Ethics is a philosophical subject and might seem too abstract to comprehend at first. Especially when you get into the ethical frameworks and the famous thinkers/philosophers who constructed these. In reality, ethics is just a simple concept on how we perceive if things are right or wrong and how our actions impact other people. Sort of an inner moral compass that points us into doing what is ethical given a circumstance.
Dr. Jeffrey C. Fox is a public safety trainer, educator, and consultant for Fox Public Safety. His 27-year-long career had him working in different facets of law enforcement and post-graduate degrees gained him the expertise to teach various courses related to leadership, decision-making and organizational development in general.
This time around, Dr. Jeffrey Fox guides us in understanding ethics in public safety organizations. He walks us through the concept of ethics, ethical approaches and issues, and practicing ethics as an organization and individual.
This webinar course discusses areas surrounding ethics such as:
- The reasons why people are unethical and the effects of unethical acts on an individual or organization.
- The definition of the terms ethics, values, and integrity.
- How ethics training can be taught and who are in charge of teaching the concept of ethics.
- The significance of life events and the society in molding us and our concept of ethics through imprinting, modeling, and socialization.
- What ideologies are from the societal to the individual level and why people have a public and private ‘selves’.
- What loyalty is and how loyalty to principle can be in conflict with loyalty to people.
- What paradigms are and how they affect the way we see the world.
- Overcoming our existing paradigms by learning self-mastery through the process of introspection to understand one’s self, our competence and commitment, values, attitudes, and beliefs.
- The concept of satisficing and how people practice it by coming up with the easiest, fastest and just ‘good enough’ decision so they do not appear indecisive.
- Using introspection and kaizen to improve one’s self.
Ethical problems that organizations and individuals experience such as:
- The bad apple, which isn’t really the cause, but a result of an underlying problem related to hiring or training
- Corruption and the common reasons why it occurs
- Causes for organizational ethical problems being politics, lack of background investigations during hiring, the lack of ethics training in FTO/OJT, and the lack of ethical role models.
- The problem with the entitlement mentality and how it affects the officers and the organization.
- The concept of the continuum of compromise which explains how good individuals turn bad through victimization, alienation, and blind loyalty.
- The hierarchy of ‘bad acts’ that public servants may commit.
- The various ethical frameworks – both on a secular and religious point of view.
- Aristotle's virtue ethics that prescribe a list of virtues on the spectrum of defect, mean, and excess.
- Ethical maxims as proposed by different thinkers that may be used as a guide for organizations and individuals.
- The law-ethics dynamic and an example illustrating how these two play out in a scenario.
- What organizations can do to ensure that they observe ethical practices by establishing and enforcing standards, conducting ethics training and assessments, and practicing open and honest communications.
- Remaining mindful of ethics on an individual level through self-mastery, introspection, and a couple of self-questions.
- Poll questions gauged the participants’ organizational and individual ethics.
During the course Q&A, Dr. Jeffrey Fox answered audience inquiries on:
- The inclusion of ethics training in the Police Academy
- Hiring for ethics through a thorough background investigation
- Common background investigation practices and ones he has personally experienced or seen being used
- Tools and resources for ethics training and assessment
- Policies surrounding favors and gifts provided to public servants and its link to entitlement
- Passive resistance in organizations