Ethical Dilemma Essay

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Every day, we are faced with ethical dilemmas in our personal and professional lives. But when it comes to business decisions, an ethical dilemma can have far-reaching implications for both the company and its stakeholders. As a business professional or decision-maker, it’s important to understand what ethical dilemmas are, why they arise, and how to handle them responsibly. In this essay I would like to take a closer look at ethical dilemmas.

What is an Ethical Dilemma?

An ethical dilemma is a situation that requires one to choose between two or more options that conflict with each other’s moral principles. It can also be defined as a conflict between moral obligations or values where no solution is considered ideal. Ethical dilemmas can arise in many different contexts such as business decisions, healthcare choices, environmental issues, etc. Regardless of the context, it is important to recognize the implications of any decision you make to ensure that all parties involved are being treated fairly and ethically.

For example, imagine you’re the CEO of a company that has just acquired another business. To make this acquisition successful, you have to decide on one of two courses of action: reduce costs by laying off employees or increase prices for customers. Neither option is ethically preferable — but as the leader of the company, you must make a difficult decision nonetheless.

Identifying Ethical Dilemmas

The first step in resolving any ethical dilemma is recognizing when one exists. To do this effectively, you must consider all possible alternatives and identify which course of action would best uphold your company’s values and moral standards. In some cases, there may be conflicting interests between different groups within the organization (e.g., shareholders vs employees). In these situations, it is important to ensure that all stakeholders are taken into consideration when making the final decision.

Why Do Ethical Dilemmas Arise?

Ethical dilemmas often arise when two different values clash. For example, when personal ethics conflict with company policy. This can lead to difficult decisions that force one to choose between their own moral convictions and their professional responsibilities. It can also happen when someone feels they must choose between their own interests (such as financial gain) and those of others (such as fairness). In any case, ethical dilemmas arise out of situations where there is no clear right or wrong answer.

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas

Once you have identified an ethical dilemma, the next step is to determine how it should be resolved. This involves weighing the pros and cons of each potential action carefully before making a final decision. It is also wise to consult with experts or legal counsel before moving forward with any course of action, as they can provide helpful insights into the situation at hand. By the way, it is important to maintain transparency throughout the entire process so that all stakeholders feel informed about the resolution of the issue at hand.

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How Should You Handle Ethical Dilemmas?

To handle ethical dilemmas, one must possess critical thinking skills, empathy, and a comprehensive understanding of ethical principles.

The initial step in addressing ethical dilemmas involves identifying the problem and the moral principles that are involved. It requires analyzing the situation and weighing the potential outcomes of each possible solution. A thorough evaluation of the situation from various perspectives, taking into account the effects on all stakeholders, is crucial.

The next step involves applying ethical principles to the situation, such as honesty, integrity, justice, respect for autonomy, and beneficence. Prioritizing the principles most relevant to the situation and assessing how they apply to each option is important.

It's advisable to seek advice and guidance from experts, colleagues, or professional organizations to gain insight into the ethical dimensions of the issue and identify possible solutions. When making a decision, one must consider the impact on all stakeholders and the long-term consequences of their actions. Acting with integrity and being transparent in the decision-making process is essential.

Lastly, one must reflect on their decision and evaluate its effectiveness. Ethical dilemmas can be complicated, and ongoing evaluation and adjustment may be necessary. Continuous learning and improvement can help one handle future ethical dilemmas more effectively.


Ethical dilemmas are part and parcel of life in any industry — especially when it comes to making important decisions, both inside and outside the workplace. Taking time to reflect on your values before making any decisions can help ensure that whatever course you choose is ethically sound and respectful towards all parties involved. By understanding why these dilemmas arise and how best to address them, you’ll be better equipped to handle them responsibly each time they appear on your radar screen.

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Ethical Dilemma Essay. (2023, April 06). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“Ethical Dilemma Essay.” Edubirdie, 06 Apr. 2023,
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