Ethics

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  • Created by: charlotte
  • Created on: 28-04-14 16:36

Definition

Wood, E and Somerville, I (2008)

'The conventions or standards which a particular group or community acts upon'

Anne Gregory (2009)

'The formal study and codification of moral principles...so that decisions can be made about what is right and wrong in a reasoned and structured way'

'The appreciation of knowledge, understanding and reasoning to the questions of right and wrong behaviour in the professional practive of PR'

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Ethical Issues in PR

  • Persuasion or propaganda
  • Transparency: Information disclosure
  • Personal competence
  • Organisational competence
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Whistle blowing
  • Relations with the media
  • Conflicts within codes
  • Work accepted/declined
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Professionalism

  • Building trust with stakeholders
    • Importance of honesty
  • Being an ethical guardian
  • Promoting social responsibility
  • Acting legally and within professional codes of conduct
  • Being mindful of the reputation of the PR industry
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Propaganda

Form of persuasion embodies concepts of:

  • Manipulation
  • Untruth
  • Distortion of facts
  • Interests of the communicator rather than reciever
  • Withholding of information
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Ethical Decision Making: Trevino and Nelson (2004)

  • Moral awareness (acknowledging an ethical dilemma)
  • Moral judgement (deciding what is right)
  • Ethical behaviour (doing the right thing)
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PR Duty to Whom - Parsons, P (2004)

  • Self
  • Client
  • Organisation
  • Profession
  • Society
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EDM Context

  • The law
  • Professional
    • UK CIPR Code of Conduct
    • PRCA Code of Conduct
  • Company
    • Codes of Practice
  • Individual
    • Moral Codes
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EDM Model: Five PR Pillars - Parsons, P (2004)

  • Veracity - To tell the truth
  • Non-maleficence - To do no harm
  • Beneficence - To do good
  • Confidentiality - To respect privacy
  • Fairness - To be fair and socially responsible
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EDM Model - Sims (1992)

  • Recognise and clarify the dilemma
  • Get all possible facts and list all options
  • Test each option by asking is it legal, right, beneficial
  • Make decision
  • Double check - how would my family feel about this?
  • How would I feel if my decision was printed in the paper?
  • Take action
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Ethical Theories 1: Consequentialism

  • Consquences of behaviour considered
    • Utilitariaism 'notion that an action is right only to the extent that it causes more good than ill' Wood, E and Somerville, I (2008)
    • Difficulties
      • Assumption that consequences can be predicted
      • Results justify the means thinking may disadvantage some individuals
      • Right for people to be treated as measn to end?
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Ethical Theories 1: Consequentialism

  • Consquences of behaviour considered
    • Utilitariaism 'notion that an action is right only to the extent that it causes more good than ill' Wood, E and Somerville, I (2008)
    • Difficulties
      • Assumption that consequences can be predicted
      • Results justify the means thinking may disadvantage some individuals
      • Right for people to be treated as measn to end?
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Ethical Theories 2: Non-Consequentialism

Prioritisation of duties and principles

  • Difficulties
    • Insufficient rules to cover all situations
    • Rules open to interpretation
    • Loopholes develop
  • Individual Rights
    • Conflicting
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Ethical Theories 3: Virtue Ethics

Anne Gregory

Virtue ethics considers the principles of an individual

  • Bound with cultural context
    • Issues
      • Community might not have thought about your situation
      • Community might not have got it right
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Ethical Theories 4: Situational Ethics

  • No moral is absolute; situation alters the rules
  • Seems sensible but ethics then looses the value of being systematically applied
  • All practitioners think about the situation when making ethical decisions
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