Developing Decision Frameworks for Ethically Complex Issues



Dave Kiersznowski – Founder & Co-Owner, DEMDACO
Steven Garber – Principal, The Washington Institute


This session will seek to create a discussion around the topic of ethically complex issues in business and institutions, and how one might approach them. The presenters will offer several approaches to consider when faced with complex issues, including:

  1. A general discussion of using the framework of “business as it OUGHT to be, the reality of the way it IS, what we CAN do to redeem it, and how we hope it WILL be in the future. This meta-narrative of OUGHT, IS, CAN and WILL can often be useful in approaching issues that seem difficult or complex.
  2. A discussion of the concept of Obedience to the Unenforceable, which offers a general framework for developing a culture of pursuing that which “ought to be.”
  3. A discussion of the concept of Proximate Justice, a framework that can help navigate through the ruins of ethically complex issues by realizing that while perfection may not be attainable, improvement may be, and so we should seek something (improvement) rather than nothing (unattainable perfection).

The presenters will then moderate a discussion with participants, seeking to share and understand other models used when facing complex issues.

Who Might Find This Helpful

While this session will often use examples from the world of business, it will certainly pull in examples from many other vocational arenas. Conference participants who often face complex issues and decisions might find this breakout session helpful.

Topics: Ethics
Conferences: CG2013
Church: Christ Community Church, Kansas City

About the Author

Dr. Steven Garber is founder and president of The Washington Institute and author of Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good.