Military, Ethics

By Harris, Michael E. | National Defense, June 2014 | Go to article overview

Military, Ethics


Harris, Michael E., National Defense


I just read, "Military Ethics: Is There a Crisis of Leadership" (April 2014, page 16) and the answer is clearly, yes. While most people confuse morals and ethics, and ethics with a code of conduct, there are many differences.

I earned a Ph.D. in Christian business ethics in 1997 and have been a practicing ethics consultant. When I worked for a well-known multinational corporation that is a leader in the defense/aerospace industry, my manager refused to teach the corporate ethics program to his staff He asked me to do it because he felt that his management was very unethical and said he had no right teaching it. I did it for years.

While I speciali7e in ethics within a business, I can extend my model to any organization. In my model, the organization needs a strong mission statement--the "where we are today." Next, the organization needs a vision statement--the "where we want to be."

These are followed by the core values. The mission and vision statements are prepared and promulgated by senior executives, but the core values should be created by the employees. Core values in an organization are equivalent to morals in an individual. At one time in our great country, our morals were based on Biblical truths. For an organization, core values could include items such as honesty, integrity, citizenship or quality. …

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