How to make ethical management decisions for ultimate success

In management, you are faced with many decisions each day. While some of these are easy to make, others may present you with challenges to overcome.

Good managers must learn to distance themselves from negativity and look at situations rationally. Even a well-liked or loved manager will have some employee or colleague that doesn’t feel as warm towards them as most.

As a manager, there are different approaches that you will need to use to make decisions depending on the situation. As much as you may like to take a virtuous approach all the time, there will be times that a utilitarian approach or one that is for the greater good of your company will be required, even if it is less virtuous than you would like it to be. Gaining management skills can be accomplished through experience and continued education. An affordable online MBA is a great way to increase your earning potential and gain more management skills.

Always remember that management decisions make or break a business

Major decisions have a lot of impact on a business. These decisions determine the entire business structure as well as cash flow and hiring decisions.

Decisions affect employee satisfaction

Employee morale matters a lot when it comes to the success of your business. If managers are always making decisions that do not properly value the employees and their well-being, this will have a major impact on the business. Employees who do not feel valued or cared for do not try to excel. For example, if a manager is always making decisions that boost profitability at the expense of working salaried employees longer hours, eventually, the consequences will be that employees that are showing up for the extra work will not get a lot done during that time or even worse, make mistakes that cost even more time and money.

Good decisions boost productivity while creating a good working environment

Productivity is important. You want to make sure you are getting a reasonable amount of work out of your labor force without working them too hard. Some great business decisions can boost efficiency and productivity without increasing work hours or stress. In fact, a savvy manager can sometimes boost productivity and eliminate some common stressors in the work environment. For example, if a decision causes a process to be more streamlined, with less back-and-forth shuffling between employees, the workload can feel reduced.

Zeroing in on the right opportunities results from making the correct decisions

Sometimes there may seem to be countless opportunities for a business. Determining the best opportunities for your specific business requires a lot of consideration if you want to ensure that you are not just jumping at the first opportunity that sounds appealing. Great managers look at the big picture and think about long-term and short-term gains. Sometimes, a short-term gain may not look great compared to what a different decision may offer in the long term.

Hiring decisions have a huge impact on the success of your company

Ideally, you wanted to hire the best. Employees need to be motivated, dedicated and loyal. This means management must take care when screening applicants no matter what position they are applying for within the company. Managers should make the final decision regarding job descriptions and requirements before they are advertised. Hiring should not be a rush decision. Taking the time to cast a wide net can result in more talented applicants. The decision to hire someone can be difficult at times, especially when you have a lot of highly qualified applicants. Emotions can come into play as well. Sometimes a manager may just have a feeling about an employee and choose to follow their gut feeling even if another applicant is slightly more qualified.

Management decisions influence how effective your marketing strategy is

Good marketing can turn a business around. Regardless of where your company is at, making the most of your marketing budget is something you should strive for. Marketing decisions need to consider demographics, sales figures of all products and services and the economy’s health. Other factors may include if you are launching a product or trying to reach a different demographic.

Being open to creativity and new things while at the same time looking at the facts rather than what you wish they were are characteristics of managers that tend to make smarter marketing choices.

Good managers establish realistic goals and ensure employees have the necessary tools to achieve them

It is important that when goals and milestones are established that they are realistic. Setting unrealistic goals creates a sense of failure and hopelessness among employees. Instead, it is better to set a series of goals and milestones that are small steps toward a larger goal. Each milestone offers a sense of accomplishment that encourages employees to strive for the next step. Small steps can lead to great success and company growth. Simply put, success breeds further success.

Managers must learn different approaches to making ethical decisions

It is important to think critically and approach decisions within an ethical framework. No one approach is good for all situations. A good manager knows when to use each approach to get the best result.

Here are the approaches you need to familiarize yourself with to make the best decisions:


When you make a decision for the greater good, you are taking a utilitarian approach to make an ethical decision. Utilitarian decisions involve weighing the positives and negatives of a decision for each individual or group under consideration. The final decision ultimately should cause the least amount of discontent to the fewest number of people. For example, if a company must cut some jobs, a human resources manager would weigh the benefits and consequences of cutting certain positions and make the decision that causes the least harm to the company and employee morale while keeping the business functioning at an acceptable level.

Virtue approach

This approach to decision-making is based on the quest to lead a just and moral life. The idea is to make decisions based on honesty, goodwill, generosity and other favorable moral stances. There are many examples of taking the virtue approach in the business world. Environmentally friendly brands take the virtue approach to decision-making to form their entire business. They often make a choice to use more expensive materials to create products rather than the less expensive version that causes more pollution. They do not feel it is morally right or virtuous to use substances that are harmful in some way.

The virtue approach to decision-making can come into play in other areas, such as hiring practices. For example, a human resources manager may feel as if they are doing a good deed by hiring a person with less experience that has overcome hardship or who they just know needs the job to set them on a better life path.

Common good

The common good approach to business decisions operates on the idea that decisions need to be in place that reflect the good of every member. In a business, this means making decisions that benefit every single customer. This approach is difficult at times because one manager may think a decision is for the common good while another may not. Therefore, using a common good approach must be done with care. One example of using a common good approach is when deciding what company benefits plan is most suitable for everyone. It is important to remember that although the goal of the common good is to benefit everyone, it doesn’t always work out that way. Unfortunately, for many to benefit, there are often those that must do more. If they can afford the time or money to do this, it is not so bad, but if things get tighter, it may seem unfair. Consider how taxes are supposed to go towards things that benefit everyone. Not everyone pays the same rate, nor do they use all the services they are paying for. So, while society is better off overall, some individuals are not.

The bottom line

Making decisions is often quite hard in the world of business. Therefore, it is important to know what approach to take and to weigh the pros and cons of any decision that must be made. Major decisions made in haste are often flawed. Of course, there are times when more split-second decision-making is necessary. Over time, managers get better at making these decisions quickly without making mistakes. The more experience one has at a company and the more knowledgeable they are about their job, the better.