Don’t Just Trust Your Gut: The Importance of Normative Deliberation to Ethical Decision-Making at Work

Journal of Business Ethics:1-21 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

While deliberation has traditionally played a central role in philosophical and behavioral accounts of ethical decision-making, several recent studies challenge the value of deliberation. These studies find that deliberative thinking, such as considering divergent views or different perspectives, leads to less ethical decisions. We observe, however, that these studies do not address normative deliberation, in which decision-makers consider or apply a normative standard. We predict that normative deliberation improves ethical decision-making. Across six experiments, we examine the effects of non-normative deliberation and normative deliberation on ethical decision-making. We find that normative deliberation improves ethical decision-making and, in contrast to recent studies, no form of deliberation harms ethical decision-making.

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Tobey Scharding
Stanford University (PhD)

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