Creating an Ethical Work Place – 7 Guidelines
for making Ethical Decisions

(Choose the appropriate guidelines for your case.)


  1. The Golden Rule:  Act in a way you would expect others to act toward you.
  2. The Utilitarian Principle: Act in a way that results in the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
  3. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: Act in such a way that the action taken under the circumstances could be a universal law, or rule of behavior.
  4. The Professional Ethic: Take actions that would be viewed as proper by a disinterested panel of professional peers.

  5. The TV Test: Managers should always ask, “Would I feel comfortable explaining to a national TV audience why I took this action?”

  6. The Legal Test: Is the proposed action or decision legal/?  Established laws are generally considered minimum standards for ethics.

  7. The Four-way Test (Source: Herb Taylor 1932, Rotary International):
    Managers can feel confident that a decision is ethical if they can answer “yes” to the following questions:

Christine Bauer-Ramazani; last updated: July 09, 2017