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Moral Reasoning Research Papers

Moral reasoning research papers are philosophically based and discuss the concept of rational and morality. How does one go about moral reasoning? Paper Masters explains moral reasoning expertly in all our research.

Moral reasoning is the area where psychology and moral philosophy meet, and is also known as moral development. Lawrence Kohlberg and Jean Piaget are major contributors to the development of moral reasoning. It is frequently defined as the process by which an individual attempts to determine right from wrong through the use of logic.

Moral Reasoning

There are four components of moral reasoning.

  1. The first is moral sensitivity, defined as the ability to see an ethical dilemma and how an individual’s actions will affect others.
  2. The second aspect is moral judgment; the ability to correctly reason as to what action should be taken.
  3. The third aspect is moral motivation, a personal commitment to moral action and the acceptance of responsibility.
  4. The fourth aspect of moral reasoning is moral character, courageous persistence in the face of giving up.

Lawrence Kohlberg believed that moral development consists of five stages, and the purpose of moral education is to help children grow from one stage to the next. Jean Piaget, in contrast, had a two-stage system of moral development, the Heteronomous Phase common among children and the Autonomous Phase of adults. Under Piaget’s Autonomous Phase, it is reasoned that morality is not necessarily universal and many people have their own moral code. Many scientists believed that men and women had different moral codes. However, psychological testing has proven this notion false.

Kohlberg is long noted for his contributions on moral reasoning. Utilizing his six stage approach to moral reasoning, Kohlberg could successfully map the moral development of the individual regardless of the level of maturation that had been achieved. Kohlberg’s six stages of moral reasoning have been utilized so extensively that scholars are now applying the process to analysis of the organization. Through this process, those using Kohlberg’s six stages of moral reasoning are able to better understand where the organization currently stands with regard to ethical development and chart a plan for the progress and future of the organization. With the realization that Kohlberg’s six stages of moral reasoning have such notable application for the organization, there is a clear impetus to apply these stages in practices. To this end, this investigation considers a review any organization, its current ethics code and the process of moral development that is currently taking place in the organization. Specifically, a system of inquiry to evaluate decision making, problem solving and behavior in this organization will be proposed. This model will include a basic framework as well as a discussion of why, how, when, and by whom it is used. Finally a consideration of who the code would be implemented, possible reactions to the code from employees, and the effect the code would have on the organization will be discussed.

A research paper on moral reasoning notes that the first stage of moral development as established by Kohlberg was a rudimentary form of moral reasoning based on the avoidance of punishment. The punishment-obedience stage occurred when the child, in his infancy was disposed to situations in which decision-making was predicated on a basic reward and punishment scheme. In this context decision-making was not overtly tied to concrete conceptions of morality or values; rather decision making was tied to the treat of punishment if specific rules were not followed.

Applying this to the organization, it seems feasible to argue that this method of ethical control is utilized to some degree. Employees are made aware of the fact that if they engage in unethical behavior, they will be punished. However, it is evident that if the organization is to create a culture in which ethics serves as the basis to motivate behavior, the issue of ethical behavior must be tied to more important goals which have specific outcomes for the individual. These outcomes need to be predicated upon more than just the fact that punishment may occur as a result of acting improperly.

Clearly, the establishment of decision making frameworks in the organization is one that is not easily accomplished. Employees may feel somewhat oppressed by the rules imposed by the organization. However, by providing employees with the tools needed to ensure a collective experience with the system as well as flexibility when it comes to ethical issues and problems, it is possible that the organization can provide a firm decision making infrastructure will still empowering employees to do what its right. Given that many organizations pride themselves on their ability to “Do the right thing,” establishing decision making frameworks that create this type of environment should not be an overwhelming challenge for any organization. If done properly, this process could have notable impacts on ethical decision making in any organization.

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