[Answered] What do you understand by an ethical dilemma? How an administrator should deal with situations of ethical dilemma?

Introduction: Explain ethical dilemma.
Body: Explain how an administrator should deal with situations of ethical dilemma.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

An ethical dilemma is a situation of conflict among various principles, creating a difficulty in decision making. An ethical dilemma arises when one has to choose between ethical values and rules in order to determine the right-thing-to-do.  Administrators too face ethical dilemmas many times. This led to difficulty in decision making and requires conscience to resolve such dilemmas.

There are several different types of ethical dilemmas that one may encounter in the course of performing their roles and responsibilities:

  • Epistemic dilemmastake place in a decision-making context where moral standards conflict and the one cannot readily determine which ethical principle should take precedence over the other.
  • A self-imposed dilemmais created by the one’s own errors in judgment, such as making competing promises to multiple organizations that cannot be fulfilled simultaneously. In contrast, a world-imposed dilemma is caused by circumstances outside the one’s control.
  • An obligation dilemmais one where person has multiple options and more than one of them is obligatory, while a prohibition dilemma occurs when all available options are prohibited.

How an administrator should deal with situations of ethical dilemma? 

  • Personal self-interest should be secondary to the common good in all situations, especially when such circumstances give rise to conflict of interest.
  • A dilemma should be dealt appropriately by considering and reformulating all the options in a systematic and coherent manner.
  • To resolve such ethical dilemmas, an order or a sequence of logical reasoning is must to integrate and rearrange the process of dealing with ethical dilemmas.
  • The decisions should be guided by following principles:
    1. The provisions of Indian Constitution.
    2. Democratic accountability of administration.
    3. The rule of law and the principle of legality.
    4. Professional integrity.
    5. Impartiality and neutrality.
    6. Larger public good.
    7. Responsiveness to civil society.
  • The bureaucracy should be loyal to the country and it’s people while decision making considering consequences of such decisions.
  • It is fundamental ethical duty of civil servants to show a spirit of neutrality and discretion and keep their own personal preferences out in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.

Civil servants are responsible for providing justice to many lives. Their impartiality and neutrality is must to uphold his/her duty towards a society. Dilemmas arise many times in life of civil servants while performing their duties. What required is the objective decision making for larger public benefit.

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