should have equal opportunity to share in societys benefits and burdens Justice and Management

Benefits Limitations addresses unfair distribution of access to service rules and processes determining justice may not be transparent or fair.

Problems determining who is right and who is wrong; power, cultural norms. Principle Value Outcome Utility Greatest good All patients be

for greatest transported number Human Rights Individual entitlement Patients rights and paramedic duties Justice

Community fairness Group decision INVESTIGATION Research Survey - 59 ACAP Members Interviews 6 70.00%

60.00% 50.00% 40.00% Individual dignity Cost Benefit ratios Utility Rights Justice 30.00% 20.00% 10.00%

0.00% Individual Org Conflict in EMS Conflict with personal ethical standards Superiors (65%) Medical staff (60%)

Conflict with institutional practices Transparency (60%) Equal access to promotion or transfer (60%) Honesty (57%) Equal access to training (50%) Discrimination (40%) Organisational Processes Comparisons of ethical standards

over time - Inconclusive Inappropriate processes Dishonest dealing with employees (70%) Lack of information disclosure to employees (66%) Harassment and bullying (63%)

Eliminating inappropriate processes Dishonest dealing with employees (65%) Current roster practices (65%) Information disclosure (63%) Consultation Consultation with others on ethics conflict

Colleagues (60%) Supervisors (51%) Friends (36%) Only 7% approached ethics committee Only 2% approached LAC Most helpful in consultation process

Colleagues (48%) Friends (29%) Ethics in EMS Factors of higher ethical standards Increase in higher education

Code of conduct Increased professionalism Ethics training Increase in public awareness Factors of lower ethical standards Poor rewards for Ambulance professionals Poor resource allocation for EMS Poor work life balance Future for the Profession

Future Stay in the profession (65%) Elsewhere (25%) Nursing and other (6%) Retire (4%) IMPLEMENTATION Ethics management challenges to meet the emergency medical

service requirement 1. Recognition of competing interests in ethical dilemmas 2. Finding a balance 3. Building a culture of trust

Acknowledgment of conflict Recognition of competence and accomplishment Ethics codes and training Support for employee decision-making Audit of organisational practices Improved communication processes Ethics in Emergency Services WHO CARES? Dr. Erica French 29th September 2007

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