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Easy Choices, Hard Choices, and the Appropriate Framework

Essay by   •  February 20, 2018  •  Essay  •  703 Words (3 Pages)  •  247 Views

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An influence that may cause me to act less ethically than I hoped I would is groupthink, the tendency for groups to avoid a realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action in favor of unanimity. All people are affected by groupthink, but I have noticed that groupthink can prevent me from doing what is right in a variety of situations. For example, while working on group projects here at BC, the group usually devises a plan and then works according to the plan. However, when the plan is not working, I am usually the first to notice. I do not have a problem speaking up and voicing my concern, but the group usually resists changing the plan, and I ultimately abandon my concerns about the plan in favor of unanimity. This could prove problematic in an audit room if I were to know something that the rest of the group did not, and I were unwilling to convince the group to do what is right.

As Dan Ariely discusses in his book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, people are frequently blinded by their own motivations. I have encountered an organizational blind spot in which a conflict of interests may have caused a coaching staff to be guilty of in-group favoritism. A coach for my town’s varsity lacrosse team started a select team that would play in the offseason. The coach encouraged current and prospective varsity players to play for his select team during the offseason. The select team was not cheap, though, and many current and prospective players for the varsity team could not afford to pay for the select team. Slowly but surely, the coaching staff for the town’s varsity team began to favor players who played on the select team, giving them more playing time even though they were not the best players on the team. Any underclassmen who wanted to play for the varsity team would beg his parents to pay for the select team. The coach may have been guilty of in-group favoritism, favoring players who played for his select team unknowingly. He should have played the best players, regardless of whether they played for the select team or not. The coach likely did not plan to get rich by forcing high school lacrosse players to pay for his select team. Instead, he probably wanted to have the best possible team and believed that if the team played together all year, the team would be better. However, in the process, he became guilty of in-group favoritism, which can have the same effects as out-group hostility.

To some degree, we have all encountered the opioid crisis, a societal issue

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