Ethical Dilemmas and the Workplace

Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10089

Do you always know the right thing to do? Have you been troubled by others' actions at work? Using a video and in-depth worksheets, learn why ethical behavior is important at work and school and home!


Interpersonal Skills

Life Skills
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


While you were eating lunch, you realized that you forgot to do your English homework that is due today! You're in a hurry, and you know you can find the answers online. What do you do? What should you do?

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do” (Potter Stewart).

When you’re faced with a difficult decision, what do you do? How do you go about making your decision?

What are ethics? Here are some definitions:

  • moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior
  • rules or standards by which you choose to live your life and make decisions

Here are some important questions to consider:

  1. Where do you think your morals come from? How are your morals formed?
  2. Why are ethics important to you?
  3. Why it is important to use ethical behavior?
  4. Why would someone want to be ethical in his or her own life or at work?
  5. Why would ethics be important to employers? Ethics:
  • create a more positive work environment.
  • help a company run smoothly.
  • help with productivity.
  • build valuable relationships with clients and customers.
  • promote teamwork among employees.

What are some other reasons why ethics are important to employers? Brainstorm examples of unethical and ethical behavior that you have witnessed.

Print the handout titled Top Ten Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Making an Ethical Decision from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. This guide will help you make ethical decisions.

  • Are these realistic guidelines to follow?
  • Would these guidelines make a difference for your decision-making?

Take a few minutes to review the Workplace Ethics video from Kantola Training Solutions:


Continue on to the Got It? section to examine some ethical dilemma scenarios.

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