Consultation > Organizational Consultation

Fotolia (Imageteam)
Fotolia (Imageteam)

Ethical questions and problems are regularly characterized by both, individual and instituational aspects. Hence, ethics consultation should deal with both (>Integrated Ethics).

The interdependency of persons and organizations

The interdepency of persons and organizations regarding ethical questions and problems becomes clear by looking at the following three examples:

  • Strategic management: The success or failure of strategic management decisions like mergers & acquisitions significantly depend on the organizational cultures with their ethical values and underlying assumptions regarding the world and human life.
  • Hidden curriculum: In teaching hospitals, students are frequently confronted with behavior of their superiors that conflicts with or even contradicts ethical guidelines of the profession and the organization (as expressed in, for example, mission statements, principles of leadership, codes of ethics).
  • Moral distress: Due to the predominant organizational framework, individuals cannot act according to perceived or publicly stated ethical norms.

Organizational ethical shortcomings typically result in individuals' frustration ("Sysiphos effect") or compassion fatigue because of the perceived hypocracy.

Organizational ethics consultation

The primary targets for organizational ethics consultations are, on the one side,

  • members of the governing board
  • organizational leaders

who have to acknowledge the problems, analyze the present situation, and develop a program for a better "ethics fit" of organizational and personal aspects of healthcare.

Organizational ethics consultation, on the other side, supports employees in developing their own contributions for building a healthy ethics climate as well as resources for dealing with ethical disappointments and setbacks.